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Catechism of the Catholic Church
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I. What is This Sacrament Called?
It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present
Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5
from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of
sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense
it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the
holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
5 Cf. Mk 1:15; Lk 15:18.
6 OP 46 formula of absolution.
7 2 Cor 5:20.
8 Mt 5:24.
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