What OCCA believes Reconciliation

Reconciliation (sometimes called penance) is a sacrament of forgiveness and reconciliation. OCCA continues to offer the sacrament of penance as individual confession to a priest. The Church also allows all to be forgiven at once and together (God knows our sins and also knows if we are truly repentant). "If we say there is no sin in us, then the truth dwells not in us for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." This sacrament reconciles the sinner not only with God, but with the community. The early Western Church survived a terrible persecution (the Diocletian Persecution). Following this reign of terror, those who had left the Church found themselves in need of reconciliation with those who had been brave enough to "confess" publicly to being Christian. The lapsi (those who had lapsed in their faith) were asked to seek out a "confessor" and to work with that brave Christian to reconcile themselves to the Church. Shortly thereafter the "confessors" who had survived the persecution died out and their role passed to the priests of the Church where it resides to this day.