Friday, February 3, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 237.

YOUCAT Question n. 237 - Are there sins that are so serious that not even the average priest can forgive them?

(Youcat answer) There are sins in which a man turns completely away from God and at the same time, because of the seriousness of the deed, incurs excommunication. When a sin results in “excommunication”, absolution can be granted only by the Bishop or a priest delegated by him, and, in a few cases, only by the Pope. In danger of death, any priest can absolve from every sin and excommunication.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1463) Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them (Cf. CIC, cann. 1331; 1354-1357; CCEO, can. 1431; 1434; 1420). In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication (Cf. CIC, can. 976; CCEO, can. 725).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) A Catholic who commits murder, for example, or cooperates in an abortion automatically excludes himself from sacramental communion; the Church simply acknowledges this fact. The purpose of “excommunication” is to correct the sinner and to lead him back to the right path.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 982) There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. "There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest (Roman Catechism I, 11, 5). Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin (Cf. Mt 18:21-22).

(The next question is: May a priest later repeat something he has learned in confession?)

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