Why do I have to confess to a priest? (#AskFrBarron)





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Published on Feb 16, 2011

Each week I welcome questions through Facebook and Twitter (using the #AskFrBarron hashtag) and through our blog at WordOnFire.org. Stay tuned for new answers each week!

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Comments • 1,985

Alexis Roman
"For there is one GOD and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5)"  "Let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)" We can approach God directly in prayer...We don't NEED to confess to priests. 
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+Nicholas Powers BTW, I am an ex catholic. If you look at it, auricular confession to a priest serves no purpose. Scripture does say to confess our sins to one another. That was actually said by the people you show as authority, an apostle. An apostle said those words. "confess your sins to one another". So, which are we to believe? Also, history doesn't lie. there was no private confession to a priest in the first century. There was no absolution by the minister either. History doesn't lie.
+Nicholas Powers Don't know what you mean. I never mentioned the bible except indirectly when I said God will not retain sins. So, you think the words Jesus spoke, which were written down, is not as important as what came after? Auricle confession alone and in private to a priest did not become a practice till centuries after the apostles died. Before that people would stand up in front of the congregation and confess SERIOUS SINS like murder or adultery. Lessor sins were not considered. It was thought those were to be resolved between the sinner and God alone. Confession to the congregation (church) was only done once in a lifetime for very serious sins. It usually involved some form of punishment like shunning for a period of time. If you don't know these things, LOOK THEM UP! The info is out there.
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I'm not Roman Catholic, I'm Orthodox.  But I have to say, that when confession is over, it's such a huge relief to get all that out of your system.  Getting all that stuff off your chest feels like a huge burden is taken off of your soul.
Carthago Delenda Est
You can confess to god your venial sins but as this video painfully demonstrates there is a reason you need to confess mortal sins.
good, that is what God wants indeed: That we get it out! James 5:16 "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." we need to get things out indeed. If I steal something, i need to confess to the person I stealed from and make restitution. If I offend someone, I need to confess to the person I hurt, and ask for forgiveness. If I have sinned against God or against myself I can confess directly to God. Confessing with  your mouth, and kneeling in prayer will give you relief as well. Ask the Holy Spirit to administrate forgiveness to you through Jesus. God bless.
I am having hard time believing that the only way I can be forgiven for my sins is to tell a priest. A priest is a man that was born of sin just as I am. Priest sin just like i do. What power can he possibly have to forgive my sins. No thanks, I will take my sins to Jesus in prayer. 
Jesus also said we could come to him. Why would I deal with the middle man when I don't have to.
T.J. Marion
Sure, but what about police and judges? Aren't they just people that can do bad things? Why and how are they allowed to arrest and judge people but I can't? Its a matter of authority my friend. And in the Biblical sense, Christ gives the authority.
William John Meegan
Go to Confession and have your sins absolved - then you can begin your evil wilily trickster coyote ways again for yet another week - then you go back to Confession and have the Priest absolved your sins once again. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW what a wonderful MERRY-GO-ROUND
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Donna DiFonzo
no.... you are not understanding the sacrament. While God's love for us is unconditional, absolution and forgiveness in the confessional IS conditional: In other words, forgiveness and absolution depends on the attitude of the person in the confessional . An attitude of "I'm forgiven. . .now I can go back and sin" is not an attitude of repentance and sorrow for sin that is required for authentic absolution and forgiveness. True repentance, contrition, and sorrow for sin requires a change of heart-- a real and true desire to refrain from sin. If a priest knew that a person was participating in the sacrament with the intention of 'getting forgiven just to go out and sin again" -- that priest would want to have a long conversation to explain what the sacrament is .
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Steven Raftis
Only the Lord Jesus can forgive sin's not a mere man this is blasphemy as the priest is taking the place of God. Christ is God and that is why he can forgive sin. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is the blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. What does a priest say at the end of the confession? He absolves a person from their sin, absolve is to pardon which is not forgiveness and then gives the person a penance usually some hail Mary's and some Our Father's. You cannot do penance for your sin God commands us to repent of our sin and confess our sins to the Lord Jesus as the bible say's " he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". A human being cannot take the place of the Lord Jesus and forgive sin because it is confessing our sin's to the Lord and the blood of Christ that cleanses us from sin.
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Tim Spangler
+cbooth151 SCRIPTURE MUST CONTAIN LINGUISTIC LANGUAGE THAT SUITS ME!!! Or else I'll take my Watchtowers and go home!
+Tim Spangler "The same case that has been stated for 2,000 years. Jesus is God." Did you forget saying that "all that is necessary is that I prove that there is one God and 3 persons"? So, what are you saying, Timmy? That 2,000 years ago, people believed that Jesus is the "one God in three persons"? Poor Timmy. The only person who is commending you is an equally confused brain-dead trinitarian, who said to you: "You are a very truthful man! I commend your efforts!!" What could be funnier?
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William Rookwood
Hey there, Father. I just wanted to say that I love most of your videos and think you in general are a great ambassador for the Christian religion. You've really helped me understand how to better interpret difficult scriptures. I will say, however, that I'm not a Catholic and I do disagree with you on confession. I know it's a rich Catholic tradition but it's one I don't agree with. I think Christ's sacrifice was the ultimate way of man achieving a spiritual connection with God. As Christ is God himself, when he enters our hearts God then lives within us therefore allowing us to communicate with him directly.
Steven Raftis
At the end of this Mr Barron claims to be mediator between man and God which is in total contradiction to the bible as the bible say's; 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
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REPENTEDforCHRIST AMEN, Great one is very humble to learn. Bonjour  
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David Leone'
This should settle whether we can come to the Father without the catholic priesthood and directly through Christ! "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" - 1Pe 1:17-19 
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David Leone'
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." - Mat 24:37  "... while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved." - 1Pe 3:20  "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:" - Luk 18:8-9 
David Leone'
"Food for thoughts" ... interesting words. It kinda like Jesus when he said, "I Am the Bread of Life"... 'food' for thought!
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It's sad to read some of the protestant comments, each implicitly declaring themselves to be his or her own magisterium and pope, rendering an infallible interpretation of the bible. To be honest if the Catholic Church is so terribly wrong about this doctrine (or any infallibly defined doctrine) then the bible (the NT at least) isn't worth the paper it's printed on-save for maybe historical interest. Why on earth would anyone trust a book written (NT), canonized, and kept intact by the very Church that is being demonized? What, the Holy Spirit guided them for that, but left them out to dry with everything you happen to disagree with based on out of context biblical quote(s)? I'm with St. Augustine on this "I would not believe the gospels, were it not for the authority of the church"-and why would you?
The power of confession is amazing to those who truly believe in it , for those who do not but go out of habit and also with the idea that they can go back to sin again then they will get nothing from it , you must be open to Christ`s healing power and love to saturate your soul through the priest even if that priest himself is a sinner , I have never had a bad experience at confession the priests I have encountered were humble and sincere as conduits between them and the loving God .
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tim spangler
Glad to hear you know where you will go. Catholics do not.
+Tim Spangler The eyes have not seen the ears have not heard the splendors that the lord has in store for us , if you have faith no answer is necessary if you have none no answer is ever enough , God bless you .
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