absolution

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absolution

the formal setting free from guilt, sentence or obligation; the remission of sin or penance.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

ABSOLUTION. A definite sentence whereby a man accused of any crime is acquitted.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
By new year "absolutions," I mean forgiving myself for my failures during the past year.
That feeling would probably be lost or watered down in a communal service with general absolution. Name withheld Minster, Ohio
Being refused absolution because the priest did not think I was sufficiently contrite.
The only thing that cheapens the experience is the lack of respect for general absolution by those who think their church experience is the only valid church experience.
I have experienced the return of several of our own children from the gift of general absolution. Ruth Arnold Stayton, Ore.
This is tragic and sad--not the loss of general absolution. Father Paul Pilgram, S.J.
The letter from the pope said, "It is clear that penitents living in a habitual state of serious sin and who do not intend to change their situation cannot validly receive absolution." However, this caused consternation among both gay rights groups and those representing sexual abuse victims, as the pope had previously said that priests involved in the sexual abuse scandal in the United States and elsewhere could be forgiven.