Talk:Sacrament of Penance

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Canon Law calls the sacrament "The Sacrament of Penance" (Cann. 959 - 997). The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls it the "sacrament of Penance" (1422). Based on those 2 reliable sources, I think the article should be titled "Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church). Comments? Andy120 17:39, 17 August 2006 (UTC) I've moved the article to "Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church) and fixed double redirects from other articles. I've also edited the article to show the name of the Sacrament as Penance. ...Andy120... 03:57, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

See closed discussion of § Requested move 25 September 2015 (this revision) –BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:13, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Validity and frequency[edit]

I added a couple of footnotes to validity. As to frequency, I deleted the NPOV comment about whether or not people do/don't go frequently enough and whether or not it is ignored. The problem is not only does the Church not address this by saying "YOU" need to go to confession, but it misrepresents the doctrine. The requirement is to go to communion once per year -- confession is only required if during that last year a person committed a mortal sin. Further, the doctrine would call for them to go sooner rather than later.DaveTroy 17:01, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

As to required frequency, the Church acutally does require confession once a year. See CCC 2042 or the second precept of the Church. --Entoaggie09 03:12, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Only applies to Roman Catholics though. Eastern Catholics aren't bound by that. InfernoXV 04:27, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
So something to that effect could be added as long as it specifies that it is used by the Latin rite, correct? --Entoaggie09 05:06, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I would find that eminently acceptable. InfernoXV 06:14, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Entoaggie, remember that the 2nd Precept is also presuming a mortal sin. The purpose of the sacrament was (is) to allow communion, the more important act of union with the Church, which the Sacrament of Penance heals. Therefore if there is no mortal sin, there is no objective "need" to go to Penance prior to receiving sacramental communion.DaveTroy 15:34, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
CCC 2042, to which Entoaggie09 refers, has a footnote referencing the Code of Canon Law. Canon 989 reads: "After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year." Canon 988.2 reads: "It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins." (The emphasis is mine.) --Faylei 19:31, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
I know as an Eastern Catholic, we are bound to confess - my priest recommended that the sin should not reach its first anniversary (i.e. not let a year pass after the sin)Tourskin (talk) 20:51, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
It would be odd if Wikipedia implied that Roman Catholics regularly attend confession when the reality is that the practice has very largely disappeared compared to its universal practice up to the 60's. I have therefore added referenced information on this. Haldraper (talk) 16:16, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Code of Canon Law and Latern Council[edit]

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My Dear Wikipedians:

There is an error on the page, I'm not sure how to fix it w/o losing a link. While the the Latern Council of 1215 did in fact happen, and did address penance, IT DIDN"T have anything to do witht he Code of Canon Law (which wouldn't come out for another 500 years). I think you're looking for the "Corpus Iuris Canonici" which isn't a code and wasn't a singe thing -- it was a collection of laws/decrees etc. If someone could fix the link I'm probably about to butcher I'd be most grateful. –DaveTroy —Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveTroy (talkcontribs) 16:41, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Looking at a 2015 revision of the article, this had been corrected. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:20, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Emphasis of the article[edit]

It seems to me to be a pretty glaring omission that an article on the sacrament of penance doesn't mention the actual penance (that is, the penance the priest gives the penitent at the end of the sacrament). And I don't think the section on mortal sin belongs in the article- there's already an article on mortal sin. If people want to know more about it, they can click on the link to the mortal sin article.Wldcat (talk) 19:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I removed the section on mortal sin, as there were no objections.Wldcat (talk) 23:46, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"Form of the sacrament" section[edit]

It seems to me that this section should discuss only the form of the sacrament- (something like "The penitent makes the sign of the cross and says 'Bless me father for I have sinned...'"), describing the act of confessing, the giving of the penance, the act of contrition, and absolution, etc. I think the other material in the section should go somewhere else. For example, the most of the first paragraph, especially the scriptural proof of the sacrament, should go in the overview section. It doesn't have much to do with the form of the sacrament.Wldcat (talk) 23:46, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

"Doing penance"[edit]

I was raised Catholic, and went to confession numerous times as a youth. Every reconciliation included a task of penance to perform (aka "doing penance"), usually to recite a number of prayers (e.g. "four Hail Marys and two Our Fathers"), and sometimes other tasks (e.g. writing your sins on a piece of paper, then tearing it up as a sign of renewal; or agreeing to make amends with or apologize to whoever you transgressed, etc.), usually to agree to perform after you leave the booth (gotta keep the line moving :) ).

