When a person goes to confession, at what exact time are the forgiven of their sins? It the priest does the absolution? Or when a person completes the penance?
The forgiveness takes place when the priest absolves you.
A small story to illustrate this. I went to confession at the beginning of Advent and my penance was a prayer during the Advent season. I said “Do you mean during ALL of Advent? The next four weeks?” He said yes. (It was a very gentle sort of prayer that added perfectly to my Advent preparations.) The point being that my sins were forgiven then, not four weeks later!
It is my understanding that they are forgiven at the absolution. However, the person disposed to the sacrament should have the mindset that they will faithful fulfill to their abilities their penance. For instance, if one was to go to penance and be given a rosary every day for a month, and then croak a few weeks later, their sins would be forgiven.
However, I don’t know about the state of the sacrament if one was to enter the confessional, knowing that no matter the penance, the penitent had no plans of completing the penance. I think this would be a sacriledge against the sacrament, but I don’t know if the persons confessed sins would have been forgiven and the person would just have to confess the additional sin of not fulfilling a penance or how that would work.
I would also think that if someone is absolved in good conscience, but then decides after the sacrament that carrying out the penance is too difficult or chooses not to do it that their previous sins were forgiven due to the good disposition at the time and would likely only have to confess the additional sin of forgoing penance.
Yes when the priest absolves you but you do need to make the penance. Some soul in purgatories, wished deeply to have done their simple penance when they were on earth.
Being forgiven doesn’t erase your obligation to make amend or penance as prescribed by the priest.
If you stole money, you need to return it. If the priest ask you to pray for a cause, you need to do so.