After reading the Catholic Answers on the old types of Penance I have to ask what are people afraid of so much when confessing their sins? No penance can compare to these historical examples:
Gregory the Wonderworker
“Weeping is done outside the gate of the oratory, and the sinner standing there ought to implore the faithful, as they enter, to pray for him. Hearing is in the narthex inside the gate, where the sinner ought to stand while the catechumens are there, and afterward he should depart. For let him hear the Scriptures and the teachings . . . and then be cast out and not be reckoned as worthy of [the penitential] prayer. Submission allows one to stand within the gate of the temple, but he must go out with the catechumens. Assembly allows one to be associated with the faithful, without the necessity of going out with the catechumens. Last of all is participation in the consecrated elements” (Canonical Letter, canon 11 [A.D. 256]).