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  #11  
Old 16th June 2009, 07:00 PM
VKallin VKallin is offline
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Default The Council of Trent

I must admit that I am amazed at the amount of the Catholic Faith that came from this Council. Possibly this was because it was a response to the Protestent Reformation. Is this the greatest of the Councils? Major changes came out of Vatican II. Are they comparable in significance and relevence to the faith today?
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  #12  
Old 16th June 2009, 07:53 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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I would rank the Council of Trent as one of the most important. The more recent Council have been more purposeful in exercising the teaching authority of the Church. Some of the older Councils only exercised the temporal authority, or they condemned various heresies by name, but without defining a doctrine. Ecumenical Councils are becoming more important to the Church as the centuries pass.
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  #13  
Old 19th June 2009, 12:20 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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On the necessity, and on the institution of the Sacrament of Penance.

If such, in all the regenerate, were their gratitude towards God, as that they constantly preserved the justice received in baptism by His bounty and grace; there would not have been need for another sacrament, besides that of baptism itself, to be instituted for the remission of sins.

But because God, rich in mercy, knows our frame, He hath bestowed a remedy of life even on those who may, after baptism, have delivered themselves up to the servitude of sin and the power of the devil, --the sacrament to wit of Penance, by which the benefit of the death of Christ is applied to those who have fallen after baptism.

[The effectiveness of baptism and of confession are from the death of Christ on the Cross.]

Penitence was in deed at all times neccessary, in order to attain to grace and justice, for all men who had defiled themselves by any mortal sin, even for those who begged to be washed by the sacrament of Baptism ; that so, their perverseness renounced and amended, they might, with a hatred of sin and a godly sorrow of mind, detest so great an offence of God. Wherefore the prophet says; Be converted and do penance for all your iniquities, and iniquity shall not be your ruin. The Lord also said; Except you do penance, you shall also likewise perish; and Peter, the prince of the apostoles, recommending penitence to sinners who were about to be initiated by baptism, said; Do penance, and be baptized every one you.

Nevertheless, neither before the coming of Christ was penitance a sacrament, nor is it such, since His coming, to any previously to baptism. But the Lord then principally instituted the sacrament of penance, when, being raised from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples, saying Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. By which action so signal, and words so clear, the consent of all the Fathers has ever understood, that the power of forgiving and retaining sins was communicated to the apostles and their lawful successors, for the reconciling of the faithful who have fallen after baptism.

[Jesus specifically intended to institute the Sacrament of Penance when He breathed upon the Apostles.]

And the Catholic Church with great reason repudiated and condemned as heretics, the Novatians, who of old obstinately denied that power of forgiving. Wherefore, this holy Synod, approving of and receiving as most true this meaning of those words of our Lord, condemns the fanciful interpretations of those who, in opposition to the institution of this sacrament, falsely wrest those words to the power of preaching the word of God, and of announcing the Gospel of Christ.
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  #14  
Old 21st June 2009, 04:06 AM
Therese Therese is offline
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Yes,I have made a spiritual communion,it is very effective when one is unable to attend mass
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  #15  
Old 23rd June 2009, 12:06 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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CHAPTER II.
On the difference between the Sacrament of Penance and that of Baptism

For the rest, this sacrament is clearly seen to be different from baptism in many respects:

1. for besides that it is very widely different indeed in matter and form, which constitute the essence of a sacrament, it is beyond doubt certain that the minister of baptism need not be a judge, seeing that the Church exercises judgment on no one who has not entered therein through the gate of baptism. For, what have I, saith the apostle, to do to judge them that are without? It is otherwise with those who are of the household of the faith, whom Christ our Lord has once, by the laver of baptism, made the members of His own body; for such, if they should afterwards have defiled themselves by any crime, He would no longer have them cleansed by a repetition of baptism--that being nowise lawful in the Catholic Church-but be placed as criminals before this tribunal; that, by the sentence of the priests, they might be freed, not once, but as often as, being penitent, they should, from their sins committed, flee thereunto.

