58 To None Is It Permitted To Seek Absolution From Another Soul #34
Baha'u'llah prohibits confession to, and seeking absolution of one's sins
from, a human being. Instead one should beg forgiveness from God. In the
Tablet of Bisharat, He states that such confession before people
results in one's humiliation and abasement, and He affirms that God
wisheth not the humiliation of His servants.
Shoghi Effendi sets the prohibition into context. His secretary has
written on his behalf that we
...are forbidden to confess to any person, as do the Catholics to
their priests, our sins and shortcomings, or to do so in public,
as some religious sects do. However, if we spontaneously desire to
acknowledge we have been wrong in something, or that we have some
fault of character, and ask another person's forgiveness or
pardon, we are quite free to do so.
The Universal House of Justice has also clarified that Baha'u'llah's
prohibition concerning the confession of sins does not prevent an
individual from admitting transgressions in the course of consultations
held under the aegis of Baha'i institutions. Likewise, it does not
preclude the possibility of seeking advice from a close friend or of a
professional counsellor regarding such matters.
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