medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture Dear George
 
Some answers to your questions, but dated 1355, are found in Passavanti, "Specchio della Vera Penitenza":
 
a) confession is the second component of penance, the first is contrition and the thrid satisfaction - so confession is not identified with absolution.

b) the presence of a priest for confession is not necessary in a case of emergency - P. gives the example of a confession to a servant in a stable as valid and gives Caesarius as his source. Note that contrition is not sufficient, it needs to be accompanied by confession, i.e. the sorrowful speaking out of one's sin to another (but not necessarily the priest).
 
The exemplum does not allow a straight answer to your question if a priest need to be present, because the adulterous penitent in question is himself a priest. Moreover, as already pointed out by Tom, even if one confessed to a priest on those dates, he may have to wait if being referred to the higher authorities for certain sins. Incidently, P. also cautions confessors against refusal to absolve, less it leads the penitent to despair.
 
Hope this helps, best wishes
 
Eliana
 

 
 
 
> Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 18:45:06 +0100
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [M-R] questions restated
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> Dear colleagues,
>
> In light of what I wrote before, I'd like to re-present my queries to
> you:
>
> My question to you has to do with the late thirteenth-century notion
> of confession. Can Celestine's bull be understood to present the
> concept of confession as one which necessarily demands a priest's
> absolution, or could the act of confession be conceived as something
> separate from absolution? Could confession have been understood as
> requiring the presence of, and dialogue with, a priest, or could the
> notion have been open to the possibility that a confession could be
> made, e.g., to a group of ordinary people?
>
> For example, what if a priest were to hear a confession at the church
> of Santa Maria di Collemaggio from the evening of 28 August to the
> evening of 29 August in the years around 1300 but refuse to absolve
> the person -- in the 1294 context of the Pardon, would the act of
> confessing one's sins, if one is truly contrite, suffice for
> attaining the Pardon?
>
> George
>
> --
> George FERZOCO
> [log in to unmask]
>
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