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Confession is good for the soul?

Religion and Philosophy
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we are introducing this on a trial basis and that respect for other's views is important e.g. phrases like "your imaginary friend" or "you will go to hell" are not appropriate
beeswax
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Confession is good for the soul?

#67876

Postby beeswax » July 17th, 2017, 12:32 pm

So its said...

But is that true? For religious people it can be probably and even the non religious are seen to benefit when we can clear and get things of our minds that troubles us possibly on a daily basis. Psychiatry seems to be part of this and so anyone any opinions on this? Of course the Catholic Church has its confessionals with a Priest and people do say they feel better when they have done that and so who can say its not good for the soul whatever that means to the non religious?

Penance anyone? I know my wife gives me hell if I have forgotten to buy some things she asked me to get...;)

GrandOiseau
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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#67881

Postby GrandOiseau » July 17th, 2017, 1:02 pm

"Confessing" means you deal with the situation and move on. Holding on to secrets will invariably cause feelings of stress, regret, a burden.

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68423

Postby bungeejumper » July 19th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Psychiatry seems to be part of this

I think you probably mean psychotherapy rather than psychiatry, but I get your point. My wife is a psychotherapist at what you might call the deep and heavy end of the trade - her clients are usually messed up in some very creative ways ;) , and it can really help them to spit out whatever's on their minds so that they can move on with their lives.

Sometimes they might not even recollect what it is that's holding them back! and it can take a lot of slow and patient work to find the source of their problems. But once it's been spoken out loud, and properly acknowledged, the way is generally open to set it all behind them.

Does that sound a bit mystical? A bit airy-fairy? I can understand that, but honestly, that's how it's done, and as a rule it works.

The difference, of course, is that there's no religious element involved there, and that what they're "confessing" might not be their fault. The cause of the problem might be something that somebody else has done to them! And let's remember that they're not asking anyone to absolve them. That will be a crucial difference for a Christian.

I have no religious convictions myself, but I did once manage to 'talk' my way out of a depressive spiral by simply writing some difficult and confusing stuff down and then reading it over and over and over again until I'd come to terms with it. A sort of auto-confession, if you like. That worked as well! ;)

The time I get bothered is when I see someone who's cheating on his wife, cheating his customers, and generally behaving like a Christian shouldn't - and who then goes into confession and comes out feeling all washed clean so that he can do it all over again. It's all very well accepting that we poor sinful humans are lost and weak and misguided, but if confession becomes a substitute for making real change,s then that makes the whole thing rather a waste of time.

BJ

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68427

Postby Dod1010 » July 19th, 2017, 5:29 pm

BJ

You should note that all Catholics are Christians but not all Christians are Catholics. It is only the Catholics (as far as I know) who go to confessional to seek absolution. In the Reformed Tradition essentially the Protestants, there is no such thing as the confessional so when you write of Christians you should really say Catholics. That is not just pedantry. It is why we had the Reformation.

Dod

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68430

Postby bungeejumper » July 19th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Dod1010 wrote:You should note that all Catholics are Christians but not all Christians are Catholics. It is only the Catholics (as far as I know) who go to confessional to seek absolution.

Well yes, I was assuming that everybody else knew that as well. It was one of the things that our Anglican priest had to juggle very carefully when he assured us Sunday Schoolers that the Church of England was a Catholic church. Eventually we got the hang of it.

That is not just pedantry. It is why we had the Reformation.

There were a lot of reasons why we had the Reformation, such as transubstantiation. But I'll leave that to those who care about such things. Peace.

BJ

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68452

Postby beeswax » July 19th, 2017, 6:26 pm

Good points there and mentioning about Christians getting 'absolved' or think the term is 'forgiven' and getting the right side of God in the process and a great point about all Christians not being Catholics but not sure what non Catholics would make of the NT text where Jesus said to his disciples that whatever is forgiven on earth will be forgiven in heaven and what is not forgiven on earth will not not be..Not sure how Protestants deal with that and so maybe they would get forgiven by their Anglican Priest or Pastor if someone asks them to? Its a mess and why many Priests used that as an excuse to carry on abusing kids and then no doubt thinking God was forgiving them each time. They of course seem to ignore the other saying of Jesus that anyone who harms the little ones, it would be better had they not been born and that blows a huge hole in the Church's teaching that ALL sins are forgiven by God and any deathbed conversion as well.

