Sacramentum Mundi Online

Get access

(2,174 words)

1. Concept. Contrition is an element or aspect in that process of individual salvation which is usually called metanoia, conversion (in the sense of change of heart and life), repentance, justification. It can therefore only be correctly understood and judged in that larger context. Since it is a rejection of sin, it presupposes a theologically correct understanding of sin and guilt.

2. The teaching of the Church. The Council of Trent describes contrition as “sorrow of heart and detestation for sin committed, with the resolution not to sin again” (D 897, 915). The Church’s doctrine …

Cite this page
Karl Rahner, “Contrition”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 06 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

▲   Back to top   ▲