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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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The obligation by divine law of confessing one's grave sins, committed after baptism, to a qualified priest. It is called auricular confession because normally the manifestation of sins is done by word of mouth and heard by the priest before he gives absolution. (Etym. Latin auricula, the external ear.)