Can converts receive the Sacrament of Confession?
#1
I can't get a straight answer on this. I'm a convert attending an SSPX parrish and my priest says that I can go to confession if I want but that I can't receive absolution. Online there doesn't seem to be any real consensus about this. I read the thread yesterday about how many go to hell and I have had a very sinful life. I've been to confession before, about 3 months ago. 
     If I do go should I tell the priest that I am a convert but not yet Catholic?
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#2
(04-13-2021, 12:24 PM)convert145 Wrote: I can't get a straight answer on this. I'm a convert attending an SSPX parrish and my priest says that I can go to confession if I want but that I can't receive absolution. Online there doesn't seem to be any real consensus about this. I read the thread yesterday about how many go to hell and I have had a very sinful life. I've been to confession before, about 3 months ago. 
     If I do go should I tell the priest that I am a convert but not yet Catholic?
Sounds like you're a catechuman, not a "convert".  Once you are officially received into the Church via baptism and/or confirmation, you will then be a "convert" and then you may confess and receive absolution.

And yes...if you go to confession before you're received into the Church, DO tell the priest that you are a catechuman, not yet Catholic.
"I'm an old man now and have had a great many problems.  Most of them never happened."~ Mark Twain

"Compassion and justice in one soul are as a man adoring God and idols in one house." -St. Isaac of Syria

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug."~Mark Knopfler (?)
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#3
(04-13-2021, 12:27 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:24 PM)convert145 Wrote: I can't get a straight answer on this. I'm a convert attending an SSPX parrish and my priest says that I can go to confession if I want but that I can't receive absolution. Online there doesn't seem to be any real consensus about this. I read the thread yesterday about how many go to hell and I have had a very sinful life. I've been to confession before, about 3 months ago. 
     If I do go should I tell the priest that I am a convert but not yet Catholic?
Sounds like you're a catechuman, not a "convert".  Once you are officially received into the Church via baptism and/or confirmation, you will then be a "convert" and then you may confess and receive absolution.

And yes...if you go to confession before you're received into the Church, DO tell the priest that you are a catechuman, not yet Catholic.
I am baptized but not fully brought into the Church. I didn't know if the term "catechumen" was only for people in RCIA which I'm not doing anymore. Just one on one with a priest. It's just so uncomfortable to be told I can't receive absolution in confession because I understand the sacrament and desperately want it ASAP.
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#4
(04-13-2021, 12:34 PM)convert145 Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:27 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:24 PM)convert145 Wrote: I can't get a straight answer on this. I'm a convert attending an SSPX parrish and my priest says that I can go to confession if I want but that I can't receive absolution. Online there doesn't seem to be any real consensus about this. I read the thread yesterday about how many go to hell and I have had a very sinful life. I've been to confession before, about 3 months ago. 
     If I do go should I tell the priest that I am a convert but not yet Catholic?
Sounds like you're a catechuman, not a "convert".  Once you are officially received into the Church via baptism and/or confirmation, you will then be a "convert" and then you may confess and receive absolution.

And yes...if you go to confession before you're received into the Church, DO tell the priest that you are a catechuman, not yet Catholic.
I am baptized but not fully brought into the Church. I didn't know if the term "catechumen" was only for people in RCIA which I'm not doing anymore. Just one on one with a priest. It's just so uncomfortable to be told I can't receive absolution in confession because I understand the sacrament and desperately want it ASAP.
You are still a catechuman, until officially received into the Church, in your case via Confirmation, assuming that your baptism is recognized by the Church.

I sympathize with you about your discomfort, but the spiritual life is often replete with it.  When you are confirmed you will be able to receive absolution after confession.
"I'm an old man now and have had a great many problems.  Most of them never happened."~ Mark Twain

"Compassion and justice in one soul are as a man adoring God and idols in one house." -St. Isaac of Syria

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug."~Mark Knopfler (?)
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#5
(04-13-2021, 12:33 PM)Pandora Wrote: If you are not yet confirmed, that is to say officially received into the Church, you are not yet Catholic.  The priest was 100% correct to advise you that you may confess (if a priest would be willing to hear it), but wouldn’t receive absolution.

I believe there might possibly be “life and death” situations where there would be an exception, but again, that is not the rule.

May I ask when you expect to be received into the Church?  It sounds like you may be receiving RCIA instruction, or equivalent private instruction from this priest.

