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*** Absolution ***

Mar 01, 2009 06:53 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen

Dear friends

My views are:

*** H. P. Blavatsky wrote in the Key to Theosophy, p. 225 ***
"ENQUIRER. Yet millions believe in the Christian dogma and are happy.

 THEOSOPHIST. Pure sentimentalism overpowering their thinking faculties, which no true philanthropist or Altruist will ever accept. It is not even a dream of selfishness, but a nightmare of the human intellect. Look where it leads to, and tell me the name of that pagan country where crimes are more easily committed or more numerous than in Christian lands. Look at the long and ghastly annual records of crimes committed in European countries; and behold Protestant and Biblical America. There, conversions effected in prisons are more numerous than those made by public revivals and preaching. See how the ledger-balance of Christian justice (!) stands: Red-handed murderers, urged on by the demons of lust, revenge, cupidity, fanaticism, or mere brutal thirst for blood, who kill their victims, in most cases, without giving them time to repent or call on Jesus. These, perhaps, died sinful, and, of courseâ consistently with theological logic âmet the reward of their greater or lesser offences. But the murderer, overtaken by human justice, is imprisoned, wept over by sentimentalists, prayed with and at, pronounces the charmed words of conver-sion, and goes to the scaffold a redeemed child of Jesus! Except for the murder, he would not have been prayed with, redeemed, pardoned. Clearly this man did well to murder, for thus he gained eternal happiness! And how about the victim, and his, or her family, relatives, dependents, social relations; has justice no recompense for them? Must they suffer in this world and the next, while he who wronged them sits beside the "holy thief" of Calvary, and is for ever blessed? On this question the clergy keep a prudent silence. "

And where are we today in these "times of troubles" of Christianity?

The following might be helpful to know about and understand:

*** Absolution and The Catholic Church ***
"Absolution proper is that act of the priest whereby, in the Sacrament of Penance, he frees man from sin. It presupposes on the part of the penitent, contrition, confession, and promise at least of satisfaction; on the part of the minister, valid reception of the Order of Priesthood and jurisdiction, granted by competent authority, over the person receiving the sacrament. That there is in the Church power to absolve sins committed after baptism the Council of Trent thus declares: "But the Lord then principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance, when, being raised from the dead, He breathed upon His disciples saying, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.' By which action so signal, and words so clear the consent of all the Fathers has ever understood that the power of forgiving and retaining sins was communicated to the Apostles, and to their lawful successors for the reconciling of the faithful who have fallen after baptism" (Sess. XIV, i)."
"It was not until the scholastic doctrine of "matter and form" in the sacraments reached its full development that the formula of absolution became fixed as we have it at present. The form in use in the Roman Church today has not changed since long before the Council of Florence. It is divided into four parts as follows: â

    * (1) Deprecatory prayer. "May the Almighty God have mercy on you, and forgiving your sins, bring you to life everlasting. Amen." Then, lifting his right hand towards the penitent, the priest continues: "May the Almighty and Merciful God grant you pardon, absolution, and remission of your sins".
    * (2) "May Our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you, and I, by His authority, absolve you from every bond of excommunication [suspension, in the case of a cleric only] and interdict as far as I can and you may need."
    * (3) "I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." (While repeating the names of the Trinity, the priest makes the sign of the cross over the penitent.)
    * (4) "May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints, what good you have done or what evil you have suffered be to you for the remission of (your) sins, growth in grace and the reward of everlasting life. Amen." In the decree "Pro Armenis", 1439, Eugene IV teaches that the "form" of the Sacrament is really in those words of the priest: "Ego absolvo te a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris" etc., and theologians teach that absolution would be valid should the priest use, "Absolvo te", "Absolvo te a peccatis tuis", or words that are the exact equivalent (Suarez, Disp., XIX, i, n. 24; Lugo, Disp., XIII, i, nn. 17, 18; Lehmkuhl, de PÅnit., 9th ed., 199). 

In the Oriental churches the present forms are deprecatory, though they by no means exclude the idea of a judicial pronouncement on the part of the minister. Such are the forms of absolution among

    * Greeks,
    * Russians,
    * Syrians,
    * Armenians,
    * Copts.

Is the indicative form necessary? Many learned Catholics seem to hold that the indicative form as used at present in the Roman Church is necessary even for the validity of the Sacrament of Penance. "

M. Sufilight

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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