The Protestant Pulpit:
Removing Auricular Confession, Adding Public Confession in Our Worship
In the year 1215, under the popedom of Innocent III, the Council of Lateran met. The 21st canon of this Council enjoined in substance that all the faithful of both sexes, after they came to years of discretion, should privately confess their sins to their own priest, at least once a year, and endeavor faithfully to perform the penance enjoined on them; and after this they should come to the sacrament, at least at Easter, unless the priest for some reasonable cause judged it fit for them to abstain for that time. And whoever did not perform this was to be excommunicated, and put out of the Church; and if he died was not to be allowed Christian burial. Of this canon, the Roman writer Fleury remarks, “This is the first canon, so far as I know, which imposes the general obligation of sacramental confession.”
Note: This blog was deleted after I prepared this post :-(. I don’t know where the blog author has gone.