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Catholic Freedom: Why Confession To A Priest Is Not Necessary To Have Sins Forgiven
by N. Evans
Friday Jul 30th, 2021 12:35 PM
Catholic Freedom Newsletter: Why Confession To A Priest Is Not Necessary To Have Sins Forgiven
(Article from Catholic Freedom Newsletter, Issue 2, August 2021. The Catholic Freedom Anarchist Newsletter is influenced by the Catholic Anarchist tradition of Dorothy Day, and Peter Maurin, and economic thought of Benjamin R. Tucker*)

Like the article in U.S. Catholic magazine titled ‘Proud to be a Cafeteria Catholic’ 1. I too am a cafeteria catholic. What is a cafeteria catholic exactly? A cafeteria catholic is someone who picks and chooses which Catholic doctrines suit them and which doctrines do not and then apply those choices to their Catholic faith. Personally as a cafeteria catholic, I agree with all the Catholic doctrines except the sacrament of confession. In my opinion, confession to a priest is not needed because belief in Jesus Christ and faith in him is all that is necessary without any intermediary. “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)

However does that mean confessing to a priest is not another option for others who prefer it? Certainly not. Confession to a priest may be the preference for many people. God is manifested in all forms (psalm 145:18). For some confession to a priest is what they prefer. For other Catholics like myself, confession to God alone without any intermediary is preferred. Both should be welcomed since what is most important is the teachings of Jesus and that is the core of our faith.

Regarding Confession, a short dive into its history might be needed to further clarify my stance. According to encyclopedia Britannica, the act of confessing to a priest was most likely developed in the 6th century by Irish monks and introduced to the Continent later by Irish and Anglo-Saxon monks. 2.

So what existed before confession to a priest/monk before the 6th century?

If people committed grave sins, they may have been permanently banned by the church. 3. However they would still be seen as being forgiven by God if they confessed to God and without any intermediary. 4.

So Roman Catholicism before the 6th Century relied on God itself without a need for a priest or monk to have sins forgiven and the only loss would be the standing with their church.
Other methods in other areas included the penitential rite involved strict discipline and did not last beyond the Middle Ages. 5.

The Boston Globe gives a brief and clear history of confession:

“In the first centuries of Christianity, there was no such thing as confession. There was just ‘reconciliation’ with your congregation or your Christian community, if you’d committed a huge crime like murder or idolatry, or adultery.” After the break down of the Roman Empire “… something new starts to take place within monastic communities in Ireland and Wales and places like that. An abbess or an abbot would have private conversation with somebody, give spiritual direction, and so forth. Confession grew out of that. But it wasn’t until 1215, at the Fourth Lateran Council, that all Christians in the Latin Church were bound under mortal sin to go to confession once a year, and it had to be private, and you had to tell all your sins.” 6.

With this understanding of history of Roman Catholicism, forgiveness of sins by a priest is one option, but not the only one. Confession by one’s self to God alone is sufficient to have sins forgiven, as was practiced by Catholics and accepted by the Catholic church before the 6th Century and was practiced by Catholics up until 1215. **

1. Moyer. Isabellar R. ‘Proud to be a cafeteria Catholic’ Our Faith: uscatholic.org. July 21, 2015. Retrieved 7-29-21 from: https://uscatholic.org/articles/201507/proud-to-be-a-cafeteria-catholic/
2. McKenzie, John L. ‘Roman Catholicism.’ Sections and Media: Reconciliation. http://www.britannica.com. Retrieved 7-30-21 from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Roman-Catholicism/Baptism#ref43694
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Lester, Toby. ‘Catholic Confession’s Steep Price’ Q & A: bostonglobe.com. Feb. 16, 2014. Retrieved 7-30-21 from: https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/02/16/catholic-confession-steep-price/NbMVFfYljv26Gcphu17yPJ/story.html


* Benjamin Tucker wanted a Mutualist non-capitalist free market where employers paid their employees the full value of their labor. Another person of some interest is Addison Brown who invented Prior Choice Economics where a bureau would decide the wages for both the employers and employees. Gabriel Green wrote a book about Brown’s theory titled Prior Choice Economics. Interestingly Gabriel Green was involved in the ET contactee movement during the 1950’s-60’s. Adamski, Menger, and others who were part of ET contactee movement who claimed erroneously that life on Venus and other local planets existed. However another original contactee from the 1960’s named Bob Renaud mentioned on the TerraKor Files Alliance-Terran website that the false claims of life on Venus, Saturn ect. was the result of memory imprinting by an evil group known as the Omegans against Adamski, Menger, and other contactees in order to discredit their messages. Lucus Louize is a current claimed contactee of the ET movement in the tradition of Adamski and Menger without the erroneous science and with influence from Bob Renaud and the Alliance information. Interestingly the Vatican is open to the idea of ET’s. See: The Associated Press. ‘Vatican: It’s OK to Believe in Aliens’. News: Search For Lives: Space.com. May 13, 2008. Since 2017 the mainstream media has taken a more serious approach to the subject of potential life outside of Earth. See: Blumenthal, Ralph. ‘On the Trail of a Secret Pentagon U.F.O. Program.’ Insider: New York Times. Dec. 18, 2017. Also please see the ‘Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’ by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released 25 June, 2021.
** The CF believes in Mathew 6: 14-15 where Jesus states when you forgive others your sins are forgiven. “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” There is no need to confess to a priest to have sins forgiven because Jesus is clear in stating God itself will forgive sins if the person forgives others. The CF believes this system of karma stated in Mathew 7: 1-2: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” is a blessing of God to give people a chance to prove their worth to God by forgiving the evil done to them therefore rendering evil to their advantage because more evil is done to them and they forgive, the more they can have their sins forgiven and impress God and the Angels at the same time, also therefore having their prayers more likely answered as well. This is a good way to use and turn evil done against them to a person’s advantage.

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