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  #1  
Old Dec 11, '10, 12:53 pm
McatholicN McatholicN is offline
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Default Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

Is a confession still valid if one says the frequency (i.e. about 5 time a week, etc.) of a mortal sin rather than a specific number? I haven't been to confession in a while, and I'm kind of scrupulous, so I think my numbers may seem really high.
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  #2  
Old Dec 11, '10, 3:26 pm
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The Reginator The Reginator is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by McatholicN View Post
Is a confession still valid if one says the frequency (i.e. about 5 time a week, etc.) of a mortal sin rather than a specific number? I haven't been to confession in a while, and I'm kind of scrupulous, so I think my numbers may seem really high.
Don't worry about it M.
I realize that this may be a little hard for you if you are somewhat scrupulous, but God is not 'scrupulous'. He is merciful. He is just.
The important thing is to examine your conscience and pray for perfect contrition.
Begin with being truly sorry for your sins and with a will to never sin again WITH GOD'S GRACE.
It is good to give an idea as to how often you fall down, but you are confessing to God through His minister. God will know how much effort you have put into your confession.

God bless, Reg.
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  #3  
Old Dec 11, '10, 4:59 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by McatholicN View Post
Is a confession still valid if one says the frequency (i.e. about 5 time a week, etc.) of a mortal sin rather than a specific number? I haven't been to confession in a while, and I'm kind of scrupulous, so I think my numbers may seem really high.
I would recommend you speaking with your confessor who knows you.

He can guide you...and you should have a regular confessor.

Yes we need to give number for mortal sin...but sometimes one does not really know....

and especially a person with scruples may have a particular difficulty with this ...so they really need to have a regular confessor.

So sine you have numbers...take both with you and speak candidly. It sort of depends...on what one is talking about. Sometimes it can happen that a person with scruples say "dissect" or "parse" things too much....
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Old Dec 11, '10, 5:22 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

My pastor recommended confessing the approximate frequency if it had been a long time since your last confession and you didn't have a count. [He said that the number is to give the confessor an idea of how ingrained that sin is in you; not build a tally book. ]
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Old Dec 12, '10, 6:03 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by McatholicN View Post
Is a confession still valid if one says the frequency (i.e. about 5 time a week, etc.) of a mortal sin rather than a specific number? I haven't been to confession in a while, and I'm kind of scrupulous, so I think my numbers may seem really high.
if you tend to be scrupulous your advice about confession should come only from the one trusted confessor to whom you always go, not from third parties. In general, there is no rule, report in the manner that gives the priest the best idea of how problematic or habitual the sin is for you. Nothing you do or don't do makes the sacrament invalid, it is the priest's actions that determine validity. Someone who deliberately withholds a mortal sin is not absolved, but the sacrament is still valid if the priest "did the rite right".
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Old Dec 13, '10, 7:31 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
if you tend to be scrupulous your advice about confession should come only from the one trusted confessor to whom you always go, not from third parties. In general, there is no rule, report in the manner that gives the priest the best idea of how problematic or habitual the sin is for you. Nothing you do or don't do makes the sacrament invalid, it is the priest's actions that determine validity. Someone who deliberately withholds a mortal sin is not absolved, but the sacrament is still valid if the priest "did the rite right".


The sacrament is not valid if a person withholds deliberately a mortal sin...and it is not just what the priest does...validity does require various things from the penitent so some of what is said here is not correct (things a person does or does not do can make the sacrament invalid (like deliberately plan to do the same mortal sin tomorrow)...but certainly no one should scruple over things...).

But yes one is obliged to confess mortal sins in number and kind (and circumstance that really changes things..like the person you murdered is your brother). But again ...sometimes one does not have the certain number...and has to say "around this" etc the Priest can help here.

And yes one who has a difficulty with scruples...needs to seek out a regular confessor if they can..and trust him to help you...and of course "do not scruple" about confession..etc.
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  #7  
Old Dec 13, '10, 8:52 pm
acadian acadian is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by Joe Kelley View Post
My pastor recommended confessing the approximate frequency if it had been a long time since your last confession and you didn't have a count. [He said that the number is to give the confessor an idea of how ingrained that sin is in you; not build a tally book. ]
Yes!

