The Value of The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation for Psychology
Dontal, Flávio Antônio da Silva
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is considered one of the sacraments of healing due to the peace and consolation it brings to the sinner-confession when divine absolution is granted by means of the actions of the priest after a confession with a truly contrite heart. It is the traditional Catholic belief that the dispensation of the sacrament contributes to the well-being of the individuals who believe in and practice it, once it helps people achieve a greater sense of self-identity and also tighter and more cohesive community threads.In this thesis, we demonstrate the truth of the sacramental character of confession to Christianity, based on its biblical foundations and on the tradition consolidated in Roman Catholicism. We also expound the psychological validity of its practice according to Carl Gustav Jung and Orval Hobart Mowrer. We show how Lutheran theology challenged and destroyed the sacramental essence of confession and led to the practical disappearance of confession in Protestantism. The consequences of such near extinction are pointed out in the end of the thesis, through arguments by Jung and Mowrer and the demonstration of the beneficial effects of the practice of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation to Catholic individuals, benefits of which Protestant communities are deprived.
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