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ConfessionCatholics, Repentance, and Forgiveness in America$
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Patrick W. Carey

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190889135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190889135.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.271) Conclusion
Source:
Confession
Author(s):

Patrick W. Carey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190889135.003.0011

The conclusion highlights some lessons that this history has for American Catholicism in particular and American society in general. This history recalls the ways in which one people dealt with sin (personal and social), repentance, confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation—issues that were widely shared in various religious traditions and in American society in general in the past, which have been significantly neglected or marginalized in the present religious as well as political culture. The examination of a particular tradition can help to throw light on how American society got to its present condition and how a specific religious tradition contributed to the present state of affairs. What happened within American Catholicism had an effect on society’s language and values. The post-Tridentine American Catholic tradition on penance and the most recent breakdown of penitential language and discipline in the Catholic Church reflected and/or contributed to the same phenomena in American society.

Keywords:   penitential language, sacramentalism, communal confession, reconciling church, ecclesial conflict, developmental theories, reform, social sin, conversion, penitential practices

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