I asked a similar question of a priest-friend recently, since I had once confessed serious sins with no numbers. (Not knowing that they were needed.) I asked him if I needed to go back and attach numbers. He said that the numbers were helpful to establish the "degree of the depravity" or some such thing, and that a good confessor may ask for numbers/frequency to help give appropriate counsel and that a penitent may likewise volunteer such information [to help the priest give appropriate counsel]. Other than that, the numbers/frequency were not needed.. and that I could be at peace.
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Old Dec 14, '10, 6:17 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Yes!

I asked a similar question of a priest-friend recently, since I had once confessed serious sins with no numbers. (Not knowing that they were needed.) I asked him if I needed to go back and attach numbers. He said that the numbers were helpful to establish the "degree of the depravity" or some such thing, and that a good confessor may ask for numbers/frequency to help give appropriate counsel and that a penitent may likewise volunteer such information [to help the priest give appropriate counsel]. Other than that, the numbers/frequency were not needed.. and that I could be at peace.
The numbers are required...it is an obligation to confess in number and kind. Not an optional thing....

What may have been meant is that a person who does no know that one needs to do so...and never finds out...then they could still be absolved...and that at times one must give an approx. number...or if need be even... even more broad indication. (and thus the exact numbers are not "needed"...for we are not computers with memory chips)

If though a person forgets or something but later remembers that they murdered 5 people and it was not just 3 ...well they need to say this in the next confession...



Code of Canon Law

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.




But again those with scruples....should speak with their confessor..for they can be in a different boat...wanting to reconfess or give all sorts of unnecessary details etc...or parse things out too much or want to confess things that need not be confessed etc...all sorts of difficulty can be encountered here..so I urge them not to scruple but rather look to their confessor for help
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Last edited by Bookcat; Dec 14, '10 at 6:28 am.
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  #9  
Old Dec 16, '10, 5:25 pm
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JerrySeibert JerrySeibert is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

On this subject; is it wrong that one confesses for a sin that he or she has already confessed and been given absolution. I wonder as the guilt of knowing I had done wrong still bothers me. I understand that I am forgiven. But, I have not forgiven myself? That is what my pastor tells me. Yet, I still do not feel as though I have let it go.
Any ideas? Or references?
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Old Dec 17, '10, 7:53 am
Bookcat Bookcat is offline
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Default Re: Confession: Frequency rather than specific number

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Originally Posted by JerrySeibert View Post
On this subject; is it wrong that one confesses for a sin that he or she has already confessed and been given absolution. I wonder as the guilt of knowing I had done wrong still bothers me. I understand that I am forgiven. But, I have not forgiven myself? That is what my pastor tells me. Yet, I still do not feel as though I have let it go.
Any ideas? Or references?
Sins already confessed and absolved are still "valid matter for confession"

One may confess them again ...like say at the end of your confession...and for all the sins of my life particularly that the murder I committed...or even in a more general.."particularly for those against chastity".

But keep it simple. (and do it that way ...so the priest does not think your murdering someone new each week...)

But if one does so ...it is not from belief that it was not absolved!

In doing so...concentrate on increasing your contrition ..out of love for God...and with a great purpose of not doing such again...

This practice can actually aid at healing the temporal effects of the sin..and overcoming it.

But I would not do it "specifically" too many times...such can become a not good fixation on the thing....though in general one may..say "especially for sins against chastity" Such is a good idea in any case.

And know that one is absolved..after just once And of course ones confessor can advise one..


HOWEVER those who are scrupulous or have some difficulty or tendency towards scruples...follow your confessor...for those in such a boat can want to confess...and reconfess...and reconfess....and never end..always "feeling" not at ease etc....so they can be advised in general to prob NOT to do this ...or to only do it "simply" ...like with a general "and all the sins of my life...particular those against chastity"
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