Confession and Absolution eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 37 pages of information about Confession and Absolution.

Well, therefore, did the Church, assembled in General Council at Trent, having first taught and defined the nature of contrition or repentance, sum up the question of confession:  “It is certain that, in the Church, nothing else is required of penitents but that, after each has examined himself diligently, and searched all the folds and recesses of his conscience, he confess those sins by which he shall remember that he has mortally offended his Lord and God; whilst the other sins, which do not occur to him after diligent thought, are understood to be included, as a whole, in that same confession; for which sins we confidently say with the prophet:  ’From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord.’  Now, the difficulty of a confession like this, and the shame of making known one’s sins, might indeed seem a grievous thing, were it not alleviated by the so many and so great advantages and consolations which are most assuredly bestowed by absolution upon all who worthily approach to this sacrament.  For the rest, as to the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, although Christ has not forbidden that a person may, in punishment of his sins, and for his own humiliation, as well for an example to others for the edification of the Church that has been scandalized, confess his sins publicly, nevertheless, this is not commanded by a divine precept; neither would it be very prudent to enjoin, by any human law, that sins, especially such as are secret, should be made known by a public confession.  Wherefore, whereas the secret sacramental confession, which was in use from the beginning in Holy Church, and is still also in use, has always been commended by the most holy Fathers with a great and unanimous consent, the vain calumny of those is manifestly refuted who are not ashamed to teach that confession is alien from the divine command and is a human invention."[55]

FOOTNOTES: 

[26] 1 Pet. iii. 18.

[27] 2 Cor. v. 18.

[28] 2 Cor. ii. 10

[29] De Poent. c. viii.

[30] John xx, 21.

[31] Matt. ix, 2.

[32] 1 John i, 9.

[33] Acts xix, 18.

[34] 1 Cor. v, and 2 Cor. ii.

[35] Ap.  Con. ii, 16.

[36] De Poent. c. 9.

[37] Ep. ii, ad Cor. n. 8.

[38] Adv.  Haeres. l. i. cxiii, n. 4, 5, 6, 7.

[39] De Paenit. n. 8-12.

[40] Hom. in Levit. n. 4.

[41] In Ps. xxxvii, n. 6.

[42] Hom. xvii in Lucam.

[43] Divin.  Inst. l. iv, c. 30.

[44] Hist.  Ecc.  Bk. vi, c. 34.

[45] Tract. in Ps. cxxxviii.

[46] Ep. iii, n. 7-9.

[47] De Cain et Abel, l. 2, c. 4.

[48] De Paenit. cii, n. 12.

[49] Vol.  I, Lib. iii, n. 5, de Sacerd.

[50] Com. in Matt. c. xviii.

[51] In Exod. n. cviii.

[52] Serm. cccli, n. 9.

[53] Homily on Repentance, part ii.

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