Pope Worried: Calls for More Confessions
In a recent letter to all the Roman priests in the world, Pope John Paul II urged them to stress to their parishioners the need for confession of sin to the priest. Called the Sacrament of Penance, it is one of the seven "sacraments" or "channels of grace" through which Roman Catholics believe they receive divine merit.
This ritual is a major part of the web of bondage woven by the papacy to ensnare the precious Catholic people. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ set up a priesthood with power to absolve from sin.
Based on a single scripture in John 20: 21-23 is built the whole dogma of the confessional and special power of the priest to forgive sin. Christ spoke these words to all the Christians present and the disciples went on to declare salvation and sanctification through confession and repentance to God alone.
Nowhere in the book of Acts or in Paul's letters is there any hint of a priesthood of men much less one with special powers to forgive sin. In fact, the book of Hebrews is written specifically to prove that the Old Testament priesthood had been replaced by Jesus, the permanent High Priest (Hebrews 7:21-28). All confession of sin was now to be made to Jesus, alone.
Nor in early church history do we find men accepting confession and dispensing forgiveness. This idea did not become official Catholic doctrine until 1225 AD.
But, if everyone is free to confess privately to Jesus, the priestcraft system of the papacy is unnecessary.
The papacy teaches that there is no salvation outside the Roman Church, so the pope has a monopoly on dispensing salvation through baptism. When you sin after baptism your salvation is in jeopardy. The only way to get rid of that sin is to confess it to a priest and be "absolved." Otherwise you may not be eligible even for purgatory, much less heaven itself.
At every major juncture in life, birth, maturity, marriage, midlife crisis, or death, the Roman "church" blocks the road and says, "Either my way or be damned."
Even the word "penance" is a perversion of the biblical word "repentance." Penance carries the idea of doing something to earn forgiveness. Repentance is recognizing that we can do nothing to pay for our sin, that Jesus "paid it all" and humbly accepting His forgiveness.
But the pope is worried. Fewer and fewer Roman Catholics are coming to confession. Thus his admonition to the priests of the world: "We need to declare with firmness and conviction that the sacrament of penance is the ordinary means of obtaining pardon and the remission of grave sins after baptism."
Instead, we need to lovingly show the people caught in this bondage that they can go directly to Jesus and forsake this prostitute church described in Rev. 17 and 18 which tries so hard to look like the true bride of Christ.
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