Catechism of the Catholic Church
374 Part Two 1491 The sacrament of Penance is a whole consisting in three actions of the penitent and the priest’s absolu- tion. The penitent’s acts are repentance, confession or disclosure of sins to the priest, and the intention to make reparation and do works of reparation. 1492 Repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith. If repentance arises from love of charity for God, it is called “perfect” contrition; if it is founded on other motives, it is called “imperfect.” 1493 One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the un- confessed grave sins he remembers after having care- fully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nev- ertheless strongly recommended by the Church. 1494 The confessor proposes the performance of certain acts of “satisfaction” or “penance” to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ. 1495 Only priests who have received the faculty of absolv- ing from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ. 1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are: — reconciliationwith God by which the penitent recov- ers grace; — reconciliation with the Church; — remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins; — remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin; —peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual con- solation; — an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle. 1497 Individual and integral confession of grave sins fol- lowed by absolution remains the only ordinarymeans of reconciliation with God and with the Church. 1498 Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remis- sion of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.
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