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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been taught that Catholics believe it is okay for a Christian to continually sin e.g.:

  • get drunk
  • have sex out of wed-lock
  • smoke
  • cuss
  • etc.

as long as you repent to a priest in Confession.

  • Is this really what Catholics believe?

Anonymous

  { Is it OK to sin as long as you repent and go to Confession? }

Paul replied:

Dear Anonymous,

With the way you worded the question the answer would be, No. Catholics do believe that when Jesus was on earth He established a system through which He would continue to give His supernatural Life of grace to people for the sake of their salvation. These are His seven sacraments.

In the sacrament of Confession, of which you speak, Christ offers His forgiveness for our sins through the priest whom He uses as His instrument. God often uses human vessels for the sake of others, as He did with Moses and the Old Testament priests and prophets. So too, Jesus uses His priests for special moments, but it is God that we repent to.

To summarize:

  1. Only God has the power to forgive sins.
  2. Christ is God so His sacrifice makes it possible for God to forgive our sins, satisfying the dictates of eternal justice.
  3. Christ established a Church to continue his mission so that all may be saved, and gave the power to forgive sins in His name to His sacred priesthood.
  4. Anyone who is sincerely sorry for their sins and resolves not to sin again (with the help of His grace) can be forgiven by our all-merciful God through this sacrament of Reconciliation. God is good.

Paul

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