What is clear is the Catholic Church used that statement by Jesus a a great way of getting money from the rich and powerful including Kings and Queens in the past and even the Crusades was a means of coercion by the Church and shows how powerful it was back then. I'm glad to say its almost an irrelevance today. If Islam could just learn the same lessons we would be making progress.

May I ask if being a Psychotherapist and dealing with people's problems can be very depressing and many go on to commit suicide or leave their profession and indeed why some Doctors do that too as all they are doing is seeing 'sick' people?

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68544

Postby bungeejumper » July 20th, 2017, 8:54 am

beeswax wrote:May I ask if being a Psychotherapist and dealing with people's problems can be very depressing and many go on to commit suicide or leave their profession and indeed why some Doctors do that too as all they are doing is seeing 'sick' people?

Sorry Beeswax, a short answer (because my computer swallowed my long one). :evil:

Yes, it can be a professional strain for a psychotherapist to have all that grief loaded onto their heads every day, and they need to have channels through which they can get rid of it, or at least dilute it to the point where it becomes bearable. Properly qualified therapists spend a few hours a week 'counselling' each other! (The technical term is "supervision" - I call it "jobs for the girls" when I'm being flippant.)

Nothing flippant about the need, though. Psychotherapists spend their days with people who are right on the edge. Some clients have had dreadful things done to them, and others are themselves the perpetrators. (Yes, the courts will sometimes send clients for assessment, or as a last-minute alternative to prison.) One of my wife's colleagues was counselling a woman who walked out of the session and went home and murdered her 11 year old son - you can imagine what the therapist felt like? And it's worse still for Samaritans call staff (who aren't psychotherapists), and who have to reckon with the possibility that every phone call might be followed by tragedy. :|

Some psychotherapy clients are there because they're considering gender reassignment, which can be a personal challenge for some counsellors. But most are ordinary people dealing with extraordinary stresses - damage, bereavement, break-ups, bullying, and (yes) incapacitating guilt. A properly set up service will provide enough backup to get the staff through what may often be a very tough professional experience. I am pretty proud of my wife.

BJ

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#68595

Postby beeswax » July 20th, 2017, 11:58 am

bungeejumper wrote:
beeswax wrote:May I ask if being a Psychotherapist and dealing with people's problems can be very depressing and many go on to commit suicide or leave their profession and indeed why some Doctors do that too as all they are doing is seeing 'sick' people?

Sorry Beeswax, a short answer (because my computer swallowed my long one). :evil:

Yes, it can be a professional strain for a psychotherapist to have all that grief loaded onto their heads every day, and they need to have channels through which they can get rid of it, or at least dilute it to the point where it becomes bearable. Properly qualified therapists spend a few hours a week 'counselling' each other! (The technical term is "supervision" - I call it "jobs for the girls" when I'm being flippant.)

Nothing flippant about the need, though. Psychotherapists spend their days with people who are right on the edge. Some clients have had dreadful things done to them, and others are themselves the perpetrators. (Yes, the courts will sometimes send clients for assessment, or as a last-minute alternative to prison.) One of my wife's colleagues was counselling a woman who walked out of the session and went home and murdered her 11 year old son - you can imagine what the therapist felt like? And it's worse still for Samaritans call staff (who aren't psychotherapists), and who have to reckon with the possibility that every phone call might be followed by tragedy. :|

Some psychotherapy clients are there because they're considering gender reassignment, which can be a personal challenge for some counsellors. But most are ordinary people dealing with extraordinary stresses - damage, bereavement, break-ups, bullying, and (yes) incapacitating guilt. A properly set up service will provide enough backup to get the staff through what may often be a very tough professional experience. I am pretty proud of my wife.

BJ


Many thanks for that BJ, very illuminating and another world out there and brilliant there are people like your wife that will take it on and so agree you can be very proud of her...

