Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Humanly Impossible Absolute Guarantees"

So, I found this vademecum for confessors from the Vatican, which says something that would seem to favor (whether they intended it that way or not) my view that "living in sin" is an arbitrary category and a false double-standard. It seems to lend some official weight to my interpretation that someone in such a situation could still confess and commune "between" falls like anyone else, that their sins should be addressed only as the discreet individual acts which are sinful as opposed to their whole life-state, and that the benefit of the doubt given and burden of proof put on them regarding the strength of their resolution not to do it again shouldn't be any different than for "normal" sinners:
Sacramental absolution is not to be denied to those who, repentant after having gravely sinned against conjugal chastity, demonstrate the desire to strive to abstain from sinning again, notwithstanding relapses. In accordance with the approved doctrine and practice followed by the holy Doctors and confessors with regard to habitual penitents, the confessor is to avoid demonstrating lack of trust either in the grace of God or in the dispositions of the penitent by exacting humanly impossible absolute guarantees of an irreproachable future conduct.

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