Certain canonical privileges, particularly associated with confessional jurisdiction, attached to mendicant status. The sacrament of penance, demanding auricular confession, was attacked by all the reformers. Some of the late medieval handbooks, with their insistence on specifying the last theological sub-species of guilt for validity of absolution, explain why Calvin, for instance, found it so distasteful Erasmus wrote a good deal about the sacrament and seems himself to have confessed regularly, if rarely. In general he emphasizes not the sacramental validity but the occasion offered by the sacrament for obtaining advice and direction. It was of course forbidden under the most rigorous canonical penalties for a confessor to reveal anything which could connect a penitent with a sin.
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