[quote=pazdziernik]I know the form is the absolution formula. I thought the matter was not yet exactly pinned down by the magisterium and that the commonly held opinion is that the matter is the 'tears of contrition" of the penitent. (Not always literal tears but contrition nonetheless.) Can you provide a more precise magisterial reference on the matter for us? (wow. okay pun intended.)
My answer is from my head, I’m not looking it up somewhere. However You will find your answer I’m sure in the canons of the Council of Trent.