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Can mortal sins be forgiven without confessing before the priest? Are mortal sins only ever forgiven through confession in a church?
I've heard different explanations about this from Orthodox Christians. I'm also curious if Eastern Catholics have a legal view of forgiveness as do Roman Catholics. Hopefully, you all can enlighten me!

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I don't understand what you mean. Mortal sins CAN be forgiven without confessing to a priest.
Like, when you're about to die, and there's no priest available.

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Right. I think my question is more broadly: do we go to confession because it gives us a sense of psychological freedom or because we see it necessary for the forgiveness of sins?

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Christ is in our midst!!

We go to Confession to hear the FACT that we are forgiven by one who has the authority, granted by Christ to his successors, to forgive or to retain sins. We go to Confession to be challenged in the things we do. We go to Confession to be assured of God's mercy. We go to Confession so we don't fall into the altogether human habit of forgiving ourselves and overlooking areas that need to have the Light of Christ shown on them. We go to Confession for humility--just as Christ humbled Himself before sinners. We go to Confession for all these reasons, but most of all, to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us through his instrument, the priest.

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Christ is in our midst!!

I go to confession because I believe that it IS NECESSARY FOR ME. I know who I am. I know how dark it can be inside where I live. I know I need the Light of Christ to shine in here and let me see the things I gloss over or am ignorant of--because of spiritual immaturity. I need another person to show me the habits I routinely think of as "normal" to be called out by my confessor. I go to confession to someone who knows me, challenges me, and gives me a rough time on occasion.

We have a saying in my family: "This life is NOT a dress rehearsal; this is it."

I go to confession to "get it right" or at least to get back on track. I go to confession to have my spiritual father help me do that. I go to confession because it is said that "there are no rugged individualists in Christianity." We are saved individually but in community. I go to confession to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit gives each of us some gifts, but not ALL His gifts. So I go to confession to have someone who has other gifts and discernments use those to help me.

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St. Theophan, theophan's namesake, wrote about this. we need to HEAR that we are truly forgiven by God, through His Priest. We CAN repent alone in our rooms, we can shed tears over our sins, we can do this and that. We CAN repent without a Priest, but we need to be assured of this, through SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION, or else we will never really be at peace.


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