Subtitle: All Catholics are required to confess all their sins to a human priest, believing this is the only way to Heaven. We examine Auricular Confession in light of both Roman Catholic writings and the Holy Bible.
DEFINITIONS OF TYPES OF SINS
Catholicism teaches that there are two degrees of sin: mortal and venial.
"Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God: [whereas] venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God" (The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, 32).
For a sin to be mortal, three things are necessary:
"...first, the thought, desire, word, action or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong; second, the sinner must know it is seriously wrong; third, the sinner must fully consent to it" (ibid., 32).
For a sin to be venial, two things are necessary: "...first, when the evil done is not seriously wrong; second, when the evil done is seriously wrong, but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does not give full consent to it" (ibid., 33).
This difference is important to the Catholic when he is about to enter the confessional, a dark booth with a place to kneel before a closed window and contemplate his sins until the priest slides open the window and listens as the penitent pours out upon him the filthiest, most vile, deepest, darkest secret sins of the flesh and heart, (and all this in the name of God!). The penitent is instructed to confess all his sins to the best of his memory, especially mortal sin, since, as the New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism states on page 146:
"...mortal sin...is the greatest of all evils, gravely offends God, keeps us out of heaven, and condemns us forever to hell."
In Butler’s Catechism, page 62, we read:
"...that all penitents should examine themselves on the capital [mortal] sins, and confess them all, without exception, under penalty of eternal damnation."
PRIESTS CAN ENCOURAGE SIN
Unconfessed mortal sin prevents the Catholic from receiving the Eucharist (pg.148). Venial sin, on the other hand, only "merits temporal punishment" (pg.147). So important is the difference between mortal and venial sin that in the Manual of Moral Theology, I, by Slater, on pages 201 and 202, we read: "If I (a priest) know that someone has made up his mind to commit sin and there is no other way of preventing him, I may lawfully induce him to be satisfied with some less offence of God than he was bent on committing. And so, if a man was determined to commit adultery, I do nothing morally wrong, but rather the contrary, by persuading him to commit fornication instead." Thus, we have the spectacle of a priest encouraging one of his parishoners to sin!
The Bible does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins, but clearly says, "The wages of sin is death" (not purgatory or temporal punishment). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that her priests (no matter how wicked or sinful they may personally be) exercise the power of forgiving sins by hearing confession of sins and granting pardon for them as ministers of God and in His name. Each Catholic is expected to account to a priest every impure thought or deed, to accuse himself before a priest of EVERY SIN to the best of their memory. What happens if a person "knowingly" keeps back a mortal sin in confession?
"A person who has knowingly kept back a mortal sin in confession must confess that he has made a bad confession, tell the sin he has kept back, mention the sacraments he has received since that time, and confess all other mortal sins he has committed since his last good confession" (The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, 151).
After confessing their sins, the Catholic is instructed to "answer truthfully any question the priests asks" (pg.157). In the True Spouse of Christ, by "St." Liguori, page 352 we read:
"Obey (The confessor) blindly, that is, without asking reasons. Be careful, then, never to examine the directions of your confessor....In a word, keep before your eyes this great rule, that in obeying your confessor you obey God. Force yourself then, to obey him in spite of all fears. And be persuaded that if you are not obedient to him it will be impossible for you to go on well; but if you obey him you are secure. But you say, if I am damned in consequence of obeying my confessor, who will rescue me from hell? What you say is impossible" (Emphasis mine).
This false doctrine has caused guilt, shame, fear, disgrace, sexual immorality and hypocrisy in those who must participate. Guilt and fear occurs because a young girl cannot bring herself to lay before any man things she dare not repeat to her best friends. Shame and disgrace occurs if she does confess those secret sins. The abuse of the confessional involving lonely, misguided and spiritually weak women has been recognized by the Church: "...When, therefore, there is need of General Confession in the case of a female, the confessor is, of course, obliged to hear the same. But great precaution is required, for instance:
In many, many incidents throughout the vile history of Auricular Confession, the priest has used the confessional to seduce and destroy young and old women, married and single. It has used the confessional to seek out the weakest child who then finds himself controlled and/or molested by his confessor.
