This formal and regulated " penitence " was extended from apostasy to other grave - or, as they were subsequently called, " deadly " - sins; while for minor offences all Christians were called upon to express contrition by fasting and abstinence from ordinarily permitted pleasures, as well as verbally in public and private devotions.
The existence of feelings of remorse and penitence testify to the presence in the individual of motives to good conduct which, if acted upon and allowed full scope and development, may produce a complete change of character.
47 sqq.), Penitence of Adam and Eve (op. cit.
The full rigour of exomologesis), the extension of the system in which there was nothing public about the penitence except the solemn reconciliation on Maundy Thursday, the allowing of repeated recourse to this reconciliation, the delegation to priests of the power to reconcile penitents in private; such were the successive stages in the development.
A process which is intended to produce penitence and ultimate restoration cannot at the same time contemplate handing the offender over to eternal punishment.