Anyway, I bring this up because I don't see it mentioned; I don't know how common or official it is. - Keith D. Tyler 19:04, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I'm not Catholic, but I read the article looking for reference to the "recite a number of prayers" requirement, and didn't find anything about that. What can or should be added about that? --Metropolitan90 (talk) 19:22, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
That's something that should be put into the article! The Sacrament consists of some essential parts. In Germany, we remember them as the four (or five) B's: Besinnen (searching one's conscience for sins committed), bereuen (regretting them, having contrition or at least attrition), beichten (confessing them), büßen (doing penance) [and bessern: improving oneself; but that's, though necessary in itself, not essential to the Sacrament as such but as an aim]. Your four Hail Marys and two Our Fathers form the "penance" or, better, satisfaction (Genugtuung to who's interested). -- (talk) 15:07, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Redundant article?[edit]

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This article is almost word-for-word the same as the article entitled "Confession." Shouldn't it be deleted or combined with the other article? Caeruleancentaur (talk) 13:26, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

I didn't see this before I deleted most of the stuff in the Confession article, which I agree shouldn't be a duplicate of this or vice versa. Dougweller (talk) 06:17, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church) is not a duplicate of Confession (religion) since the later also includes the concept in other religions. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:02, 27 October 2015 (UTC)


Neither article says how this practice originated. Dougweller (talk) 06:17, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Seal of confession[edit]

The first 2 paragraphs contain a lot of 'facts' without a single reference...? Ride the Hurricane (talk) 17:26, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

rites of confession[edit]

There are at least three forms of the Rite of Reconciliation, interesting that this is not mentioned anywhere. Unless I missed it, or unless reconciliation is not the Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church)?

 I    Rite for indiv. penitents
 II   Rite for several penitents with indiv. confession + absolution
 III  Rite for several penitents with general confession + absolution

These were described by Pope Paul VI. I will include it soon if no comments GerixAu (talk) 21:54, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

The full name appears to be "Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation." I say "appears" because even the Vatican uses the full name in the title of the subsection and then says only "penance" in the explanation. Student7 (talk) 16:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Good to see someone is reading this page GerixAu (talk) 04:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

NPOV Fixes[edit]

Kxmccallum (talk) 10:39, 4 January 2011 (UTC) The article should conform to Wikipedia's neutral point of view (NPOV) as described under "Explanation of the neutral point of view."

  • Avoid stating opinions as facts: "the famous 'Omnis utriusque sexus'" certainly cannot be famous, especially since Latin is not a common language today, and origin of the phrase dating back to 1215 would make it obscure to the modern era, not famous.
    • To say that Pope John Paul "began a program of fostering and renewing the focus on this sacrament" is an opinion, and "opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Rather, they should be attributed in the text to particular sources, or where justified, described as 'widespread views', etc." (See "Impartial View".)
  • Accurately indicate the relative prominence of opposing views: there should be an indication or acknowledgment in the article's introduction of the widespread, sharp, and long-running disagreement between Roman Catholic churches and non-Roman churches over this sacrament and the Vatican's authority to make such pronouncements. Protestants teach forgiveness of sins requires no rituals, including the ritual of baptism, which is raised without reference to its controversy.
  • Avoid stating seriously contested assertions as facts: there are no logical or apparent connections established between the sacrament ritual and the biblical quotation "that Jesus was born to 'save his people from their sins,'" with the "fervent and energetic summons with which Saint John the Baptist called for repentance," with the biblical citation that "Salvation is therefore and above all redemption from sin, which hinders friendship with God," nor with the biblical citation, "Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
  • Prefer non-judgmental language: to claim the sacrament ritual is taught "in the very words with which Jesus began his preaching" lacks objectivity and sounds authoritarian.