"Former Archbishop Robert Sanchez said child sex-abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe [over 140 lawsuits were filed against the archdiocese] were kept secret because he didn’t know it was a crime" (Proclaiming The Gospel, Oct./Dec.1996, 6).
Who better to know which children are the weakest and easiest prey but the man who hears their secret sins? A priest can commit a sin with one of his penitents and then forgive that sin! Just listen to this quote from "St." Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, Part III, Fourth Number, pages 274 and 276: "...a priest might happen to share in a sin committed by his subjects, e.g. by [carnal] knowledge of a woman who is his subject...If however, he were to absolve her it would be valid."
You might be asking yourself, "Doesn’t the priest break his vow of chastity (this vow, taken by members, means abstention from sexual relations)?" The answer according to the Catholic church:
"A priest is said not to break his ‘vow of chastity’ ‘by sinning against the sixth commandment [Catholic’s version of the Ten Commandments differ from God’s commands-see RC108.]" (Explanation of Catholic Morals, Stapleton, 149).
Even a priest who is personally in mortal sin can still forgive sin in the confessional! "The Church asks that a priest who absolves a penitent be in the state of grace. This does not mean, however that a priest in the state of mortal sin would not possess the power to forgive sins or that when exercised it would not be effective for the penitent" (Peace of Soul, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, 136; 1949; McGraw Hillbook Co. New York).
So let me get this straight. The Catholic Church is saying that a priest, guilty of pedophilia, can not only forgive the sins of those whom he has molested, but can forgive others as well! While in this state of mortal sin, he can still perform a valid mass, even though the church forbids the laity to receive the sacraments in a state of mortal sin. The priest probably did not himself make a good confession to his confessor - or else his confessor was of such low moral convictions that he did not feel the need to protect those children by warning their parents or possibly taking steps to see that the priest be removed from his position of authority.
The testimonies of those corrupted or defiled by this so-called "sacrament" number in the millions, and yet they still maintain: "The people are in no possible danger of deception" (Catholic Dict., Addis and Arnold, 738).
The above quote is quite deceiving to the average Catholic, but the priest knows it’s a lie! The following quote proves it. "Yet, the priest, who is in truth the physician of souls, CAN BECOME THEIR DESTROYER if he is not fitted for the work of the confessional. He would cause innumerable sins, making false consciences, obliging people to make restitution when they are not bound, refusing absolution when it should be given, granting it when it should be withheld. Truly, the Scripture says; ‘If the blind lead the blind both fall into the pit’ " (The Priest, His Dignity and Obligations, Eudes, 147)(Emphasis mine).
Throughout the Bible remission of sin and salvation are connected with faith in Christ, nowhere with priestly absolution. In order to support her tribunal upon earth, the Roman Catholic Church deliberately misinterprets Matthew. 16:19: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Also Matthew 18:18: "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The verb Jesus used in both Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 is so precise that no one who is familiar with the original language would ever believe that any Church or anyone within the Church, could ever decide which sins were to be forgiven or which ones which were to be refused forgiveness. The verb is the "perfect passive participle here, referring to a state of having been already forbidden or permitted [The New Testament: A Translation, by Charles B. Williams]
Thus, the Catholic Church, which certainly has had experienced Bible translators over the past 1,200 years, stands condemned for deliberating distorting Scripture to justify their un-Biblical practice of Auricular Confession!
And John 20:23: "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
First of all, the "keys of the kingdom" refers to the authority to proclaim the terms of salvation in Christ. This is the privilege and duty of ALL Christian believers. The authority to bind and loose is first and foremost the commission to proclaim the gospel which liberates those who believe it, and consigns to bondage those who reject it. The Roman Catholic Church misinterprets this text in order to support the practice of confessing sins to a priest. The Biblical context clearly indicates, however, that the words of Matthew 16:19, 18:18, and John 20:23 were not only spoken to the apostles but also to those believers who were with them. Christian ministers are to preach repentance, but nothing is said about hearing confession and the granting of absolution (forgiveness of sins).
CONFESSION IS ONLY TO BE MADE TO GOD HIMSELF!
