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Hi, I was reading something on the internet about how in the past priests could not forgive abortion as it was a reserved sin and it needed to be forgiven by the bishops or priests. I got scared and started to read about other reserved sins and it came up to say heresy, schism, apostasy and ext are reserved. Is this true? Can Priests forgive all sins?
I’m confused. I read it and I’m questioning are reserved sins still even a thing now?
When it comes to the excommunicable sins of heresy, apostasy, and schism, one thing to keep in mind is that you must know you have incurred such a penalty. In other words, if you were under 16, lacked the full use of reason (mental illness, handicap, etc), were under grave duress (severe anxiety, a gun was pointed at your head, etc), or didn't know these sins carried such a penalty or that it applied to you personally, you did not incur the penalty. If you know you're excommunicated, you would tell your priest that in Confession and he would work on getting your penalty remitted.

As for abortion, I believe Pope Francis made it easier for abortion to be absolved, but I don't know the current status of that.
(04-20-2019, 10:11 PM)In His Love Wrote: [ -> ]When it comes to the excommunicable sins of heresy, apostasy, and schism, one thing to keep in mind is that you must know you have incurred such a penalty. In other words, if you were under 16, lacked the full use of reason (mental illness, handicap, etc), were under grave duress (severe anxiety, a gun was pointed at your head, etc), or didn't know these sins carried such a penalty or that it applied to you personally, you did not incur the penalty. If you know you're excommunicated, you would tell your priest that in Confession and he would work on getting your penalty remitted.

As for abortion, I believe Pope Francis made it easier for abortion to be absolved, but I don't know the current status of that.

So let’s say a child under the age of 16 somehow does any of these sins, he goes to confession does that mean he needs the pope/bishop give permission?
(04-20-2019, 10:18 PM)NattyNat1230 Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-20-2019, 10:11 PM)In His Love Wrote: [ -> ]When it comes to the excommunicable sins of heresy, apostasy, and schism, one thing to keep in mind is that you must know you have incurred such a penalty. In other words, if you were under 16, lacked the full use of reason (mental illness, handicap, etc), were under grave duress (severe anxiety, a gun was pointed at your head, etc), or didn't know these sins carried such a penalty or that it applied to you personally, you did not incur the penalty. If you know you're excommunicated, you would tell your priest that in Confession and he would work on getting your penalty remitted.

As for abortion, I believe Pope Francis made it easier for abortion to be absolved, but I don't know the current status of that.

So let’s say a child under the age of 16 somehow does any of these sins, he goes to confession does that mean he needs the pope/bishop give permission?
No, he would simply have the sin absolved in Confession because the penalty wasn't added.
(04-20-2019, 07:58 PM)NattyNat1230 Wrote: [ -> ]Hi, I was reading something on the internet... .

And this is the internet. 

Talk to a priest.
(04-20-2019, 11:15 PM)Bonaventure Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-20-2019, 07:58 PM)NattyNat1230 Wrote: [ -> ]Hi, I was reading something on the internet... .

And this is the internet. 

Talk to a priest.
Well, to be fair, we have people on here who would give really good, in-depth responses that would clear things up for her, like MagisterMusicae.
(04-20-2019, 07:58 PM)NattyNat1230 Wrote: [ -> ]Hi, I was reading something on the internet about how in the past priests could not forgive abortion as it was a reserved sin and it needed to be forgiven by the bishops or priests. I got scared and started to read about other reserved sins and it came up to say heresy, schism, apostasy and ext are reserved. Is this true? Can Priests forgive all sins?

The Sacrament of Penance is essentially a judgement (a trial).

A priest receives by ordination the sacramental power to act as judge, akin to the election of a lawyer as a member of the judiciary. 

Judges in the civil courts are given a certain power to hear certain cases. Certain judges, like the family court judge, cannot hear murder cases or felonies, but must only judge matters of civil actions in family cases. Likewise an appeals court cannot usually hear cases in the first instance. Also certain judges are restricted to certain areas and people, and cannot judge others. Each has a certain jurisdiction. It is the same in the Church. 

A priest needs two powers to absolve a penitent. Firstly he needs the power of orders (the sacramental power), but then he also needs the power to judge a particular soul and also particular sins (called jurisdiction). The first comes by ordination. The latter come from the Pope, and then through the local bishops.

The validity of an absolution depends on this jurisdiction, so without it a person cannot be validly absolved. The Church supplies this jurisdiction (not the power of orders) where there is factual or legal common error. 

A deacon or layman who pretends to absolve can never be supplied the power of orders sufficient to give absolution. If the man on the other side of the curtain was not a priest, it's not a confession. No amount of good will fixes this

A priest who does not have jurisdiction, however, could be given the power by the law because of error or doubt. The classic case is if a priest without jurisdiction (even if he knows he lacks it) presents himself in what appears to be a Catholic church to a common man to hear confessions. The reasonable man would assume that he must somehow have the power to hear confessions, so that creates a legal common error, and the Church supplies jurisdiction.

A distinction has to be made between sins and penalties (imposed by the church). Penalties need to be removed before sins can be forgiven. Most sins and penalties can be absolved by all priests, but some are particularly serious, so the Church has decided that they will be reserved and only certain priest will have jurisdiction to absolve them. Other priest will need to obtain this power in individual cases by asking the authorities with the power.

Certain excommunications, interdicts or suspensions are reserved. Certain sins are also reserved. A normal parish priest cannot absolve certain penalties or sins without getting the power. Often it is given, by simply writing to the competent authority using an anonymous name for the penitent. If there is sorrow and purpose of amendment, it would not be refused and the authority must give the power or provide a means for the person to confess to someone with the power. In danger of death, or where there is urgent and grave need, the priest can invoke this urgency and absolve with supplied jurisdiction, but is then required to inform the authority he has done this within a certain time. If he does not the sins are still forgiven, but the penalty will return.

The excommunication for abortion effectu secuto (where the actual death of the child is a direct result of the action), is reserved to the local bishop. However, most bishops have given their priests the faculties to absolve this without recourse. Some have not and instead provide certain confessors for this. Each diocese will be different, and the local priests will know. The Pope gave SSPX priest these faculties.

When it comes to automatic penalties, one has to know there is a penalty attached, know he is violating a law, and then commit the grave sin. He must be 16 or older when the crime was committed and fully responsible.

Since at present all reserved sins are also attached to reserved penalties, jurisdiction to absolve the penalty also comes with jurisdiction to absolve the sin. It is possible that a bishop or the Pope could reserve certain sins where there were not penalties attached.

As far as what you need to know, if you've sinned, confess to a priest, he will fill you in on what you need to do if any of what you say requires him to get jurisdiction. Leave the ball in his court, unless there's a reason to distrust him.