Finally, the point is repeated three times in the introduction that the official Roman Catholic term is "Sacrament of Penance" and the common (or layperson) terms are "Confession, Reconciliation or Penance." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kxmccallum (talkcontribs) 10:38, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Is that what is referred to by the "factual inaccuracy is disputed" tag? I am going to swap the tag to an NPOV one. Belegdal (talk) 14:12, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Perfect Contrition[edit]

) Happy Pentecost !

Please change the following :

It is generally held to be true that even if a person has unconfessed mortal sins remaining when he or she dies, they may still hope to be forgiven if before they died, they expressed true contrition (sorrow) for each of their mortal sins and if, having done so, they expressed a desire (even if not possible) to go to sacramental confession and do proper penance and restitution.

- The Church does not teach this. Perfect Contrition is required by God.

in accordance with this :

“Q. 766 Perfect contrition will obtain pardon for mortal sin without the Sacrament of Penance when we cannot go to confession, but with the perfect contrition we must have the intention of going to confession as soon as possible, if we again have the opportunity.”

“765 Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love.”

This is from the Baltimore Catechism #3, which was Imprimatured and Nihil Obstated.

It may be found online here, although online copies of such documents should be used as references in finding and verifying the existence of such a quote in an actual printed book, using Interlibrary Loan or inquiry and driving. :)

I suggest this replacement be made :

The Church teaches, "Perfect contrition will obtain pardon for mortal sin without the Sacrament of Penance when we cannot go to confession, but with the perfect contrition we must have the intention of going to confession as soon as possible, if we again have the opportunity (766 referenced)," clarifying that, "Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love (765 referenced)." However, if possible, a Catholic priest must be called for. The above works for non-Catholics, who must first sincerely tell God that they will become Catholic if they are allowed to live (which is done by finding a Good Catholic Priest), then pray for the Grace to apologize with perfect contrition, and then do so. However, if the non-Catholic can, they must call for a Catholic priest ASAP. People like Voltaire should explain the situation to God (he was physically restrained and imprisoned in the country against seeing a Priest) and proceed with the above. May Mary ask God to save those who do not know the above in the hour of their death, if knowing it they would use it. Such is the Church's intention. However, the Church teaches that those who die in the State of Mortal Sin, Catholic or Non-Catholic, are then judged by God and punished eternally in the level of Hell corresponding to their wickedness, as is described in the Church-approved Revelations of St. Bridget and Item 8. A Soul in Hell: The Story of Annette from Sicut in Caelo . Org ( ). It is also the teaching of the Church and Saints that most sinners "die as they lived" and do not get or make use of the chance of "death-bed Confession", as St. John Vianney makes clear in these extracts from his Sermons : (bottom row)

It's a bit long, but in Catholicism and in Truth, it is a matter of the highest order of importance.

I think some of these addendums I add may be found in Sources of Catholic Dogma by Denzinger.

For a quick proof of the Truth of Catholicism, see the article "The Inscription of Abercius", the named being of great antiquity and though written in obscure language, is nonetheless consistent with Early Catholic writings of an obscure (Apocalypse) and un-obscure (Justin Martyr and Tertullian) nature.  :) The claims of the world's religions individually, but especially of Catholicism, are of such gravity, if true, that there is no other task so important in this life than the definitive discovery and spreading of the Truth regarding them. A half-hearted effort in this matter is inexcusable, for on every side we are surrounded with phenomena suggesting a Creator who would make the effort to contact us and offer us the End of Pain, a clear evil. (talk) 11:14, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

