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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
THE MEANING OF
CONFESSION.

Q. 1. I heard that Catholics practice confession. What does confession mean?

A. 1. Confession is one of the seven Catholic Sacraments. To practice confession is to tell one's sins to a properly ordained Catholic priest, who is in good standing with his Bishop, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness from God through the priest.

The reason that Catholics confess their sins to a priest is because Jesus Christ commanded them to do so when He told His apostles "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." [John 20:23] While this command to administer the Sacrament of Confession was told to the Apostles, it was also intended to their successors in the Catholic priesthood.



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