The Catholic blogosphere is alight with the latest heresy (that's what it is) to come to light. On February 11, eve of Ash Wednesday, the pope met with those priests designated to be "missionaries of mercy" and gave them instructions and I use the word "instructions" loosely. The text of the message can be found on Zenit. Within that address are directives to the priests which, if followed, would render any confession invalid. I quote below the heresy:
"If someone comes to you and feels something must be removed from him, but perhaps he is unable to say it, but you understand … it’s all right, he says it this way, with the gesture of coming. First condition. Second, he is repentant. If someone comes to you it is because he doesn’t want to fall into these situations, but he doesn’t dare say it, he is afraid to say it and then not be able to do it. But if he cannot do it, ad impossibila nemo tenetur. And the Lord understands these things, the language of gestures. Have open arms, to understand what is inside that heart that cannot be said or said this way … somewhat because of shame … you understand me. You must receive everyone with the language with which they can speak."
Any second-grader preparing to receive the sacraments is taught that in order to receive the Sacrament, they must tell at least their mortal sins to the priest. No "silent treatment" will suffice. The blog One Peter Five has a number of passages from relevant Church teaching promulgated over the centuries, including an excerpt from the Council of Trent that states plainly that anyone holding such an opinion that the pope seems to hold is to be anathematized. At the blog What's Up With The Synod, we see the predicament in which this practice would place an unwitting soul.
Consider for a moment what that last blogger is saying. Without the recitation of sins to the priest, there is a lack of valid matter to cause the Confession to be valid. That means any absolution is invalid. Someone who has mortal sin on their soul who does not confess it would think he/she has received absolution when they really haven't. They might receive Holy Communion in that state (In that case, I'm not sure they would be culpable of the sin of sacrilege if they, in good faith, thought they were validly absolved). They might die in that state; I wouldn't want to presume upon their eternal fate.
This is the so-called "year of mercy", right? But here we have the pope sabotaging the very Sacrament that was instituted to confer God's forgiveness for sins. He's instructing priests to offer absolution invalidly. That is to say he's instructing his priests to offer false comfort while still leaving penitents in their wretched states. The convoluted thinking behind that is the very antithesis of true mercy - at least the pure mercy that God wishes to extend to all of us sinners.
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