There is a new catechism for all Catholics. The Baltimore catechism was a 19th century rendition for Americans only (or mostly).
The quote you gave above seems "close enough" to the truth for an encyclopedia. We're not trying to indoctrinate new Catholics; we are "merely" trying to inform people with an interest in the topic. If the explanation is too long, they may lose interest fairly quickly. The average reader (when I last looked) spent one minute on a Wikipedia article. Articles need to be terse IMO. While inaccuracies should not be tolerated, I think there comes a time when "close enough" should prevail. But that is just me. Student7 (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
When a Roman Catholic cannot go to Confession, every Roman Catholic knows that they can say an "Act of Contrition" prayer and, if they die before going to Confession, their sins are forgiven. It would be nice if more Roman Catholics were the editors on this article. There would be much less confusion. That is not to say a non-Roman Catholic editor cannot "find" them, but they can sometimes lead to paragraphs which are difficult and confusing and sometimes inaccurate. Mugginsx (talk) 20:58, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

explaining pr the Template[edit]

I added a paragraph which simply defines what exactly the Sacrament of Penance is and how it is ulitized through Confession that I hope all will understand.

I went to Catholic school and found the article, though well done, difficult to understand so I thought the simple paragraph would satisfy the template request. Mugginsx (talk) 17:29, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Purgatory is not taught to adults as a place (the Protestants are correct). Please see 1031 which describes the process of purification. Perhaps too deep for children. Student7 (talk) 18:24, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
The teachings are the same for children and adults. Anyone who is a Roman Catholic knows that. Mugginsx (talk) 14:12, 7 December 2012 (UTC)


I would rather use "synod" where that term is more accurate than use "church council." I agree that synods can be rolled up with ecumenical councils into "Church councils" when categorizing. Unfortunately we sometimes have to make a choice when linking.

Given "Mathematics", "Math 101", and "Tensor Calculus", I would rather link Mathematics to Math 101 to avoid confusion, rather than link it to "Tensor Calculus."

For the same reason, I would rather link "Church council" to "Ecumenical council" than "synod" to avoid confusion. I would rather use the term "synod" here where appropriate. It demonstrates that there was not broad support (yet) for that position. Student7 (talk) 21:37, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

There are very numerous non-ecumenical church councils that are not customarily called synods. although in origin "council" and "synod" are synonymous, the first coming from the Latin term for them (concilium), the second from the Greek term for the same reality (σύνοδος). Take plenary council, plenary council (Catholicism), Plenary Councils of Baltimore, Council of Jerusalem, Councils of Aquileia, Councils of Carthage, Councils of Orange, Councils of Constantinople ... So "church council" should certainly not be redirected to ecumenical council, since the vast majority of church councils are not ecumenical.
Ecumenical councils are also called ecumenical or general synods, as the article on synod remarks. The same article states that in modern usage the word "synod" often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. This holds also for the Synod of Bishops (Catholic), which holds month-long assemblies only every few years. Such church bodies are not customarily called councils, although the word "council", as in Council of Europe, is used of something analogous in the political sphere. Esoglou (talk) 22:13, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I stand corrected. See also Catholic Encyclopedia. Student7 (talk) 22:02, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Missing discussion of disagreement over sacrament?[edit]

The lede has the following sentence: "Since the Reformation there has been long-running disagreement between the Catholic Church and Protestantism over this sacrament, including the church's authority to absolve sins." As far as I can tell, this disagreement is not elaborated on elsewhere in the article, or in the "parent" article Confession (religion). This seems like an important point that merits at least a section (if not a whole article). (In fact, I came to this article mainly looking for information about that issue.) Maybe this discussion does exist in another article somewhere, but it wasn't easy for me to find since it's not linked. In addition to seeming like a big hole in the present article, it's also a problem with the guidelines at WP:LEDE, which stipulate that facts mentioned in the intro section should be elaborated on within the article.

I know next to nothing on this topic, so I'm afraid I cannot help much. I just wanted to bring it up to whoever is active at this page. rʨanaɢ (talk) 01:20, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. I've moved the "summary" to its own section and requested development. Once that happens, it can be "summarized" in the lead. The Orthodox position is much the same as Catholic. And maybe Episcopal/Anglican. Student7 (talk) 21:56, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! rʨanaɢ (talk) 17:14, 30 June 2013 (UTC)


I don't think the component of satisfaction is sufficiently explained. (i.e. I don't understand what it is trying to say.) RJFJR (talk) 21:27, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

