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  #1  
Old Apr 5, '12, 7:13 pm
aubny2 aubny2 is offline
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Default Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

If you are in confession, and you know why you commiteed a certain sin, do you have to say that or is it only necessary to say what the sin is?
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Old Apr 5, '12, 8:19 pm
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fermat fermat is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

Just the sin. If you know, you should also way say the number of times you committed it.
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Old Apr 5, '12, 8:23 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

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Originally Posted by aubny2 View Post
If you are in confession, and you know why you commiteed a certain sin, do you have to say that or is it only necessary to say what the sin is?
You don't have to, but if you want to really get spiritual advice, sure, you can say why you think you are doing it. Or why you think you did it. Try to give a number of times or the duration you have committed the sin as well. If you can't figure out why you do that sin, then just the sin is fine.
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Old Apr 5, '12, 9:10 pm
midori_ midori_ is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

Are you trying to justify yourself? To make excuses? If you're trying to explain your rationale for why you thought it was okay at the time to do x, it's probably not such a great idea to do that in the confessional.

Usually, I know exactly why I failed at avoiding a particular sin. I know in my head why I was able to justify it to myself at the time. I know, theoretically, what I need to do to avoid it in the future. If I had a spiritual director, or was looking for spiritual guidance from a priest, I might hash it out in a conversation outside the confessional, but I'm at confession for absolution, and if I was going to go into detail about something, it would have to be something enormously big that I felt very troubled or conflicted by and I needed guidance right then and there. But for most of your run-of-the-mill failures, I wouldn't go in that direction.
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Old Apr 5, '12, 9:14 pm
TryingToLearn TryingToLearn is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

I guess I have a slightly different perspective to add...

You should consider if the cause of your sin was actually another, more dangerous sin...

When I came back to practicing my faith whole-heartedly I found that my confessions did just center on stating my actions... But, as I developed my conscience and awareness of my sins and their causes I came to realize that the cause of the sins I was confessing was almost always something more serious that I needed to confess...

I would sin due to anger. I would sin because I put something ahead of God. I would sin because I allowed myself to doubt. I would sin because I would allow myself to rationalize my "right" to do something...

So... I wouldn't say you don't need to confess the reason. I'd say you need to explore the reason and see if there is another underlying sin that you need to confess and work on...

But, if the reason isn't a sin. You are not obligated to state that.

But, as others have said, a good confessor given that information can offer more spiritual advice than if simply presented with kind and number... Even you are rationalizing your sin, a good confessor will hear that, point it out, and offer spiritual advice better suited to your need.

And, I've found many priests that will take on more of a spiritual advisory role when they hear me trying to understand/make sense of my sinful nature vs. just coming with a checklist to be absolved...
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Old Apr 5, '12, 9:48 pm
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twoangels twoangels is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

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Originally Posted by aubny2 View Post
If you are in confession, and you know why you commiteed a certain sin, do you have to say that or is it only necessary to say what the sin is?
I was taught as a child to just name the sin and the number of times you committed it. This made it difficult for me to identify my sins. I kept trying to categorize everything into either the ten commandments or something listed in a confession guide. This led to situations where I knew I had sinned but couldn't put my sins into words. I now focus on the seven deadly sins and look for ways they express themselves in my life. I also sometimes get into circumstances around sin in order to get better spiritual direction in the confessional. I believe it is a more complete examination of conscience when you understand the factors contributing to sin.

This is completely different than confessing a sin but then trying to justify the sin by confessing other people's sins. Sometimes circumstances are important to gain good spiritual advise, but that should be done in a manner of "Ok, I'm tempted to do this and I keep falling into it, but I can't figure out a better way to deal with this person. What is my moral obligation when someone treats me this way?" That sort of thing.

You don't have to do all that, but I believe you make a better confession when you do.
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Old Apr 6, '12, 5:47 am
BrJuniper BrJuniper is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

When participating in the Sacrament of Confession the Minister is to listen to the penitent as the representative of Holy Mother Church and offer the forgiveness of the Christ in union with His will. The purpose of the Sacrament is forgiveness. We each have those sins which are a difficulty as well as those which we may never concern ourselves with. Acknowledgement of acting against God is all that is required, understanding why may go to culpability, but is not requisite for reception of the Sacrament.
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Old Apr 8, '12, 8:19 am
fredms3 fredms3 is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to say why you committed sins in confession?

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Originally Posted by aubny2 View Post
If you are in confession, and you know why you commiteed a certain sin, do you have to say that or is it only necessary to say what the sin is?
IMOH, you can do that, anyway, you are there not only for the purpose of being given absolution for the sins committed, but, also to feel the loving presence of God thru the administering priest. His advice go as far as your reason, how and why you finally committed the sin. That actually, for me, is very beneficial to the penitent,
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