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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

American Catholic Practice of Confession in Nineteenth-Century America

American Catholic Practice of Confession in Nineteenth-Century America

(p.109) Chapter 5 American Catholic Practice of Confession in Nineteenth-Century America

Patrick W. Carey

Oxford University Press

The chapter outlines the growth and development of the practice of sacramental confession and the ways in which the practice was promoted by Catholic clerical leaders. In some places in the early nineteenth century the practice was rare or relatively infrequent because of the lack of priests and ignorance or unwillingness of Catholic laity to follow the tradition. Bishops and priests in the early nineteenth century were satisfied with promoting yearly confessions to meet the canonical obligation prescribed by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215). After the 1830s, bishops and priests began a major campaign to increase the frequency of confessions as a spiritual exercise, a campaign that was successful and lasted well into the late 1950s. Catholic leaders promoted sacramental confessions through episcopal legislation and pastoral statements, catechisms, prayer books, preaching, and pastoral manuals for priests, and especially through parish missions.

Keywords:   confessional practice, bishops, priests, ecclesiastical legislation, catechisms, prayer books, preaching, parish missions, Paulists, Redemptorists

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