Ezr.10:11 says, "Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God...." And again in Mark 2:7
"...who can forgive sins but God only?" 1Jo.1:9 reads: "If we confess our sins, [To God, not a priest] He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us [absolution] from all unrighteousness."
I John 2:1: "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous...."
Psalms 32:5 says: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."
The Lord himself says: "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." ( Heb.10:17) In Matthew 18:15-18, the standard is set for dealing with sin in the church. If a brother sins against you, you were to go to that brother and: "...tell him his fault between thee and him ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more...if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church. And if he shall neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican" (Emphasis mine).
This is a far cry from Confession in the Catholic Church. When the man at Corinth had committed fornication, the whole church knew and judged; it was not a "secret sin" (I Cor.5). That man came back in tears repenting. (2 Cor.2:5-11) We are told to "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another" (James 5:16). Isa.58:7 says, "... that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh", again rebuking the idea of "secret sins". In the Old Testament King David sinned with another man’s wife (Bathsheba) and then tried to hide his sin by sending her husband to the front lines to be killed. But God sent Nathan to proclaim these words to him:
"For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing [judgment] before all Israel...." (2 Sam.12:12)
DESTROYING THEIR YOUNG, INNOCENT GIRLS
But the priests of Rome would rather conceal than reveal the truth.
"He who dares to reveal a sin confided to him in the tribunal of penance, we decree that he be not only deposed from the sacerdotal office but also relegated to a monastery of strict observance to do penance for the remainder of his life" (Fourth Lateran Council, Canon XXI, as recorded in Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils, Schroeder, 259).
The above illustration is taken from Saint Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism, page 140. Satan can be subtle when trying to instill fear and guilt in a child instead of trust and love. Wouldn’t it have been better to teach our children "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."[?] (Jn.3:16)
As a young Catholic girl who went every week to confession, I can, from experience, tell you that the priest never received from me a true confession, for even if I would have believed I had given a "good confession", be assured that the Catholic does not confess the sins of idolatry (bowing before images) and blasphemy (giving to Mary the attributes that belong to God alone and worshipping a piece of bread as God).
When I was young, too young to have any "impure" thoughts, the fear of going into a dark booth to confess anything produced such a panic that I could not remember all my sins. I would try to list them in my mind, but when that window opened, I was terrified and would forget all the things I was going to say. I would then begin making up sins that I did not do, and forgetting those I did. Again, the Catholic Church was aware of this fear she instilled in youths, and its results, as stated Baron Van Heensbroech on pages 34-39 in his book, Fourteen Years a Jesuit:
"The harm done both to religion and morals by this early confession (seven years old) is obvious to anyone who is not blinded by the dogmatic and hieratic conceptions of Ultramontanism...If he is of a delicate and timid nature, confession becomes a torment, a source of doubt and trouble; if made of coarser stuff, the mechanism of confession tends to destroy what little delicacy of conscience he possesses."
As I matured into a young lady, when asked by the priest, "Do you have any impure thoughts", I blushed to think that I could reveal to that man anything so personal nor should my God ask me to debase myself in such a manner, so I lied to the priest and pretended that the only impure thoughts I ever had was being angry with my saintly mother, pretending that I was too pure to even understand the question. But I did understand. As an adult woman, I refused again to debase myself. Please remember that I was not a "Protestant"...I was a devout Catholic who was in good standing with the priest. I taught CCD classes and was well respected. My rejection of confessing to a priest was not an isolated incident, as many of my peers were just as rebellious as I was concerning this matter. The hypocrisy that I and many, many others like myself practiced is a very typical outcome of forcing anyone to expose their most secret sexual sins. Former Catholic priest, Chiniquy, rightly asks:
"How can that man, whose heart and memory are just made the reservoir of all the grossest impurities the world has ever known, help others to be chaste and pure?" (The Priest, The Woman, and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 80)
The invention of auricular confession has filled the laymen’s mind with so much fear and anxiety that it is impossible to have total peace as Chiniquy recognized:
"But there is no possible peace so long as the penitent is not sure that he has remembered, counted, and confessed every past sinful thought, word and deed. It is, then, impossible, yes! It is morally and physically impossible for a soul to find peace through auricular confession. If the law which says to every sinner: ‘You are bound, under pain of eternal damnation, to remember all your bad thoughts and confess them to the best of your memory,’ were not so evidently a satanic invention, it ought to be put among the most infamous ideas which have ever come out of the brain of fallen men. For who can remember and count the thoughts of a week, of a day, nay of an hour of this sinful life?...Though the penitent is told that he must confess his thoughts only according to his best recollection, he will never, never know if he has done his best efforts to remember everything: he will constantly fear lest he has not done his best to count and confess them correctly" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 101; Textual emphasis added).
