images-1Q. My wife’s mother when a Catholic went to confession and confessed sins to him that the Holy Spirit was convicting her of. His response was that he did not feel they were sin he said nothing of mortal or venial as far as I know. So what then? Should she still confess or did the priest have the authority to usurp the role of the Holy Spirit?

A.  I cannot say since I do not know what “sins” she was confessing or all the circumstances. But there are a few  possibilities.

1) What she was confessing may have been faults or weaknesses but not truly sinful. We may confess these things but the priest cannot pronounce absolution unless there is confession of at least one true sin. I too have had this exact experience. He then asked me to confess a true sin in addition to the faults I had confessed.

2) She may have confessed true sin that he knew had previously been absolved in confession with himself and therefore she did not need to confess it again. He may have discerned in her a lack of trust in God’s mercy and forgiveness and was trying to guide her away from an overactive conscience and scrupulosity into peace and trust in God.

3) He could have been a priest who was in error. Since Vatican II some priests have come to believe that people should ONLY go to confession IF they have committed a MORTAL sin. And they think anyone who goes to confession for venial sin only are being scrupulous and they try to convince the person not to come to confession unless they have mortal sin to confess.

But this is NOT what the Church teaches. The pope goes to confession every week. It is doubtful that he is confessing MORTAL sin. Even though we are not required to go to confession for venial sin, if we do so anyway, we receive sacramental graces to overcome even venial sin and progress more surely towards holiness. If this were the case she should not go to this priest again in the future. I also had this experience. After a thorough examination of conscience the priest “made light of my sins”. I knew he was in error and never went to him again.

Catholics Are Just Wrong


imagesAman: It is still the pope that had the final word on which books made it. Which is the most distubing thing Ive learned in a while. In history, and the present, how good is the track record for cardinals, bishops and popes? There isnt enough room on this page to count all the scandals.

BFHU: Hmmmmm. You are right. It would be very disturbing to Sola Scriptura Protestants. Since you do not trust mere men…..but wait! All of the authors of all of the books of Sacred Scripture were mere men. Isn’t that disturbing to you as well? So, how could you trust Scripture to be TRUE since it is written by mere men who were also subject to sin?

Aman:I dont know about you but I dont trust a man, and I repeat a man, that surrounds himself with the luxuries and wealth of the world, wears red prada shoes, expensive jewelery,wears a hat that originally was designed for pagan leaders for worship to their fish god Dagon.Billions of dollars has been spent to build the worlds most lavish churches instead of using it feed and shelter the hungry and poor.

BFHU: Let me clear some things up for you. All the wealth at the Vatican and the museums and the beautiful Catholic churches around the world were donations by the faithful to offer things and build churches of great beauty. You know someone in scripture also complained about the expense “wasted” on Jesus. 

The Precious Ointment

Mark 14:While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, (Nearly a year’s worth of wages) and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.

Bishops hat

The hats worn by bishops is very odd. But they are to look like the flames of fire that fell on the apostles on Pentecost.

Aman: Pretty sure this is not what jesus had in mind. Tell me one story where Jesus put money or scripture in front of caring for others in need. Show me one description of jesus wearing expensive jewelery or expensive clothes. Think as if you were Jesus and then ask yourself if you would accept the corrupt nature of the Vatican and its hierarchy.

BFHU: The Popes personally do not desire to wear expensive anything. These things are given to the pope to honor the vicar of Christ on Earth. To honor Jesus through the man chosen as pope. And as we see above Jesus certainly accepted a gift of precious oil as the woman sought to honor Him. I think you are imposing your own opinion on Jesus rather than reading scripture  and letting it form your faith.

Aman:Why would the pope pray to the Madonna for protection and pray to statues instead of god???!! Might as well build a golden calf in the middle of St peters Square for people to worship as well. This is sounding familiar. God didnt like it the first time people prayed and worshiped to statues, what makes you think hes ok with that now?

BFHU: The pope and Catholics do not worship statues. You are mistaken because you are judging us based on your own bias. We believe in asking for intercessory prayer from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Unlike Protestants we know that those who died in Christ are alive in Heaven and we also ask for their prayers. That is all we are doing when we pray in front of a statue or picture of a Saint. And we know God is OK with that b/c He answers our prayers more quickly through His Saints. If it was not efficacious we would have stopped long ago.

