public confession


The confessing of one’s sins to others besides the officiating priest with a view to receiving sacramental absolution. In the early Church the public confession of public sins was customary. Even secret sins were sometimes thus confessed, though for these the Church permitted auricular confession. The custom of public confession began to decline in the 4th century. The only form in which it exists today is in confession made through an interpreter. However, extrasacramental public confession survives in the “chapter of faults” held in religious communities.

MLA Citation

  • “public confession”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 June 2010. Web. 30 November 2021. <>