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‘The right to forget’: sins are left behind in the confessional

by Catholic News Agency  |  published on November 18, 2014


Speaking about the “right to forget” sins after confessing them, a Vatican official stressed that God’s mercy truly frees us from our past sins if we truly repent of them.

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary – a Vatican tribunal dealing with issues involving the forgiveness of sins as well as indulgences – explained that while “it is right to sanction someone who has made a mistake,” there is also a right “to not have the errors of the past harm one’s reputation forever.”

According to L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Piacenza concluded a conference on “The Secret of Confession and Pastoral Privacy,” which the Apostolic Penitentiary held at Rome’s Palace of the Chancery on Nov. 13.

In the ordering of divine justice, he explained, this right to forget past sins “is always acknowledged for the penitent who, with a humble and repentant heart, approaches the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”

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