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As humans we are vulnerable to temptation and prone to sin. Sin hurts our relationship with God and grave sin may even threaten our salvation. The sacrament of Reconciliation (also called confession or penance) is our opportunity to cleanse our relationship with God by confessing our sins, expressing our remorse and resolving to avoid sin in the future.

Reconciliation is only required for Mortal sins (sins of grave matter, which may threaten our salvation), and Catholics are required to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once each year.

Who Administers

Only validly ordained priests and bishops may administer the sacrament of Reconciliation. The sacrament is administered by the priest or bishop, but ultimately the forgiveness comes from God, through the priest or bishop (CCC 1461).

Who Receives

All Catholics who have received a valid Baptism may receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Effects of the sacrament

The sacrament of Reconciliation forgives all of the sins confessed, restoring our relationship with God and restoring us to communion with the Christ's Church (CCC1468 and CCC 1469).

For more information

Sacraments of Healing (CCC Part 2, Section 2, Chapter 2)