The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called Confession or Penance) is a part of Catholic faith and life. The core of this Sacrament is God’s love for us and his desire to heal us and set us free when we turn to him and seek his mercy.
As a Sacrament of healing, Reconciliation brings many graces to the person receiving it.
Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the Sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1446).
The Catechism explains the relationship of the two sacraments: “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in the Eucharistic Communion must be in a state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally* must not receive Communion without having received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1415).
*During Mass, when we ask for God’s forgiveness, our venial sins are forgiven. Mortal sins are more serious and need to be confessed to a priest beforehand.
See The Gravity of Sin: Mortal and Venial Sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1854-1864).
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Rev. Dr Paul Connell, 8 November 2021
Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Bishop of Sandhurst, 8 November 2021
8 November 2021