2. Furthermore, one is the fruit of baptism, and another that of penance. For, by baptism putting on Christ, we are made therein entirely a new creature, obtaining a full and entire remission of all sins: unto which newness and entireness, however, we are no ways able to arrive by the sacrament of Penance, without many tears and great labours on our parts, the divine justice demanding this; so that penance has justly been called by holy Fathers a laborious kind of baptism. And this sacrament of Penance is, for those who have fallen after baptism, necessary unto salvation; as baptism itself is for those who have not as yet been regenerated.

[Baptism of some kind is absolutely necessary for salvation. Confession is both similar to Baptism, and different from it, in many ways.]
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  #16  
Old 29th June 2009, 12:02 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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CHAPTER III.
On the parts, and on the fruit of this Sacrament.

The holy synod doth furthermore teach, that the form of the sacrament of penance, wherein its force principally consists, is placed in those words of the minister, I absolve thee, etc: to which words indeed certain prayers are, according to the custom of holy Church, laudably joined, which nevertheless by no means regard the essence of that form, neither are they necessary for the administration of the sacrament itself.

But the acts of the penitent himself, to wit, contrition, confession and satisfaction, are as it were the matter of this sacrament. Which acts, inasmuch as they are, by God's institution, required in the penitent for the integrity of the sacrament, and for the full and perfect remission of sins, are for this reason called the parts of penance.

[If you are not contrite, i.e. repentant, then you are not forgiven. The term 'satisfaction' refers to penance. If you do not do penance, you are still forgiven for the sin, but not for the punishment due for the sin.]

But the thing signified indeed and the effect of this sacrament, as far as regards its force and efficacy, is reconciliation with God, which sometimes, in persons who are pious and who receive this sacrament with devotion, is wont to be followed by peace and serenity of conscience, with exceeding consolation of spirit. The holy Synod, whilst delivering these things touching the parts and the effect of this sacrament, condemns at the same time the opinions of those who contend, that, the terrors which agitate the conscience, and faith, are the parts of penance. [This last part refutes a Protestant error, which holds that confession is not needed, only faith is needed, and conscience.]
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  #17  
Old 30th June 2009, 01:28 AM
Arax Arax is offline
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Ron,

Am I reading this correctly? Does this passage say that the words of absolution and the prayers, i.e. the form or the sacrament, are unnecessary? Sometimes the archaic language makes it difficult for me to understand. Especially since I'm tired as usual!
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  #18  
Old 30th June 2009, 11:48 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arax View Post
Ron,

Am I reading this correctly? Does this passage say that the words of absolution and the prayers, i.e. the form or the sacrament, are unnecessary? Sometimes the archaic language makes it difficult for me to understand. Especially since I'm tired as usual!

The words of absolution are necessary. The additional words and prayers that are added are praiseworthy, but not necessary to the Sacrament.
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  #19  
Old 6th July 2009, 01:36 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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CHAPTER IV.
On Contrition.


Contrition, which holds the first place amongst the aforesaid acts of the penitent, is a sorrow of mind, and a detestation for sin committed, with the purpose of not sinning for the future.

This movement of contrition was at all times necessary for obtaining the pardon of sins; and, in one who has fallen after baptism, it then at length prepares for the remissions of sins, when it is united with confidence in the divine mercy, and with the desire of performing the other things which are required for rightly receiving this sacrament.

[If you are not repentant, you are not forgiven. Even if the Pope himself hears your confession, and you state all your sins, and he says that you are forgiven, you are certainly not forgiven unless you are contrite (i.e. repentant).]

Therefore the holy Synod declares, that this contrition contains not only a cessation from sin, and the purpose and the beginning of a new life, but also a hatred of the old, agreeably to that saying; Cast away from you all your iniquities, wherein you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

[It is not sufficient to merely cease from sinning, one must also repent from and regret those sins.]

