auricular confession


  • Latin: auris, ear


The manifestation of one’s sins to the priest alone, to obtain their sacramental pardon; in contradistinction to public confession. The testimony of the first three centuries regarding confession, while not abundant, affords unquestionable evidence that, although public confession was very common, auricular confession, especially of secret sins, was in use. Frequently, however, auricular confession was followed by public penance. From the fourth century auricular confession has been the prevailing method of the Church.

MLA Citation

  • “auricular confession”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 June 2010. Web. 29 November 2021. <>