THE SINFUL TALK OF SIN
Without the concept of sin, the sacrament of reconciliation has no meaning. If there is no sin, then, there is no need to reconcile! Monica Hellwig expresses this intrinsic link between the concepts of sin and reconciliation within the Christian tradition when she says that the sacrament of reconciliation “can be meaningful only if there is an authentic understanding of the pervasive need to ‘turn’ from one’s sins. In other words, the meaning of the sacrament of penance is dependent upon an understanding of the meaning of sin.”
This article was originally published in Polish language in Homo Dei 297.4 (Sept-Oct 2010) 24-36.
Monica Hellwig, Sign of Reconciliation and Conversion: The Sacrament of Penance for Our Times, (Revised Edition), Delaware: Michael Glazier Inc., 1984.
Pope John Paul II, Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (1984).
Bernard Häring, Free and Faithful in Christ: Moral Theology for Priests and Laity, Vol.1, Slough: St. Paul Publications, 1978.
John Mahoney, The Making of Moral Theology: A Study of the Roman Catholic Tradition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.
Thomas J. Gumbleton, “Peacemaking as a Way of Life,” in John A. Coleman (ed.), One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Thought: Celebration and Challenge, New York: Orbis Books, 1991.
Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, Vol. XXIII (Final Writings), translated by Joseph Donceel and Hugh M. Riley, New York: Crossroad, 1992.
Ladislas Orsy, “General Absolution: New Law, Old Traditions, Some Questions”, Theological Studies 45 (1984) 678. See also, Canon 989 of the Code of Canon Law (1983).
Pope John Paul II, Misericordia Dei (2002).
The Pontifical Council for the Family, Vade Mecum for Confessors Concerning some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, as re-produced in Origins 26.38 (March 13, 1997).
Louis Vereecke, Da Gulielmo D’Ockham A Sant’Alfonso De Liguori, Milano: Edizioni Paoline, 1990.
Gerald Coleman, Human Sexuality: An All-Embracing Gift, New York: Alba House, 1992.
Sean Fagan, “Whatever Happened to Sin?” Reality, September 2008.
Pontifical Council for the Family, Vade Mecum for Confessors Concerning some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life, as re-produced in Origins 26.38 (March 13, 1997).
Ladislas Orsy, “Reviving the Sacrament of Penance: a Proposal”, Doctrine of Life 54.6 (July-August 2004).