And assuredly he who has considered those cries of the saints; To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee, I have laboured in my groaning, every night I will wash my bed, I will recount to thee all my years, in the bitterness of my soul, and others of this kind, will easily understand that they flowed from a certain vehement hatred of their past life, and from an exceeding detestation of sins.

The Synod teaches moreover, that, although it sometimes happen that this contrition is perfect through charity [i.e. perfect contrition], and reconciles man with God before this sacrament be actually received, the said reconciliation, nevertheless, is not to be ascribed to that contrition, independently of the desire of the sacrament which is included therein.

[non-Catholics can be forgiven for serious sin by perfect contrition with an implicit desire for the Sacrament. A Catholic who rejects the Sacrament of Confession sins seriously. Although perfect contrition forgives any sin, even actual mortal sin, a subsequent rejection of the Sacrament of confession is a subsequent mortal sin. A Catholic who at the same time repents of a serious sin but also continues to reject the Sacrament of Confession, is not truly repentant by perfect contrition. For no Catholic who is contrite out of love for God would also reject His Sacraments.]

And as to that imperfect contrition, which is called attrition, because that it is commonly conceived either from the consideration of the turpitude of sin, or from the fear of hell and of punishment, It declares that if, with the hope of pardon, it exclude the wish to sin, it not only does not make a man a hypocrite, and a greater sinner, but that it is even a gift of God, and an impulse of the Holy Ghost, --who does not indeed as yet dwell in the penitent, but only moves him, --whereby the penitent being assisted prepares a way for himself unto justice.

[Even persons in a state of actual mortal sin can receive and respond to actual grace to a limited extent. Imperfect contrition is called 'attrition' because the 'con' prefix indicates a greater degree. So the change in prefix indicates that imperfect contrition or attrition is the lesser of the two.]

And although this (attrition) cannot of itself, without the sacrament of penance, conduct the sinner to justification [i.e. back to a state of grace], yet does it dispose him to obtain the grace of God in the sacrament of Penance. For, smitten profitably with this fear, the Ninivites, at the preaching of Jonas, did fearful penance and obtained mercy from the Lord. Wherefore falsely do some calumniate Catholic writers, as if they had maintained that the sacrament of Penance confers grace without any good motion on the part of those who receive it: a thing which the Church of God never taught, or thought: and falsely also do they assert that contrition is extorted and forced, not free and voluntary.
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  #20  
Old 17th July 2009, 12:31 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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CHAPTER V.
On Confession.

From the institution of the sacrament of Penance as already explained, the universal Church has always understood, that the entire confession of sins was also instituted by the Lord, and is of divine right necessary for all who have fallen after baptism; because that our Lord Jesus Christ, when about to ascend from earth to heaven, left priests His own vicars, as presidents and judges, unto whom all the mortal crimes, into which the faithful of Christ may have fallen, should be carried, in order that, in accordance with the power of the keys, they may pronounce the sentence of forgiveness or retention of sins.

[Jesus intentionally instituted all seven Sacraments, including Confession.]

For it is manifest, that priests could not have exercised this judgment without knowledge of the cause; neither indeed could they have observed equity in enjoining punishments, if the said faithful should have declared their sins in general only, and not rather specifically, and one by one.

Whence it is gathered that all the mortal sins, of which, after a diligent examination of themselves, they are conscious, must needs be by penitents enumerated in confession, even though those sins be most hidden, and committed only against the two last precepts of the decalogue,--sins which sometimes wound the soul more grievously, and are more dangerous, than those which are committed outwardly.

[We are required to confess each and every actual mortal sin that can be remembered after diligent examination of conscience. The sins that sometimes wound more grievouly are the interior sins.]

For venial sins, whereby we are not excluded from the grace of God, and into which we fall more frequently, although they be rightly and profitably, and without any presumption declared in confession, as the custom of pious persons demonstrates, yet may they be omitted without guilt, and be expiated by many other remedies.

