Prince Arinze Ndibe
As i was coming back from Enugu today,where i went to buy Ash trouser(Courtesy of ESUT stress,Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science in particular), So stressed and hungry it took me almost forty minutes looking for a bus that was heading to my direction then when i successfully found one,Buhari(Yes Buhari because he is the chief cause of every bad thing in Nigeria) decided to punish me more by causing traffic jam that lasted for almost one hour.
Then Amadioha decided to crowned the almost endless suffering,An elderly woman who everyone identified for the sake of the green looking Apron with the face of Dr. Mouka she wore as a member of a protestant church called chosen, stood up and started shouting at the top of her lung that Catholics are going to hell fire because they confess their sin to their priest.She insisted that since only God can forgive sin, every sinner must approach him individually. That it is said that no man can forgive sins, hence to have priests forgiving sins in confession is a sacrilege and blasphemy,She further warned that when Catholic confess their sins that they are indirectly taking their priest as God thereby defying the 2nd commandment that said Thou shalt have no other gods before me.I wanted to keep quiet and mind my business jejely but as it got to a point,I couldn’t take it anymore.I stood up,as a Baptised and practicing Catholic, i tried clarifying things to her.
I said”Good afternoon ma’am,There are certain words in your message that i believe are not entirely true.First note that Catholics do not tell their sins to a priest “instead of to God,” but to God through a priest, appointed by our Lord as an official stand-in for Christ
Three basic Scripture passages underlie this practice :
1) Matt 16:18-19 “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
2) Matt 18:18 “Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
3) John 20:21-22: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he has said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
During his life-time Christ forgave sins. Since he would not always be with the Church physically and visibly, Christ delegated this power to other men so that the Church would be able to offer forgiveness to future generations. He gave this as a communicable power to the apostles so it could be passed on to their successors, the bishops. In this passage (Jn 20:21-22) Jesus is telling the apostles to follow his own example, in delegating the power to the apostles to forgive sins.
Note that all of this is God’s doing. It is He who, through Christ, has reconciled us to himself, and allowed us to minister this reconciliation of his to others (2 Cor 5:18). Indeed, confirms Paul, “We are Christ’s Ambassadors. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteousness person is very powerful.”
She was explicitized,With a heart filled with satisfaction she thanked me and changed the topic.You see,No one really knows everything.