I talked with one Catholic girl, Sharon (still Catholic, but not practicing her faith) and she told me of the fear and agony that the confessional held for her. When she was very young, her family was getting ready to go to church and had agreed to receive the Eucharist "as a family". They made the children fast before going to church (at that time you were not allowed to eat anything after midnight in order to take the Eucharist). Sharon was so hungry that she sneakily ate a piece of bread and went to communion anyway. Sharon was sure her sin warranted hell and believed in her heart that if she did not confess it she would certainly spend eternity there. When it came time to confess, she, fearing the priest because he knew her family and might tell on her, refused to confess. For a very long time she lived in fear of eternal damnation, a frightening and tormenting thought for an adult, let alone a child.
Mike, a 20 year-old former Catholic, told me that he never confessed everything to the priest. He felt "It was none of his business", a typical attitude. My own brother had a very upsetting experience with confession as a young man. At age 17, he went to the priest to confess that he had "touched a girl’s breast". The priest refused to give him absolution and the two continued to argue in front of the church. My brother proceeded to tell the priest, "You have no authority to tell me my sins cannot be forgiven". (My brother, his wife and three children are saved now and know the true forgiveness of sins!)
Of all the Catholics and former Catholics I have questioned, none of them have been totally honest with the priest. Yet in private, many of those same people cried out to God and confessed to Him with open honesty and sincere tears! The yoke of bondage that auricular confession has caused is so heavy, degrading and humiliating that it is a far cry from the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said in Mt.11:28-30:
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Chiniquy, in his book, The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, page 117, observes:
"It is a public fact, which no learned Roman Catholic has ever denied, that auricular confession became a dogma and obligatory practice of the church only at the Council of Lateran in the year 1215, under the Pope Innocent III. Not a single trace of auricular confession, as a dogma, can be found before that year."
Chiniquy also commented: "I know that the advocates of auricular confession present to their silly dupes several passages of the Holy Fathers, where it is said that sinners were going to that priest or that bishop to confess their sins: but this is a most dishonest way of presenting that fact - for it is evident to all those who are a little acquainted with the church history of those times, that these referred only to the public confessions for public transgressions through the office of the penitentiary...[which] was this: In every large city, a priest or minister was specially appointed to preside over the church meetings where the members who had committed public sins were obliged to confess them publicly before the assembly in order to be reinstated in the privileges of their membership... this was perfectly in accordance with what St. Paul had done with regard to the incestuous one of Corinth; that scandalous sinner who had cast obloquy on the Christian name, but who, after confessing and weeping over his sins before the church, obtained his pardon not from a priest in whose ears he had whispered all the details of his incestuous intercourse, but from the whole church assembled...There is as much difference between such public confessions and auricular confessions, as there is between heaven and hell, between God and his great enemy, Satan " (ibid., 116).
Concerning the Confessions of Augustine: "...it is vain that you look in that book for a single word about auricular confession. That book is an unimpeachable witness that both Augustine and his saintly mother, Monica whom it mentions so often, lived and died without ever having been to confess. That book may be called the most crushing evidence to prove that ‘the dogma of auricular confession’ is a modern imposture" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 114).
In the tenth book of his Confessions, Chapter III, Augustine protested against the idea that men could do anything to cure the spiritual leper, or forgive the sins of their brethren: "What have I to do with men that they should hear my confessions, as if they were able to heal my infirmities? The human race is very curious to know another person’s life, but very lazy to correct it" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 114).
John Chrysostom in his homily, De Paenitentia, Vol. IV., col. 901, also raised his voice against auricular confession:
"We do not request you to go to confess your sins to any of your fellowmen, but only to God... You need no witnesses of your confession. Secretly acknowledge your sins, and let God alone hear you" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 114).
