Eucharist, Confession, and Penance

Norman Doe

in The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780198262206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682315 | DOI:
Eucharist, Confession, and Penance

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The Eucharist is the principal liturgical act in both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. The latter possesses a large body of canon law dealing with the celebration of Eucharist and of penance, treated as a sacrament of reconciliation, and also rights of admission to them. Whilst in the Church of England the basic legal framework concerning celebration of and admission to the Eucharist is found in the canons and judicial decisions, many extra-legal norms have been devised, particularly with regard to its administration by the laity in the absence of a presiding priest and its reception by a baptized person who has not yet been confirmed. Whereas the Church of England possesses little modern law on private confession, the precise terms and status of the ministerial duty of confidentiality with respect to confession, a duty presented in absolute terms in Roman Catholic canon law, remain unclear, as do the terms of the considerable body of secular law which exists to regulate disclosure of this information in judicial proceedings.

Keywords: Church of England; Roman Catholic Church; Eucharist; celebration; admission; canon law; confession; penance; confidentiality

Chapter.  12669 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Law

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