The secrecy of confession

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Andy Cothran, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    "Anglo-Catholicism: adding many things and praising them as ancient."

    Taking what was once a public spiritual event and shoving it into a secret whispering chamber is indeed to secularise the world & church just a little bit more.

    Either way, I guess the OP's question has been answered. Anglican priests who allow private confession generally keep the secrets. Private confession isn't invalid; it just isn't ancient.
     
  2. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    325
    Likes Received:
    262
    Just quoting your own assessment of Evangelicalism, dude. You can't even find a single thing that we "added" and pretended was ancient, so don't even bother.


    Private is better than public. That's why we do it that way. Not every sin is everybody's business, anyway. Sealing confession actually removes the opportunity for temptation for others who might hear. I don't need to hear that some girl has sex with everybody in the neighborhood. My mind doesn't need to be focused on such things. And she needs to be able to confess without worrying about what sinful & judgmental people will say. This is why private confession is so helpful.
     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican


    Private auricular confession, for one. :p


    We are a corporate body of believers, not just individuals. Every sin is the Body's business, because it is the holy Body of Christ. Confession should be public, as it was (well-documented to be) in the first days, simply because it frightens people of God's wrath as well as the scorn of others, and brings them to account for their sins more intensely.

    Privacy of confession is helpful in an age where men & women have no spine and give in to every temptation immediately. Maybe the early Christians just tried harder than any of us have ever dreamed of trying. Secrecy, my goodness...

    Also, I do ask honestly that you stop using that silly facepalm .jpg, it's just trying to humiliate people by calling them failures.
     
  4. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    325
    Likes Received:
    262
    Nope. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


    It's much better to deal with a more-or-less understanding confessor then with people who deny sin exists, don't think you've "really" sinned, think that you can just overcome it, etc. The whole church doesn't need to know everything about everything, and I couldn't care less what some old dudes did in another country centuries ago. Sometimes old ways are changed for the better. Again, just agree to disagree.
     
  5. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I understand that sentiment, Adam. Were it something you could not control, or something less than adultery or murder, you would not have been forced to do a 20 year penance without the Eucharist, confessing your sin to everyone in the community. You forgot about the private prayer part, my friend. :) The pure uncorrupted system of the Fathers was merciful indeed.

    Also, when it comes to history there's no "agree to disagree". This isn't about our opinions.
     
  6. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    585
    Likes Received:
    471
    The Book of Common Prayer does have a rite for The Reconciliation of the Penitent. So, private confession is more than opinion in Anglicanism.

    The Reconciliation of a Penitent is found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. This is private confession before Almighty God and a Priest.

    Form One
    The Penitent begins

    Bless me, for I have sinned.

    The Priest says
    The Lord be in your heart and upon your lips that you may
    truly and humbly confess your sins: In the Name of the
    Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Penitent
    I confess to Almighty God, to his Church, and to you, that
    I have sinned by my own fault in thought, word, and deed, in
    things done and left undone; especially __________. For these
    and all other sins which I cannot now remember, I am truly
    sorry. I pray God to have mercy on me. I firmly intend
    amendment of life, and I humbly beg forgiveness of God and
    his Church, and ask you for counsel, direction, and absolution.

    Here the Priest may offer counsel, direction, and comfort.

    The Priest then pronounces this absolution
    Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to
    absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of
    his great mercy forgive you all your offenses; and by his
    authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins:
    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
    Spirit. Amen.

    or this

    Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered himself to be sacrificed
    for us to the Father, and who conferred power on his Church
    to forgive sins, absolve you through my ministry by the grace
    of the Holy Spirit, and restore you in the perfect peace of
    the Church. Amen.

    The Priest adds
    The Lord has put away all your sins.

    Penitent
    Thanks be to God.

    The Priest concludes


    Go (or abide) in peace, and pray for me, a sinner.

    . . . . .
    ______________________
     
  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Anna, that's 1979. The movement to restore private-confession began to influence Episcopalianism more than one hundred years before that date. I don't recognise that BCP as legitimate - and yes, I am just one person, but if you're going to argue with a specific person you have to approach it from both angles.

    The only private reconciliation of a penitent in 1662 is the absolution of a sick person (i.e. an extraordinary occurrence):

    "Here [after the Creed] shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort.

    [​IMG]UR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
     
  8. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    351
    Likes Received:
    517
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    Anglican, CofE
    Consular

    This excerpt from one of the long exhortations in the Holy Communion from 1662 is also cited. (Similarly occurs in all previous BCP's)

    And because it is requisite, that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God's holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.
     
    Gordon and Dave like this.
  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Wow, how very beautiful & heart-warming Symphorian. :) Shame about that.
     
  10. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    585
    Likes Received:
    471
    Symphorian,
    Great post!

    Anna
     
  11. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

    Posts:
    652
    Likes Received:
    252
    Please note that criticism of 1979 BCP is one thing, but calling it illegitimate isn't allowed.
     
    Toma likes this.
  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

    Posts:
    1,402
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Country:
    Canada
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I apologise Admin. :)
     
  13. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    39
    Country:
    united states
    Religion:
    protestant
    Administrator Consular did not call it illegitimate he said that he did not recognise it as legitimate ..There is a difference .. I realize that as Administrator it is your job to fairly determine these matters in light of the rules of this site but please deal with what you can ascertain to be facts and not what you wish to see as you have done with me also in other communications . And that ends this discussion .
     
  14. Andy Cothran

    Andy Cothran Active Member

    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    39
    Country:
    united states
    Religion:
    protestant
    TO THE REST OF YOU I appreciate youre answers ..but a few of you had to start a fight with each other and i find that disrespectful ..I haven't been on here lately i have been dealing with personal issues ..But i come back and i see that my thread has been hijacked by people who have nothing better to do that debate theology ..Thats not why i for one came here and that is not why i started this thread ...
     
  15. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    688
    Likes Received:
    511
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Franciscan - Anglican
    Good to see you back Andy... you are still on my prayer list brother...

    not sure what you mean here brother... if something is viewed as not being legitimate then you are saying it is non-legitimate or illegitimate I believe they mean the same thing... here in Australia they do anyway.

    I believe that is what Admin was simply saying.
     
  16. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    325
    Likes Received:
    262
    When our practices and our prayer book are called into question so openly, there will absolutely be a response.

    As for the original subject of the thread, I've never heard of priests who broke the seal of Confession. If they had the option to break it, it would cease to be Confession at all. We heard several interesting viewpoints from various perspectives and places. Here, in the States, it is sealed.
     
  17. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    585
    Likes Received:
    471