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'Quick Help' Page: Is It Necessary For Penitent To Feel That Sins Have Been Forgiven After Confession?

 

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Related Terms...

Forgiveness | Actual Forgiveness

Feeling That Sins Are Forgiven

Sacrament of Penance

Confession

Reconciliation

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Arrow Question / Issue:

Is it necessary for a penitent to feel that his/her sins have been forgiven after the sacrament of Penance?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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No. The following error was CONDEMNED by Pope Leo X in Exsurge Domine...

"No man's sins are remitted unless he is confident that they are remitted when the priest remits them; moreover, the sin would remain unless he were confident of its remission. For the remission of sin and the gift of grace are not sufficient; it is also necessary to have confidence that the sin is remitted." (CONDEMNED ERROR of Martin Luther)

It is NOT necessary to feel that one's sins are forgiven for them actually to be forgiven... 

"If any one saith, that it is necessary for every one, for the obtaining the remission of sins, that he believe for certain, and without any wavering arising from his own infirmity and disposition, that his sins are forgiven him; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent) 

True, actual forgiveness of sin occurs in the Sacrament of Penance 'ex opere operato'...

"...as scholastic language expresses it, the Sacraments work their effect ex opere operato ['by the very fact of the action's being performed']." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

It is NOT necessary for the recipient to feel anything for sacraments to have their effect.


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Other Resources:

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Sin (Topic Page)

Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

Catholic Basics (Topic Page)

 

  

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