Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
back
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History


Thomas wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Does Canon Law 844 § 3 allow me, a United Methodist, to go to Confession, or is it held in the same regard as Holy Communion?

Thanks and God Bless!

Thomas
  { Does this Catholic Canon allow a Protestant to go to Confession? }

John replied:

Thomas,

Thanks for your question.

This canon refers to the Eucharist.

Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

§3. Catholic ministers administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick licitly to members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed. This is also valid for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.

You can't go to Confession and receive absolution unless you repent of everything you are guilty of.

If you've come to believe that Confession is necessary and that you can't receive valid absolution in the Methodist Church while it is available in the Catholic Church, you are, in essence, admitting that remaining a Methodist is no longer a valid option without remaining in heresy and sin.

Hence, in order to receive absolution, you would have to repent of being a Methodist and resolve to enter the Church.

You can't just go to Confession and go about your way as a Methodist. Normally, you would have to enter RCIA and somewhere in the process, before you received the Sacrament of Confirmation, you would also go to Confession. This usually occurs a few days before you were confirmed.

John

Mary Ann replied:

Thomas,

The Canon in § 3 is referring to the Eastern Churches and to other churches in similar situations as them as regards to those sacraments, which means churches that have valid sacraments (and a valid priesthood). Number § 4 actually addresses your concerns, because you belong to a denomination which is not in the situation of those Churches. Canon 844, § 4, says:

§4. If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.

The grave necessity is not defined but has been considered to refer to imprisonment, persecution, or living at great distance from your own faith community. In either case, the presumption is that one is not able to approach one's own minister, and that one requests the sacrament of his own free will.

Mary Ann

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.