Why its a mistake to give the Catholic Church support via membership or donations
Roman Catholic Church is notorious for its claim that its priests can forgive
sins as if they were God.
to confess their sins to the priest. We read in
The Faith of Our
Fathers page 398 that this is a power. Priests have the power to
forgive sins. They forgive sins in the same way I have to raise up my
power to forgive wrongs done to me. It is not a case of God just agreeing
to forgive sins when the priest forgives. The priest forgives as God.
We read in The Faith of Our Fathers page 398 that this is a power. Priests have the power to forgive sins. They forgive sins in the same way I have to raise up my power to forgive wrongs done to me. It is not a case of God just agreeing to forgive sins when the priest forgives. The priest forgives as God.
The quotes come from Salvation, The Bible and Roman Catholicism.
Chapter One of the Fourteenth Session of the Council of Trent declared that since we do not remain faithful after baptism we need another sacrament, the sacrament of penance. It said, “The Lord…principally instituted the sacrament of penance, when, being raised from the dead, he breathed on his disciples, saying: Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. By which action so signal, and words so clear, the consent of all the Fathers has ever understood that the power of forgiving and retaining sins was communicated to the apostles and their lawful successors for the reconciling of the faithful who had fallen after baptism” (page 148).
Chapter Five says, “From the institution of the sacrament of Penance, as already explained, the universal Church has always understood that the entire confession of sins was also instituted by the Lord, and is of divine right necessary for all who have fallen after baptism; because that our Lord Jesus Christ, when about to ascend from earth to Heaven, left priests his own vicars, as presidents and judges, unto whom all the mortal crimes, into which the faithful of Christ may have fallen, should be carried, in order that, in accordance with the power of the keys, they may pronounce the sentence of forgiveness or retention of sins. For it is manifest that the priests could not have exercised this judgment without knowledge of the case” (page 149).
the power of the keys comes from the Bible where Jesus tells Peter he will give
him the keys of the
The Council of Trent decreed, “Whosoever shall affirm that the priest’s sacramental absolution is not a judicial act but only a ministry to declare that the sins of the party confessing are forgiven let him be anathema”. The priest is a judge and has the power to pass sentence and to decide if the person should be granted pardon. Obviously, the priest then is to be respected and obeyed by the laity and treated like Christ himself. The man that has the right to judge you and hear your sins should be obeyed like he was a king.
magistrate can forgive your crime against the law because he has judicial
authority and can make judicial acts.
The magistrate in this way is on a par with the law.
He treats the law as if it was his personal
creation so that anybody breaking the law is offending him and needs his
He decides that other people who
have been hurt by this person should forgive them too for he has taken the
The priest can forgive sins even if he is bad himself, “Even priests, who are in mortal sin, exercise, through the virtue of the Holy Ghost which was bestowed in ordination, the office of forgiving sins, as the ministers of Christ; and that their sentiment is erroneous who contend that the is power exists not in bad priests” (page 150).
Canon 6 said that those who denied that priests could forgive sins in the sacrament of penance were accursed. Canon 7 said, “If anyone saith, that, in the sacrament of Penance, it is not necessary, of divine right, for the remission of sins, to confess all and singular mortal sins which after due and diligent previous meditation are remembered, even those [mortal sins] which are secret, and those that are apposed to the two last commandments of the Decalogue, as also the circumstances which change the species of a sin; Let him be anathema” (page 152).
Canon 12 condemns anybody who says that “God always remits the whole punishment together with the guilt” (page 152) because they want you to believe that you can be punished after being pardoned by God for the pardoned sins.
Roman priests claim to possess the power to make God forgive our sin in the sense that God won’t pardon certain penitents’ mortal sins until the priest says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” to which the grateful reply is simply, “Amen” (Council of Trent, Session 14, Chapters 1, 3, Canon 6, 7 and 9). He says, “I absolve you”. He does it by his own authority. Catholics tell their sins to the priest and say they are sorry and then the priest forgives their sins after giving them something to do as a penance in order to make up for their debt of temporal punishment.
Today, this sacrament is called the sacrament of reconciliation, but the older term, the sacrament of penance, is still occasionally used.
The Church says that Jesus gave priests this power
to forgive sins for the gospels say so.
But the texts may not mean what
Here are the lesser ones with their refutations following them:
Matthew 18:18 where we read that whatever the apostles bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and what they unbind on earth shall be unbound in Heaven. Since this passage refers to whatever not whoever it is taken as confirmation that Jesus conferred on his entourage the ability to take sins away.
But there is no reason to suppose that he meant
The promise was made in the context
of talking about Church discipline.
Catholicism should stop taking verses out of context.
Jesus promised his disciples the ability to
accept only those he approved into his Church and to put the unwanted out of
This could only be done if they were
infallibly inspired by him from Heaven.
The apostles needed this gift to keep unity among themselves and the
Church and unity is more important than doctrine in the sense that true
doctrine is lost to some degree if there is too much schism and it is brought
into disrepute. (
Yet the promise may be one of another kind of infallibility, protection from error in order to teach the word of God and to have it written down. The Catholic Church has no right using this text here to justify absolving when she also uses it to persuade folks that she cannot err in her ecumenical councils and when her pope speaks ex cathedra or from the chair of Peter.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 says that the apostles had the ministry of reconciling people with God. Do marriage guidance counsellors who have a ministry of reconciliation forgive the estranged husband and wife?
