After a general absolution, must those sins be confessed privately?


My husband got a vasectomy 8 years ago against my will. I took no part in it but after 7 years of grief and really feeling like something was missing in our marriage I asked him if he would at least be willing to confess it as a sin, which he did at a general absolution. I am wondering if this is enough or if he still needs to see a priest because I don’t think there was any penance involved. I still grieve daily over his decision and am wondering if this sin against our marraige has really been absolved because I can’t seem to get over it.


Hi K,

Your parish should not be having general absolutions! General absolutions are only allowed in times of emergency when it would be impossible for each person to be absolved individually. But even in this case the person is obliged to mention the sin the next time he or she receives the sacrament individually.

So yes, your husband needs to mention it the next time he goes to Confession. Your feelings about have nothing to do with the reality. His sin was forgiven. But he owes the Lord the humble acknowledgement of it in the sacrament.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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