Aman: Popes and priests cannot forgive you for your sins. ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT!

BFHU: Where does it say this in Scripture? Wait there is something about this in scripture.

Mark 2:And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?

How do you explain this verse where Jesus gave His apostles the power to forgive or not forgive sin?

JOHN 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

How does a Catholic get to heaven?


Q. How does a Catholic get to Heaven?

A. By Faith and the Grace of God. Catholics get to Heaven by the power and grace of God. The good works that we do are in obedience to Christ and in order to purify ourselves so that we can become holy as He is holy. But it is all of Grace. We cannot do anything worth while on our own.But specifically GOD communicates His Grace to save and strengthen us to journey towards Heaven, in the following primary ways:

By being born again in baptism:

  • John 3:5 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
  • 1 Peter 3:20-21 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you

By receiving communion in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ

  • John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
  • John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.
  • John 6:53-58-So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
  • He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will (CH)raise him up on the last day.
  • “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
  • “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
  • As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
  • “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

By living life so that at death you are friends with God. This means that you die without mortal sin on your soul and live life so as to avoid mortal sin. But if we sin we must confess mortal sin to a priest in the sacrament of confession with true repentence and avoid it in the future.

MORTAL SIN

  • I John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.

SACRAMENT CONFESSION

  • John20:22-23And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

Fr. Corapi’s Conversion



Fr. Corapi’s Conversion Story – Condensed Version

Conversation: Mortal Sin


Q. Doesn’t 1 John 9 say that “if we confess our sins He (God) will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrightiousness” mean that when we confess, God is forgiving us not the person we confess to,

A. Yes, of course, it absolutely is God who forgives through His minister, the priest. The priest is His representative and provides audible assurance of forgiveness, and counsel.

In fact, if someone has the wrong heart attitude and is able to fool the priest that he is repentant when he is not and has no intention to avoid the sin in the future—God does not forgive the sin in actuality. So, even though the penitent hears the words of absolution, God is not mocked. Also, if he withholds confessing a deadly sin out of embarrassment, the confession of other sins and the absolution are worthless. Again, God is not mocked. If a deadly sin is truly forgotten during confession, it needs to be confessed next time but it does not invalidate the confession.

Q. and even if we confess to God privately.

A. But we are required to go to confession for deadly, as in grave, sin. Venial sins we may confess and be forgiven privately by praying to God on our own.

Q. So the Catholic Priest can say with Biblical authority that your sins have been forgiven without some special positional statement stemming from Peter.

A. Yes, however, Iit is not “a positional statement from Peter” but stated by Jesus Christ Himself, as recorded by the Apostle in Sacred Scripture, John 20. Now Protestant will interpret this verse differently. Protestant Interpretation vs Catholic Interpretation. Both are valid interpretations as interpretations go.

But how can the truth, the true interpretation be found? I am convinced that the only way is to go outside of the Bible and find out what the earliest Christians believed and practiced in relation to this verse. They Practiced oral, audible confession to the whole community at first and later made it easier on weak souls by allowing confession to be private between the penitent and the priest.

Why Can’t We Just Confess to God?



Q. Doesn’t 1 John 9 say that “if we confess our sins He (God) will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrightiousness” mean that when we confess, God is forgiving us not the person we confess to,

A. Yes, of course, it absolutely is God who forgives through the priest.
The priest is His representative and provides audible assurance of forgiveness, and counsel.

In fact, if someone has the wrong heart attitude and is able to fool the priest that he is repentant when he is not and has no intention to avoid the sin in the future—God does not forgive the sin in actuality. So, even though the penitent hears the words of absolution, God is not mocked. In fact, if he withholds confessing a deadly sin out of embarrassment, the confession of other sins and the absolution are worthless. Again, God is not mocked. If a deadly sin is truly, accidently forgotten it needs to be confessed next time but it does not invalidate the confession.

Q. Can’t we confess to God privately?

A. Absolutely. And the sooner the better. The sacrament of Confession is not required for minor kinds of sin, but we are required to go to confession for grave, as in deadly, sin. Venial sins we may confess and be forgiven privately by praying to God on our own.

But it is encouraged to confess all sin as soon as you are convicted of it.

Q. So the Catholic Priest can say with Biblical authority that your sins have been forgiven without some special positional statement stemming from Peter.