[We are not required to confess venial sins; venial sins may be forgiven by contrition alone without confession. Venial sins are also forgiven implicitly, when we pray devoutly, or practice self-denial, or perform works of mercy.]

But, whereas all mortal sins, even those of thought, render men children of wrath, and enemies of God, it is necessary to seek also for the pardon of them all from God, with an open and modest confession. Wherefore, while the faithful of Christ are careful to confess all the sins which occur to their memory, they without doubt lay them all bare before the mercy of God to be pardoned: whereas they who act otherwise, and knowingly keep back certain sins, such set nothing before the divine bounty to be forgiven through the priest: for if the sick be ashamed to show his wound to the physician, his medical art cures not that which it knows not of.

[If you deliberately omit a known actual mortal sin from your confession, that sin is not forgiven.]

We gather furthermore, that those circumstances which change the species of the sin are also to be explained in confession, because that, without them, the sins themselves are neither entirely set forth by the penitents, nor are they known clearly to the judges; and it cannot be that they can estimate rightly the grievousness of the crimes, and impose on the penitents, the punishment which ought to be inflicted, on account of them.

[We need not give many details about each sin, but only those factors that would make the sin into a sin of a more serious type.]

Whence it is unreasonable to teach, that these circumstances have been invented by idle men; or, that one circumstance only is to be confessed, to wit, that one has sinned against a brother. But it is also impious to assert, that confession, enjoined to be made in this manner, is impossible, or to call it a slaughter-house of consciences: for it is certain, that in the Church nothing else is required of penitents, but that, after each has examined himself diligently, and searched all the folds and recesses of his conscience, he confess those sins by which he shall remember that he has mortally offended his Lord and God:

[It is sufficient to confess the mortal sins that one remembers after examination of conscience.]

whilst the other sins, which do not occur to him after diligent thought, are understood to be included as a whole in that same confession; for which sins we confidently say with the prophet; From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord.

[This is an example of implicit repentance, in which the penitent is repentant from all serious sin, even from those sins which he does not specifically recall and specifically repent from and specifically confess.]

Now, the very difficulty of a confession like this, and the shame of making known one's sins, might indeed seem a grievous thing, were it not alleviated by the so many and so great advantages and consolations, which are most assuredly bestowed by absolution upon all who worthily approach to this sacrament.

[It can be difficult to confess one's mortal sins. I think that some persons, out of pride, may confess their venial sins, and omit their mortal sins, so as to continue to pretend to be holy.]

For the rest, as to the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, although Christ has not forbidden that a person may,--in punishment of his sins, and for his own humi liation, as well for an example to others as for the edification of the Church that has been scandalized,--confess his sins publicly, nevertheless this is not commanded by a divine precept; neither would it very prudent to enjoin by any human law, that sins, especially such as are secret, should be made known by a public confession.

[The confessor may not divulge the sins of the penitent, but the penitent may divulge his own sins. However, this is often imprudent.]

Wherefore, whereas the secret sacramental confession, which was in use from the beginning in holy Church, and is still also in use, has always been commended by the most holy and the most ancient Fathers with a great and unanimous consent, the vain calumny of those is manifestly refuted, who are not ashamed to teach, that confession is alien from the divine command, and is a human invention, and that it took its rise from the Fathers assembled in the Council of Lateran: for the Church did not, through the Council of Lateran, ordain that the faithful of Christ should confess,--a thing which it knew to be necessary, and to be instituted of divine right,--but that the precept of confession should be complied with, at least once a year, by all and each, when they have attained to years of discretion. Whence, throughout the whole Church, the salutary custom is, to the great benefit of the souls of the faithful, now observed, of confessing at that most sacred and most acceptable time of Lent,--a custom which this holy Synod most highly approves of and embraces, as pious and worthy of being retained.

[Confession at least once a year is still required, though if a person has no mortal sins, he is not strictly obligated.]
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