The sacrament of Penance (Confession) is necessary for the forgiveness of sins (or else, as far as I know, baptism (if you were previously unbaptized) or last rites or a combination of perfect contrition and the actual intention to confess).
However, in the story of the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8), Jesus forgave her sins without the Gospel mentioning her asking for forgiveness or explicitly confessing her sin to Christ.
Is it just to forgive someone without them asking for forgiveness, or even having any contrition whatsoever?
Could this Gospel reading be used to support an argument that sacramental confession is unnecessary for the forgiveness of sins? (of course, such an interpretation would be false).
What arguments would you have against an anti-confession reading of this passage?
My arguments would be: (a) That the woman at least implicitly admits, and so confesses, her sin to Christ (as evinced by the reading itself); and/or (b) that Christ forgives her without her asking for forgiveness because He knows she is sincerely contrite and desires forgiveness from God (because of His omniscience as God); and/or (c) that the sacrament of confession was not yet instituted at this time and so no one had an obligation to confess their sins for them to be forgiven (as evinced by the sacrament being instituted in a later verse of John's Gospel), and/or (d) that by saying for her to go and sin no more, Christ is implicitly commanding her to repent of her sins because to have committed such a sin without repenting of it would itself be a distinct sin.
For the purpose of this thread, please exclude theories that the woman is actually Mary Magdalene or the woman who anointed Christ's feet.