genarti: Fountain pen lying on blank paper, nib in close focus. ([misc] ink on the page)
[personal profile] genarti posting in [community profile] les_miserables
Okay, I have a question for the Catholics and/or historical scholars around these parts! I am working on a fic, and the one scene that's keeping it from being finished is hung up on the fact that I know nothing about what confession would have been like for a Sister of Charity in France in the 1820s. I don't mean the exact rite -- I can find the Latin, but I can also write around that part; what I need to figure out are the relevant attitudes.

Google is no help, or I am insufficiently good at Google, because all I can find are a) very general modern explanations of confession, or b) equally modern encouragements for Catholics to go to confession more often. And being raised Episcopalian is in this case no use at all. So I turn to fandom at large.

My question is, of course, about Sister Simplice. My story picks up right after she tells her one major lie on Valjean's behalf, and covers some time afterwards, and it necessarily involves her going directly to talk to the curé of the parish about Valjean's money and Fantine and so forth. I don't need to write the confession scene, necessarily, but I need to know if she would have immediately taken confession about her lie, or what.

How does this work if you repent the sin but don't regret the act? What counts as contrition for this purpose? Are there other dimensions to consider in the church structure, with a non-cloistered nun and a parish priest, which would affect the timing or the fact of the confession? HOW DOES THIS WORK I DON'T KNOOOOW. I don't need 100% certainty, but I do need general plausibility, and I don't feel at all secure about what is and isn't plausible. All assistance gratefully welcomed! (All tangents also welcomed, on general principles.)
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