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The formal act of a bishop or priest pronouncing the forgiveness of sins by Christ to penitent sinners. A formula of absolution is included in many liturgical acts of worship, but according to traditional Catholic belief, mortal (or grave) sins are normally absolved only in the Sacrament of Penance. The need for a formal absolution by an ordained minister is commonly denied among Protestants who generally do not ascribe any sacramental force to such an absolution. The indicative form of absolution (‘I absolve you’) is used in the W. for individuals; the precatory form, in which the priest formally prays that God will absolve an individual or congregation, is used for absolutions in the course of the liturgy and in the E. also for individuals.

Subjects: Religion

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