Loosing and Binding, by John M. Grondelski

Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation: God Carries Us in His Bosom
December 6, 2022
Supremes Hear Arguments on State’s Demand to Control Christians’ Speech, by Bob Unruh
December 6, 2022


Penitents do not have an absolute right to absolution: they must meet what the sacrament itself requires for the forgiveness of sins.

By John M. Grondelski, Crisis Magazine, Dec. 6, 2022

John M. Grondelski (Ph.D., Fordham) is a former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. All views expressed herein are his own.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

Speaking to rectors and seminarians from Latin America on November 10, Pope Francis urged future priests to exercise the ministry of mercy in the confessional. But laying aside his prepared address, he offered some ex tempore remarks about the sacrament of Reconciliation that were problematic and deserve comment.

After his usual attack on “rigidity” as a camouflage for “a true rottenness” (il vero marcio), Francis discussed the case of priests who defer absolution in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Without greater specificity of what he had in mind, the Pope said it is suffering to meet “people who come to cry because they have gone to confession and…told everything. If you go to confession because you have done one, two, ten thousand wrong things…you thank God and you forgive them!” …

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