"Discernment" was the prevailing theme in the pope's message to the confessors
during the seminar:
In the past, only a bishop or a designated chief confessor
of a diocese could grant absolution for an abortion.
He was one of the confessors
of the novices, homilist and a spiritual guide.
Marguerite's attention to the topic of clerical abuse in the Heptameron has already been well researched, but the text's references to women serving as confessors
merit further scrutiny.
At the conclusion of the Pauline year, Pope Benedict proclaimed the Year of the Priest and promised to publish a handbook for confessors
and spiritual directors.
Related Lives: Confessors
and Their Female Penitents, 1450-1750.
Certainly some confessors
had personal ambitions, whether to demonstrate their prowess in spiritual direction or to claim enlightenment acquired in the company of a spiritually gifted penitent.
A study of his confessors
and favoured preachers and of his relationship with the friars indicates a keen interest in theology.
Women, Men, and Spiritual Power provides a well-researched and insightful exploration of the dynamics of authority between female visionaries and their male confessors
between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.
With Related Lives: Confessors
and Their Female Penitents, 1450-1750, Jodi Bilinkoff has made a substantial contribution to the study of early modern Catholicism.
Inquisition trial records; inquisitorial correspondence; confessors
' manuals; and treatises on demonology, politics, magic, and superstitions provide the evidence as he focuses on three Inquisition cases that highlight especially pertinent issues and four others that introduce a cast of supporting characters.
It contains sections describing the bishop, presbyters, deacons, confessors
, widows, lectors, virgins, subdeacons, healers, neophyte Christians, and artisans and craftsmen.