I added a short note to the section that fully explains satisfaction, but calls it by its other name, which is "penance". Elizium23 (talk) 21:44, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
@Elizium23: I agree with RJFJR, satisfaction is not explained well. I find the sentence "The satisfaction required of the penitent is not an essential part of the sacrament, because the primary effect of remission of guilt and eternal punishment is obtained without it; but it is an integral part, because it is required for obtaining the secondary effect of this purification or remission of temporal punishment." confusing since the terms essential and integral are not defined or linked to explain the sense of meaning in this context. I think the more contemporary language explains it better. For example, in 1984 Pope John Paul II wrote, in Reconciliatio et paenitentia, that

Satisfaction is [...] In some countries the act which the forgiven and absolved penitent agrees to perform after receiving absolution is called precisely the penance. [...] the meaning of this satisfaction that one makes or the penance that one performs [...] is not a price that one pays for the sin absolved and for the forgiveness obtained: No human price can match what is obtained, which is the fruit of Christ's precious blood. Acts of satisfaction-[...]-mean a number of [...] things: [...] sign of the personal commitment that the Christian has made to God in the sacrament to begin a new life (and therefore they should not be reduced to mere formulas to be recited, but should consist of acts of worship, charity, mercy or reparation). [...] idea that the pardoned sinner is able to join his own physical and spiritual mortification-[...]-to the passion of Jesus, who has obtained the forgiveness for him. [...] remind us that even after absolution there remains in the Christian a dark area due to the wound of sin, to the imperfection of love in repentance, to the weakening of the spiritual faculties. It is an area in which there still operates an infectious source of sin which must always be fought with mortification and penance. This is the meaning of the humble but sincere act of satisfaction. (n31§III)

In 2005, Cardinal James Stafford said that

Dante expressed the best of the Catholic penitential tradition when writing of these double waters: the first, the experience of the forgetting of sin by the sinner; the second, the forgiveness of past sinful events through the ecclesial acceptance by the sinner of God's mercy in the expiatory death of Christ. Passage through both rivers is necessary for forgiveness. Simply to forget past sins is not enough. The uniquely Christian element in this process, articulated in the coinage of new words with their unheard of prefixes - forgive, perdonare, vergeben, perdonnar, etc. The emphatic, never-seen-before prefixes, pre- for-, emphasize the divine gift to the undeserving. Embodied, concrete acts by the penitent are necessary for God's such forgiveness. God finally transforms the sinner by the sinner's specific, active acceptance of the divine mercy when performing satisfaction for sin. The penitent is then blessed by the remembrance of that divine transformation together with his or her participation in it. ("Address to the Catenian Association")

Maybe there should be a section about satisfaction? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:56, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 25 September 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Good arguments made that the proposed title is the common name and also restoring the long-term status quo from an undiscussed move. Jenks24 (talk) 08:05, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation (Catholic Church)Sacrament of Penance (Catholic Church) – Page was moved without consensus. The new title violates WP:CONCISE, not to mention WP:V: this sacrament has three common names, and very few sources combine them in this manner. The formal, official name from the Catechism of the Catholic Church is "Sacrament of Penance". This article is already widely linked from elsewhere under this formal name. Additional verbiage only serves as title clutter and an inconvenience to editors. Elizium23 (talk) 19:19, 25 September 2015 (UTC) --Relisted. George Ho (talk) 07:16, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Google Ngram shows "Sacrament of Penance" is twice larger than "Sacrament of Reconciliation" and orders of magnitude larger than "Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation". –BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:38, 25 September 2015 (UTC); modified 19:02, 8 October 2015 (UTC); and 12:50, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Sacrament of Reconciliation (Catholic Church), "reconciliation" being the most used and recognized term for many decades, "penance" being old, tending as medieval as the formal or official canon law. WP:COMMONNAME supports "reconciliation", disambiguated as is required. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:42, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: see updated Ngram above. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 12:50, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


This: "He can refuse to hear the confession if he knows about the matter before the person begins his or her confession (if the matter is especially serious and repulsive and the person has shown little or no inclination to change), though the Holy See has discouraged this." was added here and removed.

