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Manifestation of Conscience
is a practice, in religious orders, of making one's superior, such as an abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...
Prior is an ecclesiastical title, derived from the Latin adjective for 'earlier, first', with several notable uses.-Monastic superiors:A Prior is a monastic superior, usually lower in rank than an Abbot. In the Rule of St...
, aware of the state of one's conscience. This is so the superior may know them intimately, and thus further their spiritual progress.
It is not a form of Confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...
and therefore the superior need not be a priest. As in Confession, however, the secret must, however, be kept inviolably, and hence a subject may object to any external use whatever of the revelations he has made to the superior.
The knowledge of the state of soul acquired by manifestation of conscience enables the superior to determine the expediency of the frequency of communion, what spiritual reading is to be selected, what penances to be practised, what counsel to be given concerning doubts, difficulties, and temptations.
By the decree "Quemadmodum", of 17 December 1890, Pope Leo XIII forbade both mandatory manifestation of conscience and the practice of superiors inducing their subjects to make such manifestations.