If you’re having trouble finding answers about Catholicism, this is always a good place to start:
https://www.catholicity.com/baltimore-catechism/

     I'm in the process of instruction with a priest but we are only able to meet once a week. He hasn't given me any particular timetable but I am anxious to proceed. I've been attending mass regularly for a little over a year and am fairly well catechized I think. Most of my info has been from the Baltimore Catechism and this site as well as whatever personal questions for my priest.
     I spent a few months in an RCIA program at a NO parish but it was taught by a divorced female EM and some of the teachings were bizarre. "Fear of the Lord is mistranslation and an outdated way of thinking..." Etc. 
     So I found this SSPX parrish and have been one on one with the priest for a few months. I just want to Confess and to take the Eucharist. I don't want to rush anything inappropriately but I am worried about my soul and my family's souls.
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#6
(04-13-2021, 12:39 PM)Pandora Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:34 PM)convert145 Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:27 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(04-13-2021, 12:24 PM)convert145 Wrote: I can't get a straight answer on this. I'm a convert attending an SSPX parrish and my priest says that I can go to confession if I want but that I can't receive absolution. Online there doesn't seem to be any real consensus about this. I read the thread yesterday about how many go to hell and I have had a very sinful life. I've been to confession before, about 3 months ago. 
     If I do go should I tell the priest that I am a convert but not yet Catholic?
Sounds like you're a catechuman, not a "convert".  Once you are officially received into the Church via baptism and/or confirmation, you will then be a "convert" and then you may confess and receive absolution.

And yes...if you go to confession before you're received into the Church, DO tell the priest that you are a catechuman, not yet Catholic.
I am baptized but not fully brought into the Church. I didn't know if the term "catechumen" was only for people in RCIA which I'm not doing anymore. Just one on one with a priest. It's just so uncomfortable to be told I can't receive absolution in confession because I understand the sacrament and desperately want it ASAP.

Unfortunately, that’s part of being obedient.  If, heaven forbid, you should die before your first confession, the Lord would know of your sincere desire for the sacrament.  It is nothing to despair about.
You're right, and I just went to Confession anyways, telling the priest that I was a baptized catechumen. I feel better, but I'm still anxious to become Catholic. If I had just stayed in the RCIA program I would already be confirmed. Pray for me and my family, please.
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#7
Your situation reminds me of this section on Baptism in the Catechism of the Council of Trent:

"On adults, however, the Church has not been accustomed to confer the Sacrament of Baptism at
once, but has ordained that it be deferred for a certain time. The delay is not attended with the
same danger as in the case of infants, which we have already mentioned; should any unforeseen
accident make it impossible for adults to be washed in the salutary waters, their intention and
determination to receive Baptism and their repentance for past sins, will avail them to grace and
righteousness."


Although you were previously Baptized it seems fitting that this apply to you as well seeing as you are not fully integrated into the Church. You could also bring your concerns to the priest. 

Here is a PDF of the Catechism of the Council of Trent if you are interested. https://www.catholicsociety.com/document..._Trent.pdf
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#8
No, Confirmation is not what turns a baptised non-Catholic into a Catholic. It is the public profession of faith and abjuration of errors that makes you a become a Catholic. The normal order is confession, absolution from excommunication, absolution from sin, public profession of faith (this is usually the Creed of Pius IV with the SSPX, it was for me) and abjuration of heresy, and then you're a Catholic. Then you can (normally) receive your first Holy Communion and receive Confirmation, but you will be a Catholic before that happens.

The order is the same in the Novus Ordo but the public profession is much shortened and there is no explicit abjuration of heresy.

This is if your Baptism is judged valid. For determining the validity of your Baptism, trust the priest. If your Baptism was doubtful, an SSPX priest will usually give conditional Baptism. That's usually in private with two witnesses, and it's just the sacramental form, no other ceremonies.

For a Catholic who has not received solemn Baptism, it is possible to get the rites of solemn Baptism (that is, everything except the sacrament itself) supplied at a later occasion.
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#9
(04-13-2021, 02:52 PM)Pandora Wrote: As an aside, I’d like to put out there that despite how we may personally feel about reverence, respect, etc., people confirmed in the Novus Ordo are really, truly confirmed.  Just as we cannot be re-baptized, we cannot be re-confirmed.  Maybe we would have preferred it be performed by Fr. Trad Tradderson in the traditional form instead of Fr. Jimmy No-Last-Name, but our preference does not make the sacrament.


I think this is going to start a firestorm, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway: NO sacraments are efficacious, provided, as with any rite or use, they are done with the intent to perform the sacraments.
Why would anyone seriously not believe this? If you're bringing this up in response to me deciding not to do RCIA it's not that I didn't think I could become Catholic that way, I just didn't want to sit through a bunch of heresy in the meantime. I'm by no means a know-it-all or a "more Catholic than the pope" trad or anything, I just deeply trust my SSPX priests understanding and desire to empart the Catholic Faith to my wife and I, where the woman who taught RCIA in the NO parish was much more suspect to me, inherently, as well as in the things taught in that class.
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#10
(04-13-2021, 03:45 PM)convert145 Wrote: Why would anyone seriously not believe this? If you're bringing this up in response to me deciding not to do RCIA it's not that I didn't think I could become Catholic that way, I just didn't want to sit through a bunch of heresy in the meantime. I'm by no means a know-it-all or a "more Catholic than the pope" trad or anything, I just deeply trust my SSPX priests understanding and desire to empart the Catholic Faith to my wife and I, where the woman who taught RCIA in the NO parish was much more suspect to me, inherently, as well as in the things taught in that class.

Many in the SSPX reject the validity of some Novus Ordo sacraments. This is not the official position of the Society, but it doesn't stop people. That may have been what the other poster was responding to.
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