Why is Anglicanism typically less guilt-ridden than Roman Catholicism?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Traveler, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. Spiritus

    Spiritus Member

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    You're right, we all can do the same thing alone with God, but the sacrament of reconciliation is meant to make the whole thing easier. When we're going to God on our own it's easy to let pride creep in, "what I did isn't so bad, after all, Billy Bob did something so much worse". It's hard to be prideful when we're speaking our sins aloud and in front of someone else. It brings our baggage to light and the other person (the priest) is able to help us see our baggage for what it is and let it go (which is really hard when we've become attached to it). All that said, I certainly can understand why it's difficult for many and could even be a stumbling block given their experiences.
     
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  2. Spiritus

    Spiritus Member

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    That's a hard one to answer. My initial feeling would be improper catechesis but I think it goes deeper than that. If you look at the early church you see Christians; lay, religious, and clergy bringing their sins and struggles to spiritual fathers who worked with them for years. You see the same thing continued in the Eastern Churches. I think the real problem came in when the west shifted away from the confessor walking alongside you and building a relationship. Now it's just going to any priest, stand in line with people staring at you, go in the box, list your sins, get a few prayers to say, run and try not to make eye contact with anyone. Everything has become so rushed that you miss the personal, healing element, and then it devolves into the negative experience that so many have faced.

    I don't know what the fix is other than time, proper formation for new priests, and re-training for the old priests. I have seen a shift where more and more Roman Catholic Diocese are teaching their seminarians the "spiritual father" / Spiritual director approach to confessions. I've also seen a lot of priests that are moving that way on their own.
     
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  3. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    That sounds like an approach characteristic of Romans... very efficient, like an aqueduct, or a well-paved road, or a town build on a very rational grid of streets.

    For my own part, I find the same Roman efficiency at work in what I guess you'd call its legalism. Legalism provokes anxiety, too. At the end of the day it isn't so much the theology of Rome's teaching, so much as its regimental discipline that trips me up. I don't care much to live in a completely rational city built on a grid. I want to live in the Cotswalds.
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I suffer from anxiety and I often have those thoughts myself from time to time. I think making a general life confession would be a horrible thing for me. I take solace in the Anglican tradition for that reason. I could easily see myself at different times in my life being those guys you run across.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    There is a huge difference between how RCs view confession and how Anglicans and Protestants view it. I definitely understand why devout RCs go to confession frequently. But I also understand why Anglicans seek to make auricular confession very seldom. My previous answer was from the latter perspective.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Sincerity isn't something one can just summon up. It is something which is either there, in the heart or not but can be faked. Confession should normally be a personal and private prayer session between just the individual sinner and God The Holy Spirit. If anyone lacks the faith to believe that is 'enough' then by all means take the matter to another person qualified to convince you of God's absolution upon being convinced of your own sincerity.

    The chances are that a person so unconvinced of God's forgiveness of sin is feeling that way because they are still in an unregenerate state and need to be led to the foot of the cross of the Atonement and kneel before Christ with a humble and a contrite heart. That God will never despise.

    In the Church of England Confession is available to all. Usually taking the form of an informal interview and discussion. If the priest or pastor deems it necessary a private, formal service may be arranged and performed. All may, some should, none must.

    All should be made aware beforehand however that there are certain instances where it may be necessary for the leadership in the church to report what is said in confession to a relevant authority, especially where others may be or have been, seriously affected by criminal acts. Some crimes should not be 'ignored' or a 'blind eye' turned.
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022
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