Geoff Bowyer (#3076205) American Military University
Hist121: Western Civilization before the Thirty Years War
11 November, 2012
I believe what this document is attempting to do is provide a fourm for understanding the principles behind what penance is, what its purpose is within the church, what its importance was, and the impact it had on those who by its very definition committed sin. In order to fully understand the issues identified, we must have a conception of what penance entails. Many believe penance is a canon or law that ensures one’s salvation for conducting or carrying out acts that would be considered a sin either in the eyes of God, or in the eyes of the church as stated by Hunt…”the church still insisted that the shedding of blood was a sin requiring penance.” (Hunt, 2009. P322). Many believe pennance is one of those things where an individual is admitting to a weakness, or failure within themselves, which can make it very difficult to ask for. While some may look at it as a necessity, some may consider it not only embarrassing, but an admission that they are a bad person. Others may consider this a way that they can release themselves of any guilt from anything they may have done that wasn’t right in the eyes of God. As much as the church considered the Eucharist of major importance, so they did with penance. I believe this is why the church placed such a high importance on it, especially for the invaders who may have killed hundreds, to thousands of their enemy as it provided a way of forgiving their sins. Because God was not available to personally give them forgiveness, it was declared that priests and bishops could act on Gods behalf to provide salvation for those asking for forgiveness. The benefit of penance was that it could make one...