Dear Father Angelo,
I thank you for your column where many souls turn to and can find correct and enlightened answers by the Word of God and by the wise teaching of the Church, teacher and guide of life. All this to the praise and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I kindly ask you a question about what happened this evening during the last meeting of the penitential journey.
In this celebration, in addition to prayer, songs, proclamation of the Word, very well prepared, there was then to complete the rite of individual absolution without integration but only absolution, my question is: But can it be done? The priest said that those who had not made the accusation of sins the previous time, therefore more than fifteen days ago, had to confess with accusation at the end of the celebration.
Anyway I bet that the children have all come the first time and here … but all have gone for absolution without accusation…….
Of course God forgives us but the adults without integration days after the accusation? I apologize for prolonging my letter, am I too fundamentalist, a bigot closed to news? I just wish I had some clarity.
I thank you from my heart, may the Blessed Virgin watch over and protect you on ypur journey and in your precious teaching.
1. The accusation of sins is of divine right, as the Magisterium of the Church affirms: “The integral confession of sins was instituted by the Lord and is necessary by divine right to those who have fallen into sin after Baptism” (DS 1679) .
The Lord implicitly commanded it when he said: “To those whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven; to those to whom you will not forgive, they will not be forgiven ”(Jn 20:23).
And since the Lord asked the Apostles to verify with a judgment the repentance of sins (he said in fact to whom you will forgive … and to whom you will not forgive …) it is supposed that the one who forgives knows what he forgives or does not forgive.
2. Therefore, the priest cannot ordinarily dispense from the accusation of serious sins. Much less those who have confessed fifteen days before !?
What the priest you are talking about did is a grave arbitrariness in the celebration of the sacraments and is objectively a grave sin.
3. The sacraments are not the property of priests so that they can do with them what they want.
They are very precious goods delivered by Christ to the Church.
Priests are its ministers and, as Saint Paul reminds us, ministers are required to be faithful: “Now what is required of administrators is that each be faithful” (1 Cor 4: 2).
4. The priest gave individual absolution to all, but without accusing them of sins, he pronounced the words: “I absolve you …”.
But did he know what he was absolving? No.
No judge in this world pronounces a sentence without knowing what he sentences.
Now Christ wanted the sacrament of penance to have a judicial nature to help make a true conversion. In fact, He said: “To whom will you forgive … and to whom you will not forgive.. “.
5. That priest should be made known that by acting in that way he is not doing the good of the faithful.
This is an act of charity too. He certainly acted in good faith.
For this reason, I said above that objectively it is a serious sin, but subjectively probably he did not commit it, precisely because he acted in good faith.
But what he did is wrong because it harms the good of the faithful and must be corrected.
6. As you can see, it is always necessary to pray also for priests.
We have to do it.
I wish you a Holy Christmas with a well-made confession, I entrust you to the Lord and I bless you.