ATB

Mike

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#69352

Postby GJHarney » July 24th, 2017, 10:45 pm

Some sort of confession is common in many religions, even the more extreme Calvinist Protestants do it, it is just that they cut out the middle man (priest) and go straight to God to confess their sins. Needless to say the CofE half-way house (between the Catholic Church and Protestantism) does it in a corporatist manner via a number of set collective services, which is befitting of a nationalised industry (Henry's conversion to the Protestant cause was very much political and economic rather than theological, and with the dissolution of the monasteries providing a massive financial windfall for the English state it was pretty naked in its economic drivers).

It is interesting though that the rise of psychotherapy seems to mirror the decline in the role of the Catholic style confessional in modern life. In mental health terms that probably isn't coincidental, although equally I doubt that the lonely atomised individual in the middle of a crowd that is all too common in modern capitalist society was a concept that would have been understood in the middle ages, and where confession was I think far more linked to a form of social control rather than private individual mental wellbeing.

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#137214

Postby bruncher » May 6th, 2018, 8:20 am

The thread is quite old, but I read it this morning and thinking that perhaps the word catharsis could be helpful. So we could ask: Is confession cathartic?

I would agree that holding secrets can be unhealthy, make someone unwell, depressed etc. and that the pathological secret could be (1) personal guilt of culpability of something bad done to someone; (2) something witnessed but never spoken of; (3) something suffered and silence imposed by the perpetrator or family/community.

Sometimes someone has forgotten the secret, or repressed it, and this is where psychotherapy can be particularly useful - where someone feels there's something wrong and they are depressed or anxious, but they do not know why.

In my experience, Anglican clergy do offer confession, but the sacrament of confession has a higher profile in the Roman Catholic church. Interestingly, in the early church, confession was communal/congregational rather than private and confidential.

As to whether 'all Catholics are Christians', I would defer to Kierkegaard who asks "Are there any Christians in Christendom"? There is institutional and cultural Christianity, but are the participants Christians?

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Re: Confession is good for the soul?

#141119

Postby beeswax » May 25th, 2018, 12:33 am

bruncher wrote:The thread is quite old, but I read it this morning and thinking that perhaps the word catharsis could be helpful. So we could ask: Is confession cathartic?

I would agree that holding secrets can be unhealthy, make someone unwell, depressed etc. and that the pathological secret could be (1) personal guilt of culpability of something bad done to someone; (2) something witnessed but never spoken of; (3) something suffered and silence imposed by the perpetrator or family/community.

Sometimes someone has forgotten the secret, or repressed it, and this is where psychotherapy can be particularly useful - where someone feels there's something wrong and they are depressed or anxious, but they do not know why.

In my experience, Anglican clergy do offer confession, but the sacrament of confession has a higher profile in the Roman Catholic church. Interestingly, in the early church, confession was communal/congregational rather than private and confidential.

As to whether 'all Catholics are Christians', I would defer to Kierkegaard who asks "Are there any Christians in Christendom"? There is institutional and cultural Christianity, but are the participants Christians?


Yes its an old thread, just like the Old Testament and even the New...;)

Jesus didn't actually start a new religion as he was preaching the OT law and rituals where he himself allowed his disciples to buy a lamb to sacrifice at the Temple at the passover and therefore Paul and others claiming Jesus was the lamb of God who's death was an atonement for human sin and is the only way to heaven and appease an angry and vengeful God was clearly nonsense. The Church held the power of heaven and hell over human souls and human dignity and made them subservient to them. The confessional was a great way to hold sway over people with an assumed and misguided power of forgiveness. It was also a great way to raise money to finance their luxurious buildings like the Vatican and Palaces and gave them a better living than most of their congregations.

ie Followers of Jesus should be Jewish and there should be no NEW testament...

I remain convinced that the whole lot was a means of subjugation and was and is a bunch of untruths without one ounce of evidence and all so called holy text written or conveyed at the time by ignorant men, including Jesus, with NO special insight or access to any heavenly entity...50 years a Christian repenting his ignorance and his innocence.. ;)

Jesus said quite clearly they were all living in the end days when God would judge the world and he Jesus would be coming back in his generational timescale...

That never happened but the Church keeps preaching that tale..Vested interests spring to mind!


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