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The doctrine that imperfect contrition, i.e., sorrow for sin not from perfect love, is sufficient for valid absolution in the sacrament of penance. Luther (1483-1546) attacked it as "repentance of the gallows" out of fear of God. but the Council of Trent declared that attrition is a morally good preparation for the sacrament of penance.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.