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Sohriah Skap wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What should I do if the priest cannot grant absolution to the sinner?

Sohriah Skap

  { What should I do if the priest cannot grant absolution to the sinner? }

Bob replied:

Dear Sohriah,

If the priest withheld absolution, it was probably because there was not complete repentance . . . like someone committing adultery and not stopping the adulterous behavior.

In such cases the sins are not forgiven, at least from our knowledge this side of Heaven. God is always free to forgive someone even if we don't know about it but He does invest His Church with the authority to act in His Name, so I would rely on the Church's ruling when it comes to matters of conscience.

If someone has perfect contrition for sin, God will forgive them even without a formal Confession, but most of the time we don't have perfect contrition (the regret for having offended God), so we need Confession and the sacrament of Penance.

I hope this clears it up for you.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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