Welcome to Catholics Return!

 

We're here to help you uncover the treasures of the Catholic faith, so that you can find true peace, joy and live 'life to the full' as Jesus promised.

 

For different reasons, many have stopped practising their Catholic faith but still hunger for the Truth and Hope the church offers. Is that you? We invite you to come to CATHOLICS RETURN, where we hope that we can answer your questions about the Catholic faith and accompany you on your journey Home. Our team is available to assist.

 

This programme is inspired by a similar outreach in the United States – www.catholicscomehome.org which has resulted in over 300,000 non-practising Catholics returning to the Church. We have received their permission to use some of the information they offer and we are sure you would find these helpful to your own journey.

 

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Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest rather than going directly to God?

Well, the quick answer is because that's the way God wants us to do it. In James 5:16, God, through Sacred Scripture, commands us to "confess our sins to one another." Notice, Scripture does not say confess your sins straight to God and only to God...it says confess your sins to one another.

 

In Matthew, chapter 9, verse 6, Jesus tells us that He was given authority on earth to forgive sins. And then Scripture proceeds to tell us, in verse 8, that this authority was given to "men"...plural.

 

In John 20, verses 21-23, what is the 1st thing Jesus says to the gathered disciples on the night of His resurrection? "Jesus said to them, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.'" How did the Father send Jesus? Well, we just saw in Mt 9 that the Father sent Jesus with the authority on earth to forgive sins. Now, Jesus sends out His disciples as the Father has sent Him...so, what authority must Jesus be sending His disciples out with? The authority on earth to forgive sins. And, just in case they didn't get it, verses 22-23 say this, "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'"

 

Why would Jesus give the Apostles the power to forgive or to retain sins if He wasn't expecting folks to confess their sins to them? And how could they forgive or retain sins if no one was confessing their sins to them?

 

The Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another. It also tells us that God gave men the authority on Earth to forgive sins. Jesus sends out His disciples with the authority on earth to forgive sins. When Catholics confess our sins to a priest, we are simply following the plan laid down by Jesus Christ. He forgives sins through the priest...it is God's power, but He exercises that power through the ministry of the priest.

 

Return to..Why Should I Go to Confession?