Confession

Confession before the servants (i.e. before men) is not permissible, for it is not the means or the cause of Divine Forgiveness. Such confession before the creatures leads to one’s humiliation and abasement, and God—exalted by His Glory—does not wish for the humiliation of His servants. Verily He is Compassionate and Beneficent. The sinner must, between himself and God, beg for mercy from the Sea of Mercy and implore pardon from the Heaven of Forgiveness.

Bahá’u’lláh, Glad Tidings, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84-85

Confession of sins and transgressions before human beings is not permissible, as it hath never been nor will ever be conducive to divine forgiveness. Moreover such confession before people results in one's humiliation and abasement, and God -- exalted be His glory -- wisheth not the humiliation of His servants.

Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 24

In this Book He . . . prohibits . . . penance.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 14

How often the Prophets of God and His supreme Manifestations in Their prayers confess Their sins and faults! This is only to teach other men, to encourage and incite them to humility and meekness, and to induce them to confess their sins and faults.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 170

We are forbidden to confess to any person, as do the Catholics to their priests, our sins and shortcomings, or to do so in public, as some religious sects do. However, if we spontaneously desire to acknowledge we have been wrong in something, or that we have some fault of character, and ask another person's forgiveness or pardon, we are quite free to do so. The Guardian wants to point out, however, that we are not obliged to do so. It rests entirely with the individual'.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 178

There are laws in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas which are directed primarily to the members of a specific section of humanity and can be immediately understood by them but which, at first reading, may be obscure to people of a different culture. Such, for example, is the law prohibiting the confession of sins to a fellow human being which, though understandable by those of Christian background, may puzzle others.

Universal House of Justice, 1992 Preface to the Aqdas, p. 8