St. Basil in his Commentary on Psalms 37 says: "I have not come before the world to make a confession with my lips. But I close my eyes, and confess my sins in the secret of my heart. Before thee, O God, I pour out my sighs, and thou alone art the witness. My groans are within my soul. There is no need of many words to confess: sorrow and regret are the best confession. Yes, the lamentations of the soul, which thou art pleased to hear, are the best confession" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 115).
In a small work of Chrysostom’s entitled Catethesis ad illuminandos, Vol.II., 210, we read:
"What we should most admire is not that God forgives our sins, but that he does not disclose them to anyone, nor wishes us to do so. What he demands of us is to confess our transgressions to him alone to obtain pardon."
SATANIC DESTRUCTION THROUGH THE CONFESSIONAL
The practice of auricular confession would become one of the most degrading "sacraments" that man could imagine! With such books as The Mirror of the Clergy, page 357, the door was opened for Satan to work his havoc:
"It is necessary that the confessor should know everything on which he has to exercise his judgment. Let him then, with wisdom and subtlety, interrogate the sinners on the sins which they may ignore, or conceal through shame!"
And havoc Satan did sow in Catholicism, for the daily abominations grew to such a problem that by the year 1560, Pius IV published a Bull by which all the girls and married women who had been seduced into sins by their confessors, were ordered to denounce them:
"...and a certain number of high church officers of the Holy Inquisition were authorized to take the depositions of the fallen penitents. The thing was, at first, tried at Seville, one of the principal cities of Spain. When the edict was first published, the number of women who felt bound in conscience to go and depose against their father confessors, was so great, that though there were thirty notaries, and as many inquisitors, to take the depositions they were unable to do the work in the appointed time. Thirty days more were given, but the inquisitors were so overwhelmed with the numberless depositions, that another period of time of the same length was given. But this, again, was found insufficient. At the end, it was found that the number of priests who had destroyed the purity of their penitents was so great that it was impossible to punish them all. THE INQUEST WAS GIVEN UP, AND THE GUILTY CONFESSORS REMAINED UNPUNISHED. Several attempts of the same nature have been tried by other popes, but with about the same success" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, 43) (Emphasis mine).
Doesn't this sound like the problem today, especially with priests who have committed homosexual acts with young boys?!
These Bulls are irrefutable testimony that auricular confession is one of the most powerful inventions of the devil to corrupt the heart, pollute the body, and damn the soul!
WHERE DID IDEA OF AURICULAR CONFESSION ORIGINATE?
The practice of auricular confession is not based on Biblical, but rather on pagan principles. Chiniquy sees the similarity of the auricular confession in light of Romanism:
"Let those who want more information on that subject read the poems of Juvenal, Propertius, and Tibellus. Let them peruse all the historians of old Rome, and they will see the perfect resemblance which exists between the priests of the Pope and those of Bacchus, in reference to the vows of celibacy, the secrets of auricular confession, celebration of the so-called ‘sacred mysteries’ and the unmentionable moral corruption of the two systems of religion. In fact, when one reads the poems of Juvenal, he thinks he has before him the books of Den, Liguori, Lebreyne, Kenric" (The Priest, The Woman and The Confessional, Chiniquy, 140).
