More feminist claptrap from a bishop: women confessors?

More feminist claptrap from a bishop: women confessors?

Sometimes you have to wonder where some bishops got their theological education. In one case, he apparently got it with the prize in his box of Cracker Jacks. An auxiliary bishop in Liverpool, England, has suggested that the Church allow women to hear confessions. But of course, he’s not advocating women priests.

Bishop Vincent Malone says that some women may feel uncomfortable going to a male confessor, so female ones would be good. After all we have female doctors for that reason, right?

“Common practice in our society today would expect equal access in many professions to either a man or a woman at the client’s choice. It would be an unusual medical practice that did not have both male and female practitioners. Similarly with a firm of solicitors or a team of counsellors.”

Once again, we have the priesthood reduced to a job, not a vocation.

He justifies his statement by saying that, after all, a priest is not strictly required to marry a couple or baptize someone. That is true, but only because those sacraments existed before Jesus Christ and were raised to the sacraments by him. (That’s an oversimplification, I know, but I don’t time to go into the whole thing.) But absolution is an act of Christ and requires someone who acts in persona Christi, and that someone must be a priest.

It’s amazing that so many bishops feel compelled to bow down and bend over backwards to accommodate feminists, more so than any other group. Why is that?

  • There has never been any tradition that anyone other than a priest. That goes back to Christ conferring the authority to bind and loose on the apostles.

    The minister of the Sacrament is vital to the sacrament. He is the conduit of Christ’s grace. The minister is not unimportant. To say otherwise is heresy. (Sorry for the bluntness but I’m tried of dressing up heresy as “dissent”.)

  • Amy Welborn makes the good point that confession is different from absolution. If I sin against you, I can confess that to you. If I sin against God, I can confess that to my prayer circle. But nobody can absolve me of my sins except a priest.

  • And for many years only a bishop could celebrate Mass, but the dogma of the priesthood evolved to the current understanding that the priest’s ministry is anextension of the bishops’. In fact, the Church’s teaching is that the fullness of holy orders is found in the bishop, as they are the successors of the apostles to whom the holy office was given in the first place.

    I’d read up on some basic theology, Todd.

    By the way, the pratice of the sacrament may be different, but the nature of it is the same, just as the different elements of the Mass have changed over 2,000 years, but the matter and form are the same.

  • Not Newton, GOR o’ Mine (at least to my knowledge…but then again it wouldn’t surprise me) but in Waltham. Saint Mary’s. Last Lent, parishioners were asked to “write down their sins,” which a priest would either read, or not. Then the paper would be burnt (hmmm…is there a second-hand sin issue here?) and the penitent presumably forgiven.

    Oh, and lest I forget:

    Peace, Todd.

  • Todd,

    First, the reason you may perceive that some posters here are “hung up on women” is that the topic IS about women hearing confessions.

    I take issue with your assumption that the Sacrament of Reconciliation needs “fixing,” or as you say: “If it’s worth saving, steps should be taken, don’t you think?”

    My take is that it’s US who are in need of fixing. If we know about the Sacrament, what it is and what it does and we don’t take advantage of it, then how is that the Sacrament’s inadequacy? It isn’t.

    If I were in imminent danger of death unless a physician performed a curative procedure, and I refused the procedure because I was not comfortable with the procedure, or with the only physician available to perform it, and I therefore died, would you say that my death would be the fault of the procedure?

  • Pace!  (pa chay):

    The Catechism States:

    1441 Only God forgives sins. 39 Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven.” 40 Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name. 41

    1442 Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the “ministry of reconciliation.” 42 The apostle is sent out “on behalf of Christ” with “God making his appeal” through him and pleading: “Be reconciled to God.” 43

    OK, so according to the TECHNICAL MANUAL (the REGS would be the Bible), apostles (bishops) can forgive sins. 

    Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 10, SubSection 2
    986 By Christ’s will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance.

    The age old question is:  Why cannot I go directly to GOD? 

    The whole woman thing as confessors is really moot.  The key question is:  Are their non-catholics in heaven (besides the ones who haven’t sinned since their baptism)?

    Oh, in our baptism, are we not annointed:  Priest, Prophet, and King?

    Hope this lends even more confusion.

    Lord have Mercy.

  • Todd,

    I’m sure you mean well, but I don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

    Do you?

    When did the discussion about lay women hearing confessions and absolving sins switch to the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?

    Please don’t feel obligated to answer.

  • I’ve no doubt Dom can handle it but the issue isn’t similar at all, in my opinion.

    That said, you needn’t beg my pardon on the “borrowing thing” or anything else.

  • Lay administration of some sacraments may happen but it is illicit. Now if you’re talking about Communion services that’s different. That is not a sacrament itself, but the distribution of a sacrament, or the products of a sacrament, if you will.

    And Todd, you’re knowledge of history is distorted and insufficient. Confession was never administered by lay people. It just wasn’t done. You don’t even cite sources for your conclusion; you just assert it.

    Gee, we get all fussy when people speak of options that undermine the ordained priesthood and subvert the teachings of the Church and veer in to heresy. What could we be thinking? Todd, if you want to be a Protestant, go be one, but the Catholic Church is what she is.

  • Tod wrote:

    “When confronted with a difficult idea, it is a common tactic for a person to veer off subject, as you have done.”

    No I haven’t. Actually, you have. In response to your assertion that altering the Sacrament of Confession (by allowing non-ordained people to give “absolution”) might bring more people back to the Sacrament, I countered with the notion that perhaps it wasn’t the Sacrament that needed “fixing,” but rather the attitudes of the laity to whom this gift is offered.

    To illustrate my point, I offered, on August 29 (you’ll have to scroll up a bit to read it) an analogy involving a dying patient and a doctor able to cure the disease and thereby save a life. After the analogy, I asked you a question. It was and remains a fair question.

    You, Todd, didn’t, for reasons of your own, answer it, or even address it. Instead, you introduced other topics and, in your last post, seemed to get a bit “fussy” yourself.

    I suggest that you “cool off” and “deal with the topic.” Or, as you say, not.

  • Todd,

    You can separate sacramental confession from absolution. Otherwise, it is simply people talking to one another. I never said individual confession didn’t develop until later, but absolution never came about except through ordained ministers, not matter how much “confession” was being done to unordained people.

    I don’t understand why you think appealing to an earlier practice is somehow convincing. If the Church changed the practice it was for a good reason. By your argumentation, you may as well go back to Arianism, because after all, it was common practice and belief all those years ago.

    To say that lay people administer marriage is misleading. The ministers of the sacrament are the couple marrying each other. It doesn’t mean that a lay person can conduct the ceremony. The Church determined many years ago, after much abuse of the sacrament, that a valid marriage ceremony must include the Church’s representative in the person of the ordained minister, except in extraordinary circumstances.

    Actually the ordained minister is the representation of Christ and the Church in all the sacraments. The sacraments are not private affairs between the individual and Christ, but they are the actions of the whole Church in the life of the persons receiving it.

    And you final argument—that I could choose to confess to a cleric even if the rule changed—is the same one used by those who want to legalize same-sex marriage. This isn’t about my choices. It is about Truth and whether the Church teachings on the sacraments are true and right and good or not. If someone tries to undermine that truth, then it affects the whole Church, including those who don’t partake in the untruth.