Understanding Roman Catholicism
Confessing Sins to a Priest
Regarding the forgiveness of sins, two critical doctrines must be examined. First, all sins must be confessed to a priest:
"One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience." Pg. 374, #1493
"Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance:" Pg. 365, #1456
"It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. Pg. 357, #1424 (See also Pg. 374, #1493).
Catholicism orders members to confess their sins to a man, but the Bible reveals that those who have been born into God's family can go straight to God's throne to receive forgiveness for their sins:
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. " Psalm 32:5
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
David confessed his sins to God when he prayed:
"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me." Psalm 51:2-3
Here is why true Christians have access to God' s throne:
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus..." Hebrews 10:19
Because of the sinless blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross, we have the authority to go straight to the throne of God for forgiveness.
The "first pope's" example
In the book of Acts, a man named Simon came to the alleged first pope, Peter, wanting to buy the power of the Holy Spirit. How did Peter respond to this sin? Did he suggest that Simon make a confession to him right there? No, Peter told him to repent and confess his sin to God and ask God to forgive him. (See Acts 8:18-22).
Can priests forgive sins?
The second part of this doctrine suggests that Catholic priests have the power to forgive sins:
"Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ." Pg. 374, #1495 (See also Pg. 364 #1448)
Here, too, Catholic doctrine opposes God's Word:
"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7
Catholicism teaches that the priest is a mediator between God and man. (See Pg. 365, #1456). But the Bible recognizes only one mediator:
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2:5
Once again, the Catechism admits that these are not instructions from God, but traditions of men:
"The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as the second plank [of salvation]..." Pg. 363 #1446
"According to the Church's command, 'after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.'" Pg. 365, #1457 (Emphasis author's)
There is that word "bound" again. The Church Fathers created another tradition which keeps people in bondage to the Catholic church.
What a powerful weapon to use against Catholics around the world. In essence, this doctrine says that if you leave the Catholic church, you will not be able to obtain forgiveness for your sins, which means you won't go to heaven.
Please remember, none of this came from God! These are all man-made threats. May God open your spiritual eyes and give you understanding, so that you may see the depth of the bondage this religion holds you in. May God show you that you don't have to be held captive to this religion any longer. Jesus Christ wants to set you free.
Millions of faithful Catholics blindly file into confessional booths, believing that the priest has the power to forgive their sins.
What about you? Where will you go to have your sins forgiven? To a sinful priest, as the man-made traditions of the Catholic church demand?
Or will you go straight to God Almighty, as the Bible teaches?
"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." Psalm 130:1-4
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Understanding Roman Catholicism © 1995 by Rick Jones