From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Confession of sins[edit]

During the Great Persecution, a number of Christians had, under torture or threat of torture, weakened in their profession of the faith. When the persecutions ceased under Constantine the Great, they desired to be reunited with the Church. It became the practice of these penitents to go to the Confessors, those who had willingly suffered for the faith and survived, to plead their case and effect their restoration to communion. Thus, the word has come to denote any priest who has been granted the authority to hear confessions. This type of confessor may also be referred to as a "spiritual father."

In this sense of the term, it is standard practice for a religious community of women, either if enclosed or just very large, to have a priest, to serve as confessor to the community, serving their spiritual needs.

It can also be used as the title of the head of a religious society.