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If you are granted absolution it means that you have been formally excused after you committed a wrongdoing. More specifically, it means that a priest has officially and formally declared that you are forgiven for a specific sin you have committed or, possibly, for all sins you have committed to date.

If you have been granted one of those more general absolutions, it usually doesn’t cover sins committed after the absolution was granted. You’ll have to buy an additional absolution, at an additional cost, for those.

My understanding is that absolutions are employed primarily in the Catholic Church, but there some other religions that make some use of absolutions, although probably to a much lesser extent.

What a sweet deal this is. You can rape, pillage, murder, torture and use fowl language in the company of women, but make a sizable donation to the Church or do something nice for the archbishop and your good. God forgives you.

I don’t know about you, but I think it was a particularly generous gesture of god to franchise the absolution business to the church. I wonder if I can get in on that racket. Or does being an atheist disqualify me?

The way I see it, an absolution is like a get-out-of-jail-not-so-free card. I wonder if god gets a cut in return for granting forgiveness.

Or maybe the Church is just making this stuff up. It wouldn’t be the first time. Remember that whole sun-revolving-around-the-Earth thing? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it wasn’t true. They just made that up.

By the way, you might also hear absolutions referred to dispensations, but dispensation is a word that starts with d and I won’t be getting to those for quite some time.

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