BASIC R.C. BELIEF
In Roman Catholic thought, forgiveness of sin is achieved through the
Sacrament of Penance (Rite of Reconciliation). The person must make an Act
of Contrition, have Intention to perform the penance and receive priestly
absolution. The sins are then forgiven and eternal punishment is remitted.
Some of the temporal punishment still remains.
Outside of the Sacrament of Penance, sins can be forgiven by an Act of
Perfect Contrition, which remits all punishment. Mortal sins thus forgiven
must be confessed to a priest before receiving any other Sacraments.
An Act of Imperfect Contrition (Attrition) can also bring about
forgiveness of venial sins but doesn't take care of temporal punishment.
The Roman Catholic Church knows nothing of complete removal of sins (Psalm
103:12) and forgiveness (I John 1:9).
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