As I understand the matter, in the Roman church there can be no forgiveness without confession and/or absolution. Which is why some priests will give absolution to comatose or otherwise unconscious patients, while others might refuse to do so without coscious confession and repentance. That particular church relies far more on the perfromance of rituals -especially the Sacraments - for salvation than it does on a persons' thoughts and state of mind.

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