CONFESSION OF A YOUNG WOMAN
Chiniquy,as a young priest, was confronted with the corruption of auricular confession. Early in his priesthood, he had an experience that would change him forever. A beautiful young girl entered his confessional box and with tears trickling down her cheeks and a voice muffled by her sobs she began speak. Her testimony is as follows:
"Dear Father...I am a desperately great sinner. Oh! I fear that I am lost! But if there is still a hope for me to be saved, for God’s sake, do not rebuke me! Before I begin my confession, allow me to ask you not to pollute my ears by questions which our confessors are in the habit of putting to their female penitents; I have already been destroyed by those questions. Before I was seventeen years old, God knows that His angels are not more pure than I was; but the chaplain of the Nunnery where my parents had sent me for my education, though approaching old age, put to me, in the confessional, a question which at first I did not understand, but, unfortunately, he had put the same questions to one of my young classmates, who made fun of them in my presence, and explained them to me; for she understood them too well. This first unchaste conversation of my life plunged my thoughts into a sea of iniquity, till then absolutely unknown to me; temptations of the most humiliating character assailed me for a week, day and night; after which, sins which I would blot out with my blood, if it were possible, overwhelmed my soul as with a deluge. But the joys of the sinner are short. Struck with terror at the thought of the judgments of God, after a few weeks of the most deplorable life, I determined to give up my sins and reconcile myself to God. Covered with shame and trembling from head to foot, I went to confess to my old confessor, whom I respected as a saint and cherished as a father. With sincere tears of repentance, I confessed to him the greatest part of my sins, though I concealed one of them, through shame, and respect for my spiritual guide. But I did not conceal from him that the strange questions he had put to me at my last confession, were, with the natural corruption of my heart, the principal cause of my destruction. He spoke to me very kindly, encouraged me to fight against my bad inclinations, and, at first, gave me very kind and good advice. But when I thought he had finished speaking, and as I was preparing to leave the confessional box, he put to me two new questions of such a polluting character that I fear neither the blood of Christ nor all the fires of hell will ever be able to blot them out from my memory. Those questions have achieved my ruin; they have stuck to my mind like two deadly arrows; they are day and night before my imagination; they fill my very arteries and veins with a deadly poison. It is true that, at first, they filled me with horror and disgust; but alas! I soon got so accustomed to them that they seemed to be incorporated with me, and as if becoming a second nature. Those thoughts have become a new source of innumerable criminal thoughts, desires and actions. A month later, we were obliged by the rules of our convent to go and confess; but by this time, I was so completely lost, that I no longer blushed at the idea of confessing my shameful sins to a man; it was the very contrary. I had real, diabolical pleasure in the thought that I should have a long conversation with my confessor on those matters, and that he would ask me more of his strange questions. In fact, when I had told him everything without a blush, he began to interrogate me, and God knows what corrupting things fell from his lips into my poor criminal heart! Every one of his questions was thrilling my nerves, and filling me with the most shameful sensations. After an hour of this criminal tete-a-tete with my old confessor (for it was nothing else but a criminal tete-a-tete), I perceived that he was as depraved as I myself. With some half-covered words, he made a criminal proposition, which I accepted with covered words also; and during more than a year, we have lived together in the most sinful intimacy. Though he was much older than I, I loved him in the most foolish way. When the course of my convent instruction was finished, my parents called me back to their home. I was really glad of the change of residence, for I was beginning to be tired of my criminal life. My hope was that, under the direction of a better confessor, I should reconcile myself to God and begin a Christian life. Unfortunately for me, my new confessor, who was very young, began also his interrogations. He soon fell in love with me, and I loved him in a most criminal way. I have done with him things which I hope you will never request me to reveal to you, for they are too monstrous to be repeated, even in the confessional, by a woman to a man. I do not say these things to take away the responsibilities of my iniquities with this young confessor from my shoulders, for I think I have been more criminal than he was. It is my firm conviction that he was a good and holy priest before he knew me but the questions he put to me, and the answers I had to give him melted his heart - I know it- just as boiling lead would melt the ice on which it flows. I know this is not such a a detailed confession as our holy Church requires me to make, but I have thought it necessary for me to give you this short history of the life of the greatest and most miserable sinner who ever asked you to help her to come out from the tomb of her iniquities. This is the way I have lived these past few years. But last Sabbath, God, in his infinite mercy, looked down upon me. He inspired you to give us the Prodigal Son as a model of true conversion, and as the most marvellous proof of the infinite compassion of the dear Saviour for the sinner. I have wept day and night since that happy day, when I threw myself into the arms of my loving merciful Father. Even now, I can hardly speak, because my regret for my past iniquities, and my joy that I am allowed to bathe the feet of the Saviour with tears, are so great that my voice is choked. You understand that I have forever given up my last confessor. I come to ask you to do me the favor to receive me among your penitents. Oh! Do not reject nor rebuke me, for the dear Saviour’s sake! Be not afraid to have at your side such a monster of iniquity! But before going further, I have two favors to ask from you. The first is, that you will never do anything to ascertain my name; the second is, that you will never put to me any of those questions by which so many penitents are lost and so many priests forever destroyed. Twice I have been lost by those questions. We come to our confessors that they may throw upon our guilty souls the pure waters which flow from heaven to purify us; but instead of that, with their unmentionable questions, they pour oil on the burning fires which are already raging in our poor sinful hearts."
