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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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What Happened to Those Who Committed a Mortal Sin Before the Sacrament of Confession was Instituted?

Question:

What happened to those who committed a mortal sin before the sacrament of confession was instituted?

Answer:

They would have needed perfect contrition for their souls to be cleansed of mortal sin. Perfect contrition is having sorrow over sins that is motivated by love for God rather than the fear of punishment only. Since God is both perfectly merciful and perfectly just, they could still obtain the forgiveness of sins and the purification of the soul.

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