The final Catholic proof is the alleged mention of Paul absolving the sins of an incestuous man in his letters (1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2). Paul judging, excommunicating and pardoning this man is hardly the same as giving him the sacrament of penance! Paul never met this man and when he was able to judge him he must have been able to read his mind by the power of the spirit. Catholic absolution demands that the penitent be present for absolution. In 2 Corinthians 2, Paul wrote that he forgives in the person of Christ whoever the Corinthians forgive. He means forgive in the matter of Church discipline because if he meant absolution how could he absolve” persons absolved by the Corinthians? Notice too how, “If you Corinthians forgive the sins of any I forgive them” which matches what Jesus said in John “Whoever you forgive I forgive. And Paul is definitely not telling the Corinthians that they can forgive for him as if they were him so how could Jesus be doing that either? The Catholic Church says that distant absolutions are futile for the person has to be near the absolver. A Presbyterian minister could say the same as Paul concerning a reconciled rebel who has broken Church law and he does not absolve.
John 20:23 has Jesus giving the Holy Spirit to the disciples and
telling them that if they forgive the sins of any they are forgiven and if
they do not forgive they are not forgiven. It does not say that it
means they can forgive sins as if they were the ones the sins were against.
It makes sense to say that Jesus meant nothing more that if the disciples
forgive then God will forgive AS WELL. There are two forgivings not
one. The apostles make their decision to forgive and God makes his to
forgive along with them. The text does not say that Jesus gave them
the power to forgive sins against God. It is against commonsense to
imagine that John can forgive you for Eddie when it was Eddie you hurt.
The Bible assumes we have the power to think.
John 20:23 has Jesus giving the Holy Spirit to the disciples and telling them that if they forgive the sins of any they are forgiven and if they do not forgive they are not forgiven. It does not say that it means they can forgive sins as if they were the ones the sins were against. It makes sense to say that Jesus meant nothing more that if the disciples forgive then God will forgive AS WELL. There are two forgivings not one. The apostles make their decision to forgive and God makes his to forgive along with them. The text does not say that Jesus gave them the power to forgive sins against God. It is against commonsense to imagine that John can forgive you for Eddie when it was Eddie you hurt. The Bible assumes we have the power to think.
There is no justification for the Catholic
interpretation of the passages.
It is asserted by a few that since the texts could mean absolution they must mean it. They argue that it is the simplest interpretation and that when a text has more than one meaning the simplest and safest must be taken. It is not safe to start absolving people in case it is nonsense just because a text merely seems to command it and looks can be deceiving.
The Psalms and the Old Testament have people praying straight to God for forgiveness and getting it.
When the Gospel is supposed to be good news it is clear that God could not and would not have changed this structure to make it harder leaving one having to look for a validly ordained priest and remember sins and fight the shame of confessing to that priest.
Jesus told his apostles that they must pray the Our Father which pleads, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The prayers at the start, “Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come”, are by implication prayers for pardon too for they ask that God be fittingly praised and his reign of righteousness will come. How could you want the name reverenced and the kingdom to come now as Jesus wanted us to when you mean “forgive me God but not now and wait until I get to confession”?
The Catholic forgiveness system contradicts the
urgency of the New Testament message of conversion and even more so in the past
when there were no cars and when there was much persecution of Christians.
If a person needed absolution in times of
persecution it was very hard to get and caused much terror.
Priests forgiving sins is just another Roman Catholic doctrine that emerged from its control freak antics despite being in contradiction to the Bible.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CATHOLICS ARE ASKING Tony Coffey, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 2006
A PATH FROM
BLESS ME FATHER FOR I
HAVE SINNED, Quentin Donoghue, Linda Shapiro, McClelland and Stewart,
CATECHISM OF THE
CONFESSION OF A ROMAN
CATHOLIC, Paul Whitcomb, Tan,
CONFESSION QUIZZES TO A STREET PREACHER, Frs Rumble
and Carty, TAN,
CONFESSION, WHY WE GO,
James Tolhurst, Faith Pamphlets,
DIFFICULTIES, Mgr Ronald
ENCHIRIDION SYMBOLORUM ET
DEFINITIONUM, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer,
THEOLOGY, Edited by Karl Rahner, Burns and Oates,
GOING TO CONFESSION
TODAY, Patrick McCarthy CC, Irish Messenger Publications,
LIFE IN CHRIST, PART 3,
Fergal McGrath S.J., MH Gill and Son Ltd,
LIVING IN CHRIST, A Dreze SJ, Geoffrey Chapman, London-Melbourne 1969
NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
ORDINATION, Rev Willie Bridcut,
PEACE OF SOUL,
Michael S Bostock,
PENANCE SACRAMENT OF
RECONCILIATION, Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of
CATHOLICISM WHAT IS FINAL AUTHORITY?
Harold J Berry, Back to the Bible,
SALVATION, THE BIBLE AND
ROMAN CATHOLICISM, William Webster, Banner of Truth,
SECRETS OF ROMANISM,
Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers,
THE CODE OF CANON LAW, Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, William Collins and William B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983
THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS, James Cardinal Gibbons, Forty Ninth Edition, John Murphy and Co Publishers, Baltimore, London, New York, 1897 (TAN Books keep this book in print)
THE QUESTION AND ANSWER CATHOLIC
CATECHISM, John A Hardon SJ, Image Books, Doubleday and Company,
THE SECRET OF CATHOLIC
POWER, LH Lehmann, Protestant Truth Pamphlets, Agora Publishing Company,
THE STUDENT’S CATHOLIC
DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates,
TRADITIONAL DOCTRINES OF
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN? Dave Hunt, Harvest
BIBLE VERSIONS USED
The Amplified Bible