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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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Confession, Continuity, and Reforms, 1920–60

Confession, Continuity, and Reforms, 1920–60

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter 7 Confession, Continuity, and Reforms, 1920–60
Source:
Confession
Author(s):

Patrick W. Carey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190889135.003.0008

This chapter delineates the ways in which the nineteenth-century emphasis on auricular confession continued into the twentieth century. Evidence from published sermons indicates that sermons were a major means for promoting confession as a regular spiritual exercise. Periodicals dedicated almost exclusively to priests and seminary moral manuals, too, focused on promoting the benefits of frequent devotional confessions. During these decades, moreover, a reform movement arose that called for a reexamination of the theology, practice, and history of confession. That reform movement was a return (a ressourcement) to the liturgical, biblical, catechetical, and historical sources of penance, and it called for a restoration of dimensions of the sacrament of penance that had in the course of history been lost or forgotten—namely, a revival of penance as a sacrament of reconciliation and worship that underlined the social and ecclesial dimensions of sin and forgiveness.

Keywords:   devotional confession, moral manuals, preaching, seminaries, ressourcement, liturgical revival, Bible, catechesis, Virgil Michel, history of penance

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