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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

82- How Dare The Priest Grant Absolution In The Presence Of God, While Forgiveness Is A Divine Right

 

Objection

[15] Some May Object And Say How Dare The Priest Grant Absolution In The Presence Of God, While Forgiveness Is A Divine Right

We could respond by quoting 2 examples from the Scriptures.

[16] The Priest Is Not Self Appointed, But He Is Empowered By God

(Mat 18:18) "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

(John 20:23) "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

[17] The Example Of Nathan Absolving David

St-Takla.org Image: Coptic icon of David the prophet and king. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية تصور داود النبي والملك.

St-Takla.org Image: Coptic icon of David the prophet and king.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية تصور داود النبي والملك.

(2 Sam 12:13) And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

[18] Here I Remind You With Another Fitting Biblical Example

(Isa 6:1-4) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. {2} Above it stood Seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. {3} And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" {4} And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

Here we can clearly observe the Lord on His Throne, The Seraphim around Him and the posts of the doors were shaken.

And here Isaiah is shaken to the core in awe and trembling saying and crying:

(Isa 6:5) So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

The Seraphim could not bear his utterance I am undone!, so what was the action and the result?

(Isa 6:6-7) Then one of the Seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. {7} And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged."

Here -In the presence of God- Isaiah was granted absolution by one of the Seraphim, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. The absolution was granted by the mouth of the Seraphim and not Gods.

This was a symbol of the Church angel (the priest) who has the authority to say your sins are purged.

Are we in a position to question actions of the Seraphim? Is it possible to say to the Seraphim It was not proper for you to absolve Isaiah in the presence of God?

David the Psalmist says:

(Psa 103:20) Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.


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