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Refusal of absolution
Question from Anonymous on 10-12-2015:
Can a priest deny absolution solely because the penitent has only confessed venial sins?
Answer by Catholic Answers on 10-13-2015:
Anonymous--

No, and I am stunned to hear that a priest would actually refuse absolution for such a reason. I think it is more likely a priest would say, "Venial sins don't require sacramental confessionójust make a good Communion and you'll be forgiven through the Eucharist," or he might even simply deny the penitent's need to go to confession. But that is far different from saying something like "I will not give you absolution because these are only venial sins."

If the priest did not actually refuse a penitent absolution, but claimed there was no need for it, the penitent can say, "Father, the Church urges penitents to go to confession for venial sins. Would you please grant me absolution?" If absolution really has been refused, the penitent should go to another priest for confession, explain what happened, confess again, and receive absolution. And, perhaps, write a letter to the bishop about being refused absolution for venial sins.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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