Symposium in Rome Will Discuss Sacrament of Penance

The aim of this Symposium, which will be divided into three sessions, is to explore the evolution of the forms of Penance and penitential spirituality throughout the 19th century.

Newsroom (21/10/2021 08:30, Gaudium Press ) On Thursday, 21 October, the VII Symposium ‘Penance and Penitentiary Between Revolutions and Restorations (1789-1903)’, will begin in Rome. ( The Penitentiary is a priest charged with the administration of the Sacrament of Penance). The meeting will conclude on Friday, 22 October at the Palazzo della Cancelleria.

Aim of the symposium

The aim of this Symposium, which will be divided into three sessions, will be ‘to explore the evolution of forms of Penance and penitential spirituality throughout the 19th century, in the period between the outbreak of the French Revolution and the death of Pope Leo XIII‘.

Furthermore, this event intends to shed new light on the institutional history, prosopography (a look into the common background characteristics of a group of people in history through a study of their lives), and the role of the Penitentiary in the Roman Curia and the Church of the time. This period is marked by confrontation with the demands of the modern world, the hostility of liberal governments, and the loss of the temporal power of the Popes.

Opening of unpublished sources

An awaited moment in this event will be the opening of previously inaccessible unpublished sources. Researchers will be able to consult this material, in which are contained the vows of the so-called Archive of the Theologian.

These works will be opened by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, and the Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça. The event can be followed live on Vatican News Youtube. (EPC)

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Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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