The sacrament of Reconciliation is the sacrament of spiritual healing for a baptised person from the distancing from God resulting from sins committed. In reconciliation the role of the priest is as a minister of Christ’s mercy.
Reconciliation involves four elements:
- Contrition (the penitent’s sincere remorse for wrongdoing or sin, repentance, without which the rite has no effect);
- Confession to a priest with the faculty to hear confessions – only a priest has the power to administer the sacrament;
- Absolution by the priest;
- Satisfaction or penance.
“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.'”