Mages and confessions

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Taunya
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:38 am

To try to keep the other thread on topic, I thought we might discuss this here since it's worth dicussing.
The_Last_Good_Dragon wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:27 am
Helena wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:19 am
> No good Davite admits to being a mage and then doesn't turn themselves in to the Inquisition.

Well, that kind of sentence is an inquisitorial interpretation of the lore. There are other valid interpretations:
- though the mage is a good davite, and knows not being pyred will make him become a demon, his will is not strong enough to go to suicide. He may blame himself and seek penance constantly for that, but never find the strength to actually declare himself to the inquisition. He is a sinner, not a heretic.
- And his priest, remembering the Erra says that a penance cleanse "when the penance is accepted and undergone with an open heart", knows that as long as he does not desire the pyre, he will not reach the Fountis. In his desire to save his soul, he protects him from the inquisition to give him the time to desire the pyre, and does his best, during his confessions to convince him.

What I mean with that example is that the inquisitorial interpretation of the Lore is not an OOC truth. It is an IC point of view strengthen by the IC power of the inquisition. By considering it as an OOC truth, we are collectively limititating RP opportunities. I am feeling that is a kind of excess of the IC power of the inquisition on the OOC level, and I think it's not good for the game. That's why I am asking for a more strict usage of the term Heresy: sinners are not heretics. Believing in the Erra, but failing to obey it is not heresy, it's a sin. Heretic are those who don't believe in the Erra.
The only penance a Priest would give to a Mage is a Penance by Fire; a priest who applied any other penance would be breaking Davism and subject to Review themselves if word was found out. Players can choose to interpret that ICly as they wish, of course, but lore is crystal clear on that topic and a priest who advocates a dissension from this invites repurcussion. Also, a Davite who doesn't accept Penance with an open heart would invite a visit from the Inquisition, as (1) all members of the Kingdom are expected to be good Davites and (2) all good Davites would accept any penance that a Priest or Inquisitor gave them unless it clearly went against Davite Teachings (at which point the Good Davite would report the indiscretion up the chain of command).

Help sins and help confession are a little at odds with each other on the subject, but I believe the latter is more current.

                            Helpfile for Sins and Atonement

Sin is the term for behavior in Davism that works against the two
pillars of the faith: purity and goodness.  When an individual sins, they
are called by religious duty to confess their sin to a priest or priestess
and undergo cleansing, in order to wash the taint of their sin from their
soul.  Failure to do so promptly and with a willing heart can lead to
rejection from the Lord's presence after death, leaving one's soul cast out
as food for demons - a fate most wish to avoid.

As such, confession and the cleansing that goes along with it are feared at
times even by the most loyal Davites.  However, confessions between priests
and supplicants are forever sealed and private-- only able to be breached
by the Patriarch himself.  Additionally, known sinners who refuse to repent
on their own will often receive a visit from Church Inquisitors, and
avoiding their reach is punished far more strictly than by those priests
conducting confession.

(Note: It's fine for you to RP your character as receiving confession from
an NPC, so long as the sins are minor and you confess to a PC Orderite
occasionally.  Use your best judgment on what you feel is "minor.")

The official list of sins is maintained by the Holy Synod with the
occasional edit, but has remained fairly similar to the initial list
published in the very first Erra Pater.

1.  Magery: Magery is a demonic taint of pure evil, anathema to the Lord.

2.  Heresy: Rejection of the Lord's words.

3.  Murder: To end someone's life outside of legal bounds.

4.  Betrayal: To break a solemnly sworn oath.

5.  Fornication Without Blessing: The sexual union of bodies outside of
holy matrimony.

6.  Impurity: Miscellaneous sins such as lying, drunkenness, and being
quarrelsome.

7.  Acedia: Sloth or indifference toward religion.

8.  Lawlessness: The breaking of lesser laws than murder.

9.  Greed: A desire to benefit oneself at the expense of others.

10.  Denying One's Station: To fail to uphold one's role in society.


See also: DOGMA

(Subject area: religion               Last modified: Fri Aug 26 14:59:26 2016)

                            Helpfile for Confession

A confession is an exchange between an ordained Priest of the Holy Order and a
citizen of Lithmore, during which the citizen relates his sins and troubles to
the Priest and is given Penance as needed to absolve himself. Not all
confessions require Penance, and no single action, prayer, or activity is
required to be issued as Penance. Priests may be as creative or traditional as
they prefer.

The confessional room typically adjoins a chapel or cathedral, and is marked as
"in session" by hanging a red cord upon the exterior door handle. When the
confessional is occupied, it is a serious transgression for anyone else to enter
the room.

Confessions are sacrosanct, and as such can be a significant burden for the
clergy to bear. To reveal to any outsider what was said during sealed confession
is to commit heresy within the eyes of the Holy Order. This includes confessions
of capital crimes, heresy, or magery. Priests contending with the confession of
a mage would dedicate themselves to convincing that mage that it is rightful to
turn himself over to the Holy Inquisition, not take it upon herself to break the
sanctity of the confessional. To do so is to commit an act of deliberate heresy,
and clergy who cannot keep their vows may count themselves lucky to be simply
removed from their post.

While it isn't standard for Inquisitors to take confessions, those who do are
held to their vows as an Inquisitor before their vows as a Priest. Confession
with a Priest is inviolate regardless of what is confessed, while confession to
an Inquisitor comes with the expectation that they are an Inquisitor first.

