Hi, Candice —
I think we've addressed this question
before. Do a search in our Knowledge
Base for confession or sacrament
16 Therefore confess your sins
to each other and pray for each
other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person
is powerful and effective.
So heal (=forgiveness) of our sins
comes from confessing to other people.
The same chapter says the priests (=elders) have the power to forgive
sins (verse 14). This is also what John 20:21-23 says: the Apostles were
given the power to forgive and hold
To distinguish between
the two, the sins must be verbally
confessed. See also Matthew 3:5-6 and Mark 1:5.
Sin affects the whole community (1
Corinthians 12:26). In the Old Testament,
sometimes if one person committed
a sin, the whole community was punished.
Thus sin is not a matter just between
you and God; it affects the whole
community, so you must be reconciled
with the whole community. If you
read Scripture carefully, our relationship
with God as a whole is not just a
me and Jesus relationship;
we are part of a community called
the Communion of Saints
(which we profess in the Creed).
Confession to a priest cultivates
humility and helps us to face our
sins honestly. It helps us to know
our sins are forgiven and gives
us the grace to avoid them in the
That being said, strictly speaking,
while Confession is powerfully helpful
for all sins. we are only strictly
obligated to confess mortal sins
— these are sins that sever
our relationship with God and deprive
us of salvation because we knowingly
and deliberately, with full consent,
committed a grave offense against
Ask yourself these questions.
- Why do you believe what you do?
- Are you winging it or making
- Are you absorbing it from the
culture, or is it rooted in divine
- Is it just a personal opinion
that makes sense to
you or did God reveal it?
We need to cling to what God has revealed,
not to what we think in our own opinion
In general, our beliefs as Christians
come from divine revelation. This
means Scripture and Tradition as
handed down from the Apostles through
the Catholic Church. If you are unwilling
to accept these beliefs, you should
not be confirmed. Nor really should
you receive Holy Communion, because
receiving Holy Communion means that
you accept everything the Catholic
Church teaches, especially those
things she identifies as divinely
revealed by God (including this one).
These teachings come from the
first-century Apostles, who received
them from Christ.
- If your beliefs are not rooted
in Christ, who are they rooted
- If they are rooted in Christ
but you do not accept the Catholic
Church's testimony to them, which
if you research it has been constant
and steady (with some deepening)
for 2,000 years, whose testimony
do you accept?
- Someone from the 16th century?
- Someone from the 19th century?, 21st century culture?
- Some spirit who whispers in your
- Your own whims?
Think, my friend: Whom do you believe?
Whom can you trust?
If you think, as Protestants think,
that we can just confess our sins
to God, note that Scripture doesn't
actually say this. It is true that
Scripture says Confess your
sins in many contexts without
specifying how, but this doesn't
prove that it is to God alone; all
it means is that we don't know for
sure, based on these verses, that
it is to a priest.
the evening of that day, the first
day of the week, the doors being
shut where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews, Jesus came
and stood among them and said
to them, Peace be with you.20 When
he had said this, he showed them
his hands and his side. Then the
disciples were glad when they
saw the Lord. 21 Jesus
said to them again, "Peace
be with you. As the Father has
sent me, even so I send you." 22 And
when he had said this, he breathed
on them, and said to them, "Receive
the Holy Spirit. 23 If
you forgive the sins of any, they
are forgiven; if you retain the
sins of any, they are retained."
The other verses I've given you do
demonstrate that Confession, at least
of serious sins, should involve a