RCIA 482 makes a strange distinction. But before we get to that, I want to clear up something I saw elsewhere on the internet about non-Catholics not being able to make a confession of sins. Certainly, the elect are ineligible to confess. And besides, they have the benefit of the scrutinies as well as being able to experience the forgiveness of sins in baptism.
The Church clearly expects candidates for full communion to celebrate the sacrament of Penance:
482. If the profession of faith and reception take place within Mass, the candidate, according to his or her own conscience, should make a confession of sins beforehand, first informing the confessor that he or she is about to be received into full communion. Any confessor who is lawfully approved may hear the candidate’s confession.
It’s curious that this confession “should” take place if the candidate is to receive Communion. One would think that for the conferral of Confirmation, one would also have had serious sins forgiven.
RCIA 482 makes sure we know this isn’t a “practice” confession or a “non-sacramental” event. Note the two important phrases:
– according to his or her own conscience
– should make a confession
Any confessors out there who have advice about the ideal thoroughness of this adult’s first confession? I’m pretty sure the “pick one sin you want to work on” approach is eliminated from the get-go.