(Subject area: religion               Last modified: Fri Jul 13 13:38:26 2018)

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Taunya
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:42 am

I think one reading of:

"known sinners who refuse to repent
on their own will often receive a visit from Church Inquisitors, and
avoiding their reach is punished far more strictly than by those priests
conducting confession."

might be that those who do not seek confession will be visited by Inquisitors if found out, not that a priest will report them to inquisitors for failing to repent.

DeadHandsome
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 4:55 pm

Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:53 am

I am inclined to agree with this interpretation. Unless of course your Confessor was an Inquisitor.

Helena
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Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:17 pm

Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:30 am

That's also my interpretation of the sentence.

But the idea I am willing to promote in that matter is that when it comes to compare helpfiles or discuss subtelties, it should be considered there's not one unique OOC truth, and that differing interpretation of the Lore are possible. And I think that's good for the game, since that gives room for people to create characters and have RP.

So, in that matter like in many others, I feel there's no need to clarify the Lore. What I feel is needed, is that inquisitors don't use their IC power to lock the Lore to a single interpretation, IE don't begin to believe that their interpretation is the only acceptable one from an OOC point of view.

(Edited out by Staff - Please don't name names)

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The_Last_Good_Dragon
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:52 am

Taunya wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:42 am
I think one reading of:

"known sinners who refuse to repent on their own will often receive a visit from Church Inquisitors, and avoiding their reach is punished far more strictly than by those priests conducting confession."

might be that those who do not seek confession will be visited by Inquisitors if found out, not that a priest will report them to inquisitors for failing to repent.
This is mostly correct, yep! Cleansing is part of Confession and the precise mannerism of it is part of the Confessional Seal. This is why a Priest should not, thematically, tell an Inquisitor that a confessed mage hasn't gone through with their cleansing. However, the "visit from an Inquisitior" doesn't only apply to those who fail to go to confession, but also those who act in a way suggestive of a sinful lifestyle without obvious work towards fixing it. For example, someone who was running around spreading something the church might consider Heresy might both confess to and complete penance for those actions with their priest, but if an Inquisitor judges their actions as strange they might still call them in for a Review of Faith. Also, a neighbor might alert the Inquisition that someone hasn't been to confession, or is skipping attendance of Mass, or any number of things to incude the Inquisition's disapproval. As part of that Review, topics involving past confessions might come up, ie asking the person under Review what a Priest gave as penance and if that penance was properly followed. The "confessional seal" applies only to the Priest, by my understanding.

(Edited out by Staff - Post it quoted was redacted)
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Niamh
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:30 am

A post has been edited to omit a small portion above. As a reminder, please don't name names and call people out personally. Keep it respectful and courteous. Thanks!

Starstarfish
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:05 am

What I feel is needed, is that inquisitors don't use their IC power to lock the Lore to a single interpretation, IE don't begin to believe that their interpretation is the only acceptable one from an OOC point of view.
I think there's a lot of confusion about the IC and OOC line here. OOCly people can disagree about the interpretation of lore, up to the point that staff clarifies things.

The difficulty is the OOC right to an OOC opinion about Lore does not give your character ICly the "right" to that differing opinion IC against Order PC leadership. Opinions differing from the standard set by the Order leadership is heresy. That's what heresy is. The more and more things that are made acceptable because "it's just an interpretation" IMHO undermine the authority of the Order in order to stay themely.

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Voxumo
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:08 am

Starstarfish wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:05 am
What I feel is needed, is that inquisitors don't use their IC power to lock the Lore to a single interpretation, IE don't begin to believe that their interpretation is the only acceptable one from an OOC point of view.
I think there's a lot of confusion about the IC and OOC line here. OOCly people can disagree about the interpretation of lore, up to the point that staff clarifies things.

The difficulty is the OOC right to an OOC opinion about Lore does not give your character ICly the "right" to that differing opinion IC against Order PC leadership. Opinions differing from the standard set by the Order leadership is heresy. That's what heresy is. The more and more things that are made acceptable because "it's just an interpretation" IMHO undermine the authority of the Order in order to stay themely.
But it doesn't help when order leadership tend to have differing interpretations. So let's say you are a priest during one GI, and they held a certain interpretation, however in comes the next GI who interprets it differently. Creates a bit of a problem.
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The_Last_Good_Dragon
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:12 am

Voxumo wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:08 am
But it doesn't help when order leadership tend to have differing interpretations. So let's say you are a priest during one GI, and they held a certain interpretation, however in comes the next GI who interprets it differently. Creates a bit of a problem.
Such is the nature of things. One Grand Inquisitor might be more lenient to the discussion of heretical, or border-line heretical, beliefs than another. Learning to manage those relationships are a crucial part of playing an Orderite; the same problems about what is and is not dogmatically allowed exist in IRL religions that have had thousands of years and billions of minds applied to them, so to expect transitional periods of our little invented religion is a bit unrealistic.
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Starstarfish
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Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:22 am

But it doesn't help when order leadership tend to have differing interpretations. So let's say you are a priest during one GI, and they held a certain interpretation, however in comes the next GI who interprets it differently. Creates a bit of a problem.
I'm not sure that's different than any change in GL positions though. You can be a Merchant or a Thief or a Physician or a Reeve and go through the whims and fancies of your overlords. Changes that might cost your job, or worse. That's the pitfall and joy of having PC leadership in positions, things change.

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