Sacrament of Reconciliation

  • 100

    The Beginning

    The Teachings of the 12 Apostles suggested confessing our sins.Tertullian, a Christian Writer, in De Poenitentia, called this sense of confession our "Second Penitence" receivable only once. The first penitence being baptism.
  • 200

    Third Century

    Sacrament of Reconciliation emerges in a recognisable form during 3rd Century. The penitent had to confess their sins to the whole community, were temporarily excommunicated, eat plain foods, participate in alms giving, and ask the community to pray for them.
  • 330

    Fourth Century

    The Council of Nicea, placed the forgiveness of grave sins under the Bishop's authority, The penitent had to listen outside the door for three years ,Prostrate for seven years, Take part in divine worship inactively, nor participate in the Eucharist for two years. Penance was only available once in a life time
  • 408

    Fifth Century

    Augustine of Hippo wrote 3 kinds of penance: 1. The removal of previous sin through Baptism 2.The daily removal of sin through prayer and fasting for small sins 3.Formal, one-time confession of a deadly and serious sin publicly.
  • 500

    Sixth Century

    Irish Monks developed a form of penance involving: Private confession to a spiritual father Restoration of balance of "Moral Universe" through penance Private prayer seeking forgiveness The practice of simply confessing once was ended with the Monks, and an attitude of punishment fitting the crime developed.
  • 589

    Third council of Toledo

    Attempted to maintain the original form of public, once-only penance and rejected the Monastic approach
  • Jan 1, 680

    Penitential Books

    Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury produced penitential books outlining what people had to do for penance for their sins. People realised that this penance could be shared, and so forth paid other people to share their penance
  • Jan 1, 700


    During the 7th century Irish missionaries brought Celtic penance to Europe, and it eventually became “Confession.” In this expression of the sacrament, confession was to a priest who had the power to give absolution. Penance for the sinner was reduced.
  • Jan 1, 1100


    In the 12 century, Peter Lombard defined the sacraments as seven and listed the 4th penance as the sacrament of penance which is the privet repeatable sacrament he knew.
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Fourth Lateran Council

    This form of confession was so successful that the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 decreed that every Christian who reached the age of discern must receive private confession at least once a year.
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Fourth Lateran Council

    The council established that all Christians, once past the age of discernment, should confess their sins at least once a year. They established that the penalty for a priest breaking the secrecy seal would be deposed and made to live in a closed monastery for "perpetual penance."
  • Aug 19, 1439

    Council of Florence

    Defined what the sacrament of penance involved: 1- Contrition of heart including sorrow for committing the sin and resolve not to sin again. 2 - Oral confession for sins that are remembered. 3 - Satisfaction for sins assigned by the priest ordinarily done by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The form of the sacrament are the words of absolution “I absolve you”. The minister of the sacrament is a priest with the authority to absolve.
  • Jan 1, 1501

    Penance declared forgiveness

    In the 16th century, the Council of Trent decreed the sacrament of penance as the sacrament of forgiveness of sins and specified demands concerning this sacrament.
  • Jan 1, 1551

    Council of Trent

    The Council consecrated the sevenfold sacramental system, and decreed penance as the forgiveness of sins. The Council pushed for extreme non-communal confession, and a more individualistic approach to the reconciliation with God.
  • Parishes started to break down

    Dialogue between penitent and pastor in 17th to 19th century causing breakdown of small parish and growth of parish in modern time. Changed by being shorter meeting anonymously with unknown priest in dark box to get absolution.
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    Industrial Revolution

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  • Archibishop of Montreal permitted general absolution

    This was allowed for two weeks preceeding Christmas in parishes and schools.
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation

    Introduced "The Sacrament of Reconciliation" as the official name of the sacrament. The absolution formula now stated: "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Racial Discrimination Act

    With the ending of the White Australia Policy and the creation of the Racial Discrimination Act, Australia would only hold to become a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. With this, people would bring their religions with them: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism.
  • Reconciliation today

    Reconciliation now a days is done by the following: Two or more need to be gathered together in the name of God - (The Assembly). It has to be done by a minister, in the imposition And by proclaiming the Word of God. "Salvation is therefore and above all redemption from sin, which hinders friendship with God." - a qoute made The Pope from the Epistle to the Romans 8:21.