Chiniquy could not grant her request of not hearing her confession and absolving her of her sins as he would have been going against Roman doctrine. She left the confessional in tears crying, "Then, O my God, I am lost, forever lost!" The young woman collapsed on the floor, and Chiniquy carried her to her father’s house. She had a dream:
"Oh, no! it was not a dream, it was a reality. My Jesus came to me; He was bleeding; His crown of thorns was on His head, the heavy cross was bruising his shoulders. He said to me, with a voice so sweet that no human tongue can imitate it, ‘I have seen thy tears, I have heard thy cries, and I know thy love for Me; thy sins are forgiven; take courage; in a few days thou shalt be with me!’"
For the next month she barely hung on to life. Chiniquy remained at her side urging her to confess, but instead of seeing a young girl tortured by guilt, he saw a calmness and peace in her as she exclaimed, "He has loved me so much that He died for my sins!" As she meditated on these words, tears rolled down her cheeks. Chiniquy, sensing that her death was near, fell on his knees and begged her to shake off her shame and to obey the church of Rome and confess every sin but she, with an air of dignity, said:
"Is it true that, after the sin of Adam and Eve, God Himself made coats of skins, and clothed them that they might not see each other’s nakedness? How is it possible that our confessors dare to take away from us that holy, divine coat of modesty and self-respect?"
Chiniquy watched the young girl die filled with "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding". (Phil.4:7) Her last words are true words of wisdom:
"I thank and bless you, dear father, for the parable of the Prodigal son, on which you preached a month ago. You have brought me to the feet of the dear Saviour; there I have found a peace and a joy surpassing anything the human heart can feel; I have thrown myself into the arms of my Heavenly Father, and I know He has mercifully accepted and forgiven His poor prodigal child! Oh, I see the angels with their golden harps around the throne of the Lamb! Do you not hear the celestial harmony of their songs? I go - I go to join them in my Father’s house. I SHALL NOT BE LOST!"
Her dying testimony forever touched Chiniquy who only later understood the peace that the young girl experienced. It is the same peace that I have personally found in Jesus Christ. The peace to know that his blood "cleanseth us from all sin" (1 Jn.1:7)
Micah 7:19 says, "...he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
Auricular confession breeds torment and fear.
1 John 4:18 tells us: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Since I have come to know our Lord and Savior and to understand what true forgiveness is, I no longer live in fear and torment. I no longer hide my sins, but rather repent and turn from them, knowing full well that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid for every one of, not only mine, but every single sin of every single person who has ever, or will ever inhabit this earth. No man or man-made institution can wrest that power from our God. (Rom.8: 38-39) There is no more shame, for as the scripture says:
"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." (Ps.3:3)
by Rebecca A. Sexton , Former Catholics For Christ
Truly, Satan created the abomination of Auricular Confession in many of his Pagan religions throughout history to defile the souls of the poor sinner, to destroy the mind and soul of the genuine priest, and to lead all of its adherents straight into Hell. Roman Catholicism does all this, in the name of Jesus Christ!
We pray that you will see the enormity of this sinful practice, and see the purity of confessing your innermost sins to the most Holy God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! As we quoted above, we are amazed that Jesus Christ not only forgives our sin, but then does not make them public for everyone to see how foul we truly are in our inner hearts and minds.
Once you trust only in Jesus Christ, for both Forgiveness of Sin, and Confession of Sin, you will experience "the peace that passeth all understanding", of which the Bible so often speaks! You will also feel the blessed assurance of the Holy Spirit that you ARE saved and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there!
David Bay, Director, The Cutting Edge Ministries
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that nothing will not hurt you spiritually. You will also know the greatest heart peace that the greatest God can give to one of His own children.
If you would like to become Born Again, and come to know this wonderful heart peace, turn to our Salvation Page now.
Return to What Saith Rome