His chancellor, Nogaret, went to Anagni to seize the pope and drag him before a council; but Boniface died without confessing himself vanquished.
Fitzmaurice came in and knelt in the mud at the president's feet, confessing his sins; but he remained the real victor.
Outside the New Testament of aversion to receiving back into Church fellowship those who, after confessing Christ, had been guilty of grave sins.
Ordinarily the sinful cleric prayed and fasted at his own discretion, and nothing is said of his confessing his sins.
It was more and more regarded as the special function of the priest to administer absolution, though as late as the i 6th century we hear of laymen confessing to and absolving one another on the battlefield because no priest was at hand.