How is scholastic confession different from Celtic Penance? How is scholastic confession different from the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Dallen, Chapter 4: Pastoral Adaptation in the Middle Ages, pp 100-138.
Dallen, Chapter 5: The Origins of Modern Confession, pp 139-167.
Dallen, Chapter 6: Modern Penance and the Counter-Reformation, pp 168-204.
Martos pp 291-305.
Osborne, "The Sacrament of Penance and the Theologies of Justification from the Twelfth Century to the Reformation," pp 102-136.
Read a section of St. Thomas or another scholastic on the Sacrament of Penance.
History of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
|Name||(Jesus and Sub-apostolic Church)||Canonical Penance (Order of Penitents)||Celtic Penance (Tariff Penance)||Scholastic Confession||Reconciliation|
|Paradigm (Think...)||Jesus in the Gospels||Baptism||Doctor visit||Juridical trial|
|Process (Stages)||Former life|
|Liturgy||Baptism-confirmation-eucharist||Order of Penitents:|
|Ministries||Community and its ministers and its overseer||Community and its ministers and its overseer||Holy person (who can read a tariff from the book)||An ordained priest with proper jurisdiction|
|Positive Aspects||Part of the ongoing journey of the holy Church||A liturgical process involving the whole community||Healing; quicker; repeatable||Repeatable; eradicate sins, sin by sin|
|Negative Aspects||No provision for exceptional tragic situations||Once only; long and very hard; punishment||Private; no liturgy; (danger of money abuses)||Sin is private; not liturgical but devotional; routine|
1. Peter Abelard
2. Peter Lombard
3. Peter of Poitiers
1215 The Fourth Lateran Council -- Canon 21, commanded everyone -- men and women "Omnis utriusque sexus" -- who had reached "the years of discretion" had to confess all their sins at least once a year to their own parish priest. And everyone had to receive Communion at Easter. These are the first "laws" obliging confession and Eucharist. Anyone who did not "make their Easter Duty" was barred from entering a church building for the rest of their life and were denied Christian burial after their death!
Summa Theologiae, 3a. 84-90
Prima Pars - Theology, God, the World, etc.
Prima Secundae - Morality, etc. Secunda Secundae - Virtues, etc.
Tertia Pars - Christ, Redemption, and the Sacraments
Baptism and Confirmation 66-72
The Eucharistic Presence 73-78
The Eucharist 79-83
Question 84. The Sacrament of Penance
Introduction to Question 84: "We now have to consider the sacrament of Penance; and under the following headings: first, Penance itself (84-85); second, its effect (86-89); third, its parts (90); fourth, the recipients of this sacrament; (Thomas stopped writing after Question 90.) fifth, the power of the ministers belonging to the keys; sixth, the solemn rite of this sacrament. Under the first heading there are two studies: first, the sacrament of Penance; then, the virtue of penance."
Article 1. Is Penance a sacrament?
Article 2. Are sins the proper matter of this sacrament?
Article 3. Is the form of this sacrament "I absolve you"?
Article 4. Is the laying on of the priest's hands required for this sacrament?
Article 5. Is this sacrament necessary for salvation?
Article 6. Is Penance a "second plank after shipwreck"
Article 7. Was it well for this sacrament to have been instituted in the New Law?
Article 8. Ought Penance to last until the end of life?
Article 9. Is it possible for penance to be continuous?
Article 10. Should the sacrament of Penance be repeated?
Question 85. The Virtue of Penitence
Question 86. The Effect of Penance
Question 87. Pardon for Venial Sins
Question 88. The Return of Sins Once Forgiven
Question 89. Virtue Regained through Penance
Question 90. The Parts of Penance in General
See the explanation of these terms in the glossary
Sacramentum = the rite
Res et Sacramentum = reconciliation with the Church
Res = divine forgiveness.
Name: Church called it "Penance"; people called it "Confession."
Dates: 900 to 1974 when the Rite of Reconciliation was published
Paradigm: Juridical trial, Law court. [Going before the judge; judge must have proper jurisdiction; judge must hear the case clearly and accurately in order to impose the sentence and punishment.]
Process (Stages): sin, contrition, repentance, examination of conscience, confession, ABSOLUTION, penance, [reconciliation?] Note: Absolution is given before the penance is done!
Liturgy: None. The Roman Ritual spoke of confession in "Chapter III: Common Form of Absolution." Very few (none?) liturgical elements: the priest sometimes wore a stole (often what was referred to as an "accordion stole") but no one saw whether he had it on or not.
Ministries: The minister of the Sacrament is the ordained priest with power of orders and the power of jurisdiction (faculties). [The rite is reduced to absolution. Questions of power and jurisdiction: "When can I give absolution and when do I deny absolution?"
Positive Aspects: [i.e. values which are emphasized in this form of the sacrament]
It was repeatable
Somewhat more liturgical than the tariff penance
Can get to Communion quicker
Penance less severe
The "Passio" prayer applied the super-abundant merits of Jesus, Mary and the other Saints to the sinner
The "humility" required on the part of the penitent to tell his or her sins to the priest was itself seen as a penance
Saint Thomas warns the confessor not to heap to many logs on the fire when it is only beginning to be enkindled
Ordinary penance becomes 6 Our Father's for big sins and 3 Hail Mary's for little sins
Negative Aspects: [i.e. values which are not emphasized or not emphasized sufficiently in this form of the sacrament]
Not very liturgical (absolution only)
Not ecclesial except in that you need an ordained priest with jurisdiction.
Focus is on forgiving the sin and not on the reconciliation
Absolution placed before doing the penance
Emphasis on the absolution
Open to the suspicion of magic
Open to abuses of money, stipend payments, misuse of indulgences and power.
Scholastic Confession was an attempt to integrate the best parts of Canonical and Tariff Penance:
As in Canonical Penance
There is a public, ecclesial minister
There is an absolution prayer
As in Tariff Penance
The rite is repeatable
The rite is available for all sins
Contrition / Attrition
Perfect and Imperfect
What removes sin? Contrition or Absolution
Scholastic question now in different perspective
Sacrament celebration of gift given
Be able to take Scholastic Penance through the History Grid from memory.
Copyright: Tom Richstatter. All Rights Reserved. This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M. Every effort has been, and is being made to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own. Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it. This site was updated on 02/12/14 . Your comments on this site are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org