public penance


The reception of the sacrament of Penance with public acts of mortification, such as fasting, or the wearing of sackcloth, constituting the element of sacramental satisfaction. In the early Church this method of reconciliation was usually required of those who committed scandalous sins, even though the confession was secret. Public penance continued, in a mitigated form until the 14th century.

MLA Citation

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