(1) One who has given heroic testimony to the Christian faith.

(2) In the early Church, this term frequently designated a martyr. In modern ecclesiastical language, however, a confessor is a male saint who did not shed his blood for the faith. The Church divides such saints into two classes: those who were bishops (confessores pontifices); and those who were not bishops (confessores non pontifices).

(3) A priest empowered with the necessary jurisdiction to hear confessions and to impart sacramental absolution.