Friday, March 6, 2009

What sins can a priest forgive in confession?

Lent is a season of repentance and is a great time to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called confession). However, some people are afraid their sins are so bad the priest will not forgive them. Please understand that no matter what sin a person has committed, a priest will not refuse to forgive it.

The priest hearing your confession is acting in persona christi and therefore it isn’t really the priest who forgives your sins, but Jesus Christ himself. The Bible tells us clearly that Jesus took all sins into himself with his sacrifice on the cross; no sin is too great or too small to be confessed and forgiven through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

A priest will never ridicule or degrade you for what you bring to confession. He won’t say anything about how long it has been since your last confession or pressure you to tell more than you’re comfortable. All priests take this sacrament very seriously. It is their duty to listen attentively, to grant you penance to help you not fall into this trap of sin again, and to offer you the amazing grace of absolution through the power of Jesus Christ.

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