Why Do Catholics Confess Sins To A Priest?

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys explore the Sacrament of Confession and why God wants you to tell your sins to a priest.

Episode 104:
In this episode, we will discuss:
• Is the practice of Confession in The Bible?
• Why not just tell your prayers to God?
• Who can go to confession?
• Why do you get penance after confession?
• and much more

Show Notes & Links
Examination of Conscience: Click Here
Act of Contrition: Click Here

5 comments on Why Do Catholics Confess Sins To A Priest?

  1. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    Another good podcast subject. I am a cradle Catholic. Yes, I have sins I commit over and over again and they are mostly the sins of omission. Often enough I am in sin lockdown as far as forgiving myself and then others and making my confession. Our priests are stand-ins for Jesus and I believe that. Confession also shows up in the Old Testament, Abel the Just, Aaron and his priests, as well as the New Testament. Yes, Fr. Rich and guys, I came into this podcast knowing that this sacrament was mentioned more than once in our Bible. Mentioned in the scriptures. I have not been reading the Bible as regularly any longer, but I had read more than a few of its books over the past few years. Every time I pick it up and read it the words come alive and they are all relevant to today’s world. I love quoting the Bible and even reading quotes on our Bible.

    When I was a kid I took confession very seriously and hated to confess to transgressions against authority such as disobeying my parents and the nuns. I was afraid of what the priest would do as far as penance. Priests were so damn serious all the time that kids never thought they would be sensitive to children and their fears about Hell and we were right. All I had was venial sins to confess to but they would act like I was confessing mortal sins! Like every venial sin was a stepping stone into mortal sin. I was leading myself into a life of spiritual crime. I hated being reprimanded but I wouldn’t lie about my behavior or my sins either. Double trouble.

    RD and RS thanks for sharing your first confession stories. Unlike Fr. Pagano I remember my first confession before First Communion because of the importance of the occasion. Ma was no help she had a list I could take with me if I forgot. I wanted to speak in generalities and Ma and the priest wanted details. I worried that I was a bad kid and maybe Santa wouldn’t be coming at Christmas. Today, I do need to go to confession but I no longer feel that dread or suffer from excessive guilt. Priests have heard it all. Many times over.

    RS, like electricity, you too are a force of nature. Yes, priests are conduits of it including any zapping, via penance, that happens. RD is correct. The lineage of the priesthood never stopped in the Judeo-Christian world. They are indeed the descendants of Aaron and Abel the Just who is mentioned during the Eucharist. I have no beef with the roles of priests as given to them by God. In addition to saying the rosary every day, because I believe it is a powerful prayer tool against spiritual warfare, I recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and say St. Michael’s prayer too. Yes, John 20:20 is clear Fr. Rich. Retained sins or forgiven sins are up to our priests and their spiritual decision-making made on each confession. But I still believe that God is the final court of appeals as far as our sin.

    Yes, RS, there is a magnetic pull I feel toward the sacraments. Yes, Fr. Rich I understand that “the church is continually calling the faithful to continual conversion and renewal”. Confessing the same sin is probably an instance in almost every confession heard. I will confess to my sins of omission but am ashamed that the same ones show up every time. As Keith Nester would say I am a “lukewarm Catholic”. I saw all of Keith’s videos last week. He is as down to earth in his faith as you guys. Down 2 Earth is the name of his website so he is self-aware. I seem to be as fascinated with others and their faith as I am with my own. I try to understand the Church’s dogma and doctrines and am always looking for another interpretation other than my own especially when it comes to mortal sins. I wish I could carry around a cue card.

    All people are welcome to the sacrament of confession says RS. Especially the baptized or confirmed but eligibility for this sacrament extends to all. This is good to know. I would prefer not to count the number of times I commit the sin of omission as it would count it as all the days past I did not help my brother or sister. I ran away from them and their needs.

    I too worship God’s mercy RD. Matching the act of penance to the sin is spiritual poetic justice. As you pointed out, sin does have a social effect and there are times I just forget that as in not believing that I made such an impact on others. Therefore restitution is important I agree. Interesting RS that confession is invalid if no penance is given. I didn’t know that.

    Fr. Rich thank you for going through the whole process with your viewers. Thank you for going over the words of the absolution. My penance is my reparation I agree. I think I always did my penance except maybe when I was a kid and feeling particularly rebellious. Interesting that you released people from types of penances that were lifelong, Fr. Never knew you could undo someone else’s penitentiary decision. If you are ignorant of a sin there is no culpability until it is revealed to you. God as lawyer. Never thought of how priests have to stay up on their canon law. Makes sense.

    RD good point that confession is not an event but a practice. I don’t know sometimes what is worse, the sin or the guilt of it. Being half Irish Catholic means I carry around my guilt like excess baggage in life until confession. Traditionally, we Irish Catholic carry the weight of the sins of the world upon us which makes some of us poets and others take to drinking. What a legacy! On the French Canadian Catholic side we are more spiritually pragmatic. We don’t carry the guilt of others. We think our own sins are enough of a burden. Two schools of opposing philosophies in one psyche.

    Stay safe and stay healthy,

  2. Marc says:

    I love this show thank you Father Richard and the two Ryan’s May God bless you.

  3. Rose Fontes says:

    One of the things I miss the most since this pandemic started is being able to go to Confession regularly. Since the pandemic started many parishes in my country have closed or limited confessions, which only makes you value more the gifts that God, in His Mercy, has given us.

    Stay safe and God bless you all.

  4. Joanne says:

    I missed episode 103. Can I get back to it before I listen to episode 104???? Thanks so much

  5. Sheila says:

    OK, guys. I did it! I went to confession last night. Thirty years ago a priest was extremely mean and yelled at me in confession and I never went back. Last year I read the entire Bible (not with Father Mike Schmitz, lol) and it changed my life. I have made my way back to my Catholic faith, but still had Reconciliation looming. You all talked about it so much and it spoke to me. I knew this Easter was the time for me to receive the Blessed Sacrament again. So I listened to this episode several times (Ok, I also listened to Father Mike Schmitz, but he’s no Father Rich.) and did a major Examination of Conscience. I sweated it out for most of Lent, but last night was it. My priest was very kind and just like Father Rich said, he exclaimed “Welcome Back!” So this girl is receiving Communion this joyous Easter! I have learned so much from your show. Thank you. You are so inspiring. And Happy Easter!

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