The Biblical Basis, Importance, and History of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called confession, is one of the most important sacraments of the church. This sacrament, one of the two sacraments of healing (the other being Anointing of the Sick), has a biblical basis and has been around since the beginning of the Catholic Church in 33 A.D. This post will discuss the basis of the sacrament biblically, the importance of the sacrament, and the history throughout the 2000 year history of the Church.

Biblical Basis

The Sacrament of Reconciliation has a very clear biblical basis. As taken from the Gospel of John:

Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, ‘Peace be to you!’ And when he had said this he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore rejoiced at the sight of the Lord. He therefore said to them again, ‘Peace be to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed upon them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.’   -John  20:19-23

We can quite clearly see that here Christ gives the authority to forgive sins to the Apostles. As we know, the Apostles chose successors. The power to forgive sins was then passed from the original apostles to their successors, the Bishops. The Bishops then delegated this power to Priests.  This power has been passed down through the succession to the present day. The biblical basis of the sacrament is clearly laid out in scripture and as I will show in the next section, Tradition.

History

As shown above, the Sacrament of Confession has been given from Christ and has been passed down from the original apostles to the Bishops and Priests of this day. There are many quotes from the Early Church Fathers that support the Sacrament of Reconciliation

“Father who knowest the hearts of all grant upon this Thy servant whom Thou hast chosen for the episcopate to feed Thy holy flock and serve as Thine high priest, that he may minister blamelessly by night and day, that he may unceasingly behold and appropriate Thy countenance and offer to Thee the gifts of Thy holy Church. And that by the high priestly Spirit he may have authority to forgive sins…” Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition, 3 (A.D. 215)

“The Pontifex Maximus–that is, the bishop of bishops–issues an edict: ‘I remit, to such as have discharged (the requirements of) repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication.'” Tertullian, Modesty, 1 (A.D. 220).

“In addition to these there is also a seventh, albeit hard and laborious: the remission of sins through penance…when he does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord.” Origen, Homilies on Leviticus, 2:4 (A.D. 248).

“It is necessary to confess our sins to those whom the dispensation of God’s mysteries is entrusted.” Basil, Rule Briefly Treated, 288 (A.D. 374).

“All mortal sins are to be submitted to the keys of the Church and all can be forgiven; but recourse to these keys is the only, the necessary, and the certain way to forgiveness. Unless those who are guilty of grievous sin have recourse to the power of the keys, they cannot hope for eternal salvation. Open your lips, them, and confess your sins to the priest. Confession alone is the true gate to Heaven.” Augustine, Christian Combat (A.D. 397).

It is evident from the Church Fathers that they viewed the sacrament in the same manner as we do. An interesting fact about the sacrament of reconciliation is that before the sixth century, the sacrament was only offered once in the penitents life. Reconciliation was like a second baptism. After this time period, Celtic monks introduced the practice of frequent reconciliation into the church. From its early form, confession grew into what it  is today

Importance

The Sacrament of Reconciliation does wonders to us. First of all, it restores us to the state of grace. By sinning mortally, we fall from the state of grace. The Church teaches that if we die with a mortal sin on our soul we will go to hell. All sins are forgiven in the sacrament. By forgiving our sins, we are saved from the fires of hell through reconciliation by Jesus. Many Catholics don’t go to confession. Some are scared to tell their worst sins, some do not think they need confession, and others say that they can confess directly to God. Confession is what Jesus set up on earth for the forgiveness of sins.

 

Conclusion

-Confession to a priest is Scriptural (John  20:19-23)

-Confession is backed up by the Early Church Fathers

-Confession forgives us of  sin

 

-Jacob

Anatomical Structure’s Irrelevance to Justification

The Burger King publicity stunt of releasing “The Proud Whopper” and the phrase it used, “We’re all the same inside,” is yet another example of the irrational “acceptance culture” which I have written of previously. “We’re all the same inside” proposes that anatomical similarity serves as justification for actions.

The anatomical structures which are present in heterosexuals are also present in homosexuals and bisexuals. Of course, they are also present in sociopaths, psychopaths, eugenicists, etc. Now, according to the phrase “we’re all the same inside,” any action that these people take as a result of their mental state is acceptable simply because “we’re all the same inside.”

Homosexuals, bisexuals, and psychopaths are all perfectly capable of not acting in accordance with their already present mental state. This has been proven many times over. Yet the argument of “you can’t control who you are” is repeated over and over again. You can, in fact, control who you are to some extant. You can control your actions, which, in the end, is the real determining factor of who you are as a person.

– James Ingalls

P.S.

Sorry for the short post. I’m lacking ideas and motivation lately, but this gay acceptance argument was also pretty easy to discredit.

Dispelling The Myth of Greed in the Holy Catholic Church & The Inherent Good of Catholic Basilicas

Photo Credit - joshandyaz.blogspot.com
St. Peter’s Basilica, Photo Credit – joshandyaz.blogspot.com

One of the most commonly repeated criticisms of the Catholic Church, by both Christians and non-Christians alike, is the amount of time and money the Church puts into its basilicas, such as St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Critics of the basilicas claim they serve as a massive testament to church greed. However, these claims are made in a blind ignorance to truth.

$11,350,000,000 Kept VS $160,250,000,000 Given Away (Annually*)

The claim that the Catholic Church indulges in greed is simply not supported in any way by the Church’s spending history. The Catholic Church spends about $11,350,000,000 every year on its churches, schools, parish related properties, and the Vatican combined. That’s a minor 6.6% of total spending. Meanwhile, the other $160,250,000,000 (93.4% of spending) goes to hospitals, colleges/universities, and various charities. Simply put, the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on the planet.

*Based on Spending in 2010

Should that 6.6% Be Donated As Well?

The wealth here is the wealth used to build basilicas, monolithic structures constructed to worship God and honor the Saints. It is because of their purpose to worship God that the wealth is justly kept and spent. The Bible specifically condones the use of wealth for the worship of God in The Gospel of John.

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wagesand given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. -John 12, 3-7

Furthermore, God demands his houses of worship be beautiful in The Book of Exodus 25-26, even if that house of worship be only a simple tent in the desert. Also, the Temple in Jerusalem was adorned with gems and gold, as evident in The First Book of Kings 6 as well as The Second Book of Chronicles 3. Extravagant Churches are explicitly biblical.

– James Ingalls