A person is forbidden to receive the sacraments if they are excommunicated (CIC 1331 §1 n2, CCC 1463). If the priest knows this is the case then he is bound by canon law to deny the sacraments to the excommunicated person. Unless the excommunicated person is in danger of death (CIC 976, CCC 1463).

If excommunication is not the case, "[p]riests must encourage the faithful to come to the sacrament [...] and must make themselves available to celebrate this sacrament each time Christians reasonably ask for it" (CCC 1464). And, it is a fundamental right that "[e]very member of the Christian faithful is free to confess sins to a legitimately approved confessor of his or her choice" (CIC 991). "If the confessor has no doubt about the disposition of the penitent, and the penitent seeks absolution, absolution is to be neither refused nor deferred" (CIC 980) – that is explictly something that happens during the sacrament. And the penitent obtains absolution when he or she is repentant and "intend[s] to reform themselves" (CIC 959). But, the penitent "must be disposed in such a way that, reject[s] sins committed and ha[s] a purpose of amendment"(CIC 987) and the confessor "is to adhere faithfully to the doctrine of the magisterium and the norms issued by competent authority" (CIC 978 §2).

An example of a norm issued by a competent authority is a 1997 Pontifical council for the family vademecum which states that "relapse into sins [... is not] a motive for denying absolution; absolution cannot be imparted, [...] in the absence of sufficient repentance or of the resolution not to fall again into sin" (3.5). It also states that the sacrament requires that the penitent has "sincere sorrow, a formally complete accusation of mortal sins, and the resolution, with the help of God, not to fall into sin again. [...] it is not necessary [...] to investigate [...] sins committed in invincible ignorance of their evil, or due to an inculpable error of judgment. Although these sins are not imputable, they do not cease, [...] to be an evil and a disorder." (3.7).

I wonder, is there are norms about refusing penitents who "reasonably ask for it" and are not excommunicated? Or if norms for confessors are only about absolution? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:20, 27 October 2015 (UTC); modified 15:58, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

 Lamentabili sane exitu source[edit]

The passage under "Individual Confessions" reading thus:

Although the issue of the institution of this sacrament by Jesus himself had been debated since the Council of Trent, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1907 "condemned and proscribed" as heretical the proposition that:

The words of the Lord, "Receive the holy Spirit; whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, no matter what the Fathers of Trent were pleased to assert.

previously made it seem that  "Lamentabili sane exitu" DENIED that John 20:22-23 is an institution narrative for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, whereas it actually condemned such denial as error. I fixed that part of it. But the lead-in is still troubling, making it seem that there is some conflict within the Church teaching on this issue, when in fact that could not be farther from the truth. Any suggestions on fixing the lead-in? (By "lead-in", I mean the clause: "Although the issue of the institution of this sacrament by Jesus himself had been debated since the Council of Trent, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1907 "condemned and proscribed" as heretical the proposition that") Crusadestudent (talk) 22:36, 4 May 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (2002). "Decree condemning certain errors of the modernists: Lamentabili sane". In Bechard, Dean P. The Scripture documents: an anthology of official Catholic teachings. Translated by Bechard, Dean P. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press. p. 186. ISBN 0-8146-2591-6. 
@Crusadestudent: yes, I agree. I had a brain freeze: thinking condemnation but not typing it.
Bechard (2002 p. 186) skips the other important condemned proposition from Lamentabili sane, n. 46: "In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist . Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to the concept. As a matter of fact, even after penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful sacrament." (DH 3446) Denzinger would be better to cite. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 22:41, 4 May 2016 (UTC); modified 22:58, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

History Improvements[edit]

The history section of this article needs improvement to describe more clearly what was new in various centuries, etc. For now, I offer the following quote from a not-authoritative source:

"The practice of private confession developed in monasteries in Ireland in the 6th century and quickly spread."[1] Sondra.kinsey (talk) 21:23, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Tapsell, Kieran (2015). "Canon Law on Child Sexual Abuse through the Ages" (PDF). Catholics for Renewal. Retrieved 28 October 2016.