Is the verbal Act of Contrition indispensable for the Sacrament of Penance to be licit? That is, if the Confessor does not require that the Act of Contrition be said while the Penitent is in the Confessional, is that Confessor violating the Church’s directions for the Sacrament? This is quite apart from the validity of a Confession when the Penitent is contrite and expresses that contrition to God outside of the Confessional. Thank you.
Yes, the rite does require the act of contrition. To skip it is illicit, i.e. contary to the law–though the sacrament is valid.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.