A. It is not “a positional statement from Peter” but from Jesus Christ Himself,
as recorded by the Apostle in Sacred Scripture, John 20. Protestant Interpretation vs Catholic Interpretation. Both are valid interpretations as interpretations go. But how can the truth, the true interpretation be found? I am convinced that the only way is to go outside of the Bible and find out what the earliest Christians believed and practiced in relation to this verse. They practiced oral, audible confession to the whole community at first and later made it easier on weak souls by allowing confession to be private between the penitent and the priest.

Why do you need to confess to a priest?



Q.Why do you need to confess to a priest?

A.For several reasons:

1. The one who goes to Confession seeks forgiveness in the way our Lord prescribed instead of laying down his own conditions.
2. By confessing to a priest the Catholic benefits by an act of Christian humility not obtained by private confession.
3. By Confessing to a Priest the Catholic receives many Sacramental Graces that are not received outside of Confession that help him overcome his sin.
4. The Catholic has an objective and solid assurance of forgiveness by the audible words of absolution from the priest.
5. The Catholic can secure sound advice about his or her spiritual life and the will of God concerning reparation or restitution to be made, while the other is left to uninstructed self-guidance.

Our confessor is the doctor of our soul. He assists us with overcoming the arrows of sin, from our enemy, that found their mark .

Q. This website tells me that I can lose my salvation; that I won’t go to heaven if I have committed sin (and not yet repented) at the moment when I die; So what I take from this is that The Gift of Salvation, the price paid for my sin…well, it sounds like the Gift was not complete..was not a perfect Gift? Right?

A. The gift was indeed perfect. But it requires a proper reception from us. Otherwise everyone would be saved regardless of how they lived. There would be absolutely no use for Churches. Of what use would they be? It would not matter, since everyone was going to Heaven anyway, simply because of Jesus’ perfect Git.There are people who believe this way–it is called Indifferentism. And, yes, you certainly can lose your salvation if you die with mortal sin unconfessed and unrepented of. See Ez. 18:24
And my post Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Q. You are telling me that I as a born again christian with a real relationship with my Lord and in a moment of weakness I commit a particular sin and the next instant was “hit by a truck” (so to speak) or a “bomb” BEFORE I could respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confess my sin…my salvation would be nil..I’d spend eternity in Hell.

A. Only God Knows. The Church warns her children to avoid sin. I can only say what Scripture says about sin that is unto death. I John and St. Paul lists, in several different books some of the deadly sins or sin unto death.

Did you read Ezekiel 18? The Catholic Church does not say who is in Hell or make that sort of judgment, so neither will I.But any born again Christian with a real relationship with Christ would be an even greater traitor, than your average Joe, if after a life of blessing and grace he willfully committed a grave sin. It would be slap in the face of Our Lord. But in the last instant of life he might receive a further grace from God to repent with his dying breath. We don’t teach what tickles the ear but the truth and leave all to the mercy of Jesus.

Q. I want to ask you something. If you personally, as a Catholic, had parents who were born again practicing christians in a protestant church, how would you as a Catholic be praying for them ..and how would you handle their death?

A. Well, both of my parents were very committed “born again” Christians and my father died two years after I was received into the Catholic Church.

I pray(ed) for their conversion to the Catholic Church. Because it is the fullness of Truth and so beautiful and deeply satisfying. But they really didn’t want to hear about it. They were filled with misconceptions about the Catholic Church. They loved me and respected by decision but it grieved them. Nevertheless, they both came to the Easter Vigil at which I received my sacraments and was received into the Catholic Church. And they came again the next year when our four youngest children entered the Church. I feel confident of their salvation but I still pray for them. I trust them to the mercy of God and am at peace.

Q. Please explain to me why you “still” pray for them?

A. For my mom that she would persevere to the end and for conversion to the Catholic Church. For my dad’s comfort/release from Purgatory.

Q. So you are telling me that when I as a protestant die my child & her family, catholic, can have no peace about where their mom/m-inlaw /grandmother will spend eternity?

A. No, we can be reasonably sure and at peace; as i said I was regarding my dad. Purgatory is on the way to Heaven. If you make it to Purgatory you know you will be in Heaven once you have been purified.

Q. How does one get out of purgatory?

A. Release from Purgatory is determined by God. When the soul is sufficiently purified for the Vision of God they are admitted to Heaven. No one knows when this occurs, unless God gives a special revelation, which is unusual.