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A non-Catholic partaking in Catholic confession

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by MoonWater, May 6, 2013.

  1. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
    Premium Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    As a synchretic I often borrow rituals from other religions. While for the most part these have been from Pagan traditions I have recently considered also utilizing some of the rituals and rites from Christian faiths to help me on my spiritual journey. One in particular that came to mind was the idea of the sacrament of penance held by the catholic church. Now clearly my beliefs are vastly different from that of Catholicism, however I do see the inherent value in going to confession, having that safe and anonymous space to confess wrongs that have been done, and through that confession begin the work of cleansing one's soul and reaching forgiveness. The only difference I would see between me and the catholic next door is that while they seek forgiveness from one external god, I would seek forgiveness from my own internal divinity.

    It's something I'm considering exploring but I thought I'd bring the idea up here so everyone can give their thoughts on the matter and perhaps even some advice.

    So perhaps a few questions to start things off: What do you think of the idea of someone who isn't catholic and has no intention of becoming catholic going to a catholic confessional? Would you see it as disrespectful or insulting? Are there any other thoughts you have on the matter?
  2. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    It comes down to how likely they are to misunderstand your intent, I suppose.
  3. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    One might think of doing something similar by speaking to a good, trusted friend or seeing a counselor. Or, craft a tradition that makes more sense in the context of your theology/path. That way you avoid potentially treading on someone's religious toes.

    One thing I used to do when I regularly did Full Moon rituals was reflect on what the past moonth had brought. While it wasn't exactly a confessional, things often came out in those sessions about regrets and things I'd resolve to improve.
  4. Gaura Priya

    May 9, 2009
    To me personally, the whole idea of the Rite of Confession and the Confessional was an ancient way of free counselling and therapy. Of course, over time the Rite became more systematic and taken advantage of (and I am not all too clear on whether it originated as private confession or a public one), but in essence, it was a way to clear one's own conscience (and to get right with God with the guidance of a more seasoned Christian).

    Perhaps as an alternative, you may have someone be a 'spiritual director' for you, and listen to your own faults and ask for advice and consolation. If you want a more formal thing, you may check out a Liberal Lutheran or Anglican parish priest to help you also with the Rite of Reconciliation. Catholics have always been the more serious lot in Christianity.