So, who is the bald guy in the dress?
Ahem! That is St. Thomas Aquinas, born in 1225 and died in 1274. He is widely considered the smartest man in the Western world since St. Augustine, who died in 430. Let’s show a little respect!

What is he talking about, “sin makes you stupid?”
He is making a very astute observation about the human condition. When we do things that we know to be wrong, we go into self-protection mode: we kid ourselves, rationalize, refuse to see things that contradict our predilections, and generally act like idiots.

Did he literally say that?
No. Actually, he said “sin darkens the intellect.” And a whole lot of other intelligent stuff too. Check out his Summa Theologica. (Don’t worry: only the title is in Latin. You can get it in English these days.)

I don’t even believe in sin. I don’t have to believe this Catholic stuff.
That’s true. You don’t have to believe it. Check it out for yourself. Watch and see: when people do something against their own value system, they quite often lose their minds. Unless and until they make amends.

I’m not Catholic, but I do believe in sin and the need for repentance. What does this have to do with me?
Non-Catholic Christians have a variety of methods for dealing with the problem of sin and repentance. Some churches recommend accountability partners, healing prayer and other practices that are based on Scripture and a sound understanding of the human condition. We encourage you to participate in these.

Wait: are you implying that “confession” is based on Scripture and a sound understanding of the human condition?

Explain, please.
The Biblical basis for confession to a priest can be found in John (20:22-23): Jesus said to the apostles the night of His resurrection, after He breathed on them: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Our friends at Catholic Answers offer more sources, including the Fathers of the Church.

Sacramental confession is based on a sound natural understanding of the human condition because it recognizes the power of speaking, out loud, to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. It is a very powerful, deeply personal and moving experience. We Catholics believe Our Lord knew we would sometimes need that personal connection.

Are you saying we can’t be forgiven unless we confess to a priest?
I wouldn’t dream of saying that. God is not bound by the sacraments: He can forgive anyone He wants, any time He wants. However, Catholics have no excuse for neglecting this great gift that He gave us through the ministry of the Catholic Church.

Still not convinced? Jesus is waiting for you long after the party's over.

Support the Ruth Institute

Real Estate for Life