Clergy Penitent Privilege

by lastmanstanding 15 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • lastmanstanding

    This privilege is not biblical.

    Neither is it supported is any JW teaching or publication.

    The Catholic Church invented it, and its primary use is.... drum roll please...


    Do Jehovah’s Witness elders, who seek the same invented privilege, also grant absolution?

    If a JW elder hears “a sacred confession” then he must also grant absolution, absolving the sinner of his crimes.... er... sin.

  • Tameria2001

    I really don't see how the Watchtower can even say that they are protected under the clergy penitent privilege when in all their publications they say they DO NOT have a clergy class, and if a person made the mistake of saying clergy, regarding the elders, someone would quickly correct them about it.

  • lastmanstanding


    Definition: A declaration or an acknowledgment, either publicly or in private, (1) of what a person believes or (2) of his sins.

    Is the rite of reconciliation, including auricular confession (personal confession into the ear of a priest), as taught by the Catholic Church Scriptural?

    Sins that can be forgiven

    “The Church has always taught that every sin, no matter how serious, can be forgiven.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia (bearing the nihil obstat and the imprimatur), R. C. Broderick (Nashville, Tenn.; 1976), p. 554.

    Heb. 10:26, JB: “If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them.”

    Mark 3:29, JB: “Let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

    How penance is to be shown

    Frequently the confessor directs that the penitent say a specified number of “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys.”

    Matt. 6:7, JB: “In your prayers do not babble [that is, utter in a meaninglessly repetitious manner] as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.”

    Matt. 6:9-12, JB: “You should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, . . . forgive us our debts.’” (Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to pray to or through Mary. See Philippians 4:6, also pages 258, 259, under “Mary.”)

    Rom. 12:9, JB: “Do not let your love be a pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil.”

    In the confession box itself the procedure is not in accord with the counsel of Christ, and consequently not conducted by men who show by obedience that they are priests of God. When the penitent enters the confession box she says, “Bless me, father, for I have sinned.” She has been instructed to begin in that way. To whom is she speaking? Ask any Catholic and he will assure you that the priest is being spoken to, of course. Yet Jesus showed that the practice is wrong. He said: “Call none your father upon earth: for one is your father, who is in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9, Dy) Those who ignore his counsel do not act for him.

    Where, then, did this practice of auricular (“in the ear”) confession originate? Alexander Hislop shows that in ancient Babylon and Greece secret confession to a priest was required of all who were admitted to the Mysteries, with questions on morals being asked that are comparable to the ones asked in the confessional today. The pretense was that confession was needed to purge the conscience of guilt in order to avoid the wrath of the gods. The fact is that it gave great power to the pagan priesthood over the lives of those who came to them and were required to divulge their inmost thoughts. The doctrine of penance was reconfirmed in the Roman Catholic Church by the Council of Trent in 1551, and again it has served to give the clergy tremendous power over the lives of men.

    As to another aspect of confession, perhaps you have read recent headlines, such as, “Vatican Reforms Confessional​—Less About Sex, More on Taxes.” As is widely known, Roman Catholics are expected to confess serious sin to a priest authorized to “absolve” sins. The Council of Trent in 1551 decreed “that sacramental confession is of divine origin and necessary for salvation by divine law. . . . The Council emphasized the justification and necessity of auricular [told in the ear, private] confession as practiced in the Church ‘from the beginning.’”​—New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 132.

  • lastmanstanding

    Jehovah’s Witness do not believe is “sacred confession” and their publications condemn it.

    Why has no lawyer argued against JWs being granted the privilege when they preach against it.

  • lastmanstanding

    Most Protestant churches deny the need for private confession to a priest. They hold that confession to God is sufficient for the forgiveness of sins, but some favor general confession and absolution at the “Communion service.” Many Protestants believe that faith alone is necessary to be justified before God.

  • lastmanstanding

    When did the modern practice of confession begin? Religion in the Medieval West states: “A new form of penance was introduced in France in the late sixth century by Celtic monks. . . . This was auricular confession, in which the penitent confessed his sins privately to a priest, and it was an adaption of the monastic practice of spiritual counselling.” According to the older monastic practice, the monks confessed their sins to one another to get spiritual help in order to overcome their weaknesses. In newer auricular confession, however, the church claimed for the priest the much greater “power or authority to forgive sins.”​—New Catholic Encyclopedia.

    Did Jesus really give some of his followers such power? What did he say that has led some to this conclusion?

  • sir82

    Not to mention, when a JW "penitent" "confesses" to a member of the JW "clergy" about child abuse, the intimate details are shared with

    -- All others on the local body of elders

    -- the CO

    -- An unknown number of members of Bethel's service department

    -- An unknown number of members of Bethel' legal department

    -- An unknown number of attorneys at any outside law firm the WTS may choose to enlist

    -- And last but not least, at least 50% of the wives of all of these "unknown numbers"

    I.e., JW "confessions" are potentially known and freely discussed by possibly dozens, possibly many dozens, of persons.

  • LongHairGal


    As far as the Catholic church’s holy mystique about their confessional: they should still be compelled to reveal crimes to the authorities. The question is: how do you prove what was said to any particular priest..and how do you make them come forward? When you are in a confessional there is a screen and you are anonymous. Unless somebody went for some counseling under different circumstances, the priest might not know who the person is.


    Amen to that. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is or ever was confidential in the Jehovah’s Witness religion.

    Every goddamned idiot there knows everything about everybody..If anybody confesses anything to an elder, it WILL be repeated!

    I ended up hearing confidential things that should never have been repeated. So shameful.

  • Vidiot

    re. the OP...

    ...deep down, the WTS has always unconsciously admired and emulated the RCC.

  • lastmanstanding

    I understand what people are saying but my big gripe is Watchtower seeking and finding and “out” with clergy privilege.

    Watchtower condemns the clergy’s role, yet they seek it for themselves. Why would today’s corrupt courts let Watchtower enjoy something that Watchtower condemns.

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