The practice of confession in the Church of England practically dates from his two sermons on The Entire Absolution of the Penitent, in 1846, in which the revival of high sacramental doctrine is complemented by the advocacy of a revival of the penitential system which medieval theologians had appended to it.
In the diocese of Rome, exercised discipline of a penitential kind over their lay members; but in later times their censures have generally ceased to carry temporal consequences.
He was condemned, as "vehemently suspected of heresy," to incarceration at the pleasure of the tribunal, and by way of penance was enjoined to recite once a week for three years the seven penitential psalms. This sentence was signed by seven cardinals, but did not receive the customary papal ratification.
This fine penitential prayer seems to have been modelled after the penitential psalms. It exhibits considerable unity of thought, and the style is, in the main, dignified and simple.
We find that " penitential books " for the use of the confessional, founded partly on traditional practice and partly on the express decrees of synods, come into general use in the 7th century.