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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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COMMUNAL PENANCE

Group celebration of the sacrament of penance in one of several different ways, authorized by Pope Paul VI in 1973. One form has a communal penitential service, with individual confession of sins with absolution. Another form is entirely communal, including general absolution. When general absolution is given in exceptional circumstances, the penitents are obliged to make a private confession of their grave sins, unless it is morally impossible, at least within a year.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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