Another Confession Question


#1

While confessing does saying “a few times,” “multiple timses” and “more than a few times,” count for saying the number of times a sin has been committed?


#2

If you have to put numbers/amounts on the times you have sinned.. well, if you really think about what you said, try not to sin so often, then you would't have to worry about how many times you did it to begin with :confused: right??? LOL


#3

It's not that I sinned a lot; it's just that I've heard people speak about saying the number of times we committed a certain sin as if it were something we shouldn't do. In certain areas I feel uncomfortable stating the number of times, so I try to find a way around that.


#4

I was taught, when I was a child, to state the number of times a sin had been committed, like “I missed mass twice since my last confession.” In the case of habitual sins, we can say the frequency instead of the exact number, like “I’ve done this once a week.”

I noticed that if you have committed a mortal sin (that means, a sin so serious that you deserve the punishment of hell for it), then you will generally remember how many times you have committed it, so there really is no need to say “a few times” when you mean three times.


#5

There is no need to feel uncomfortable; the priest is there to heal you. Just be honest and as exact as you can.


#6

[quote="C794, post:3, topic:315232"]
It's not that I sinned a lot; it's just that I've heard people speak about saying the number of times we committed a certain sin as if it were something we shouldn't do. In certain areas I feel uncomfortable stating the number of times, so I try to find a way around that.

[/quote]

I'm sorry, I was teasing you only bc of the way you said it. :(
I too, was brought up to confess 'number' of times... Again, my apologies but it wasn't meant to say you are a 'sinner' :)


#7

Umm, if you’re confessing mortal sins, DON’T DO THAT. Doing so invalidates your confession and causes you to commit the sin of sacrilege for concealing mortal sins in the confessional. If one honestly can’t give a number, it’s sufficient to do that, but if you’re doing it to avoid giving the number, it’s a big no-no.


#8

One is obliged to confess all mortal sins in number and kind (and circumstance that changes the kind -- like it was your brother you murdered!)

For mortal sins then one is to give the number one committed.

If I know it was 2x I say 2x if I know it was 10x I say 10x

Also we may not know the numbers ...we do what can ....and if we do not know..we make an approximation according to our knowledge from in our good examinination ... it may be that what we know is such as: 3-5x, 5-10 a month for the last 5 years, somewhere around 50 times, around 10x, or it was several times definately more than 10 ....it may be that one has to say: "a few times", "several times" "many times" etc

Of course one needs contrition and a firm purpose of amendment

If one forgets a mortal sin but one was contrite etc and were seeking to confess all ones mortal sins --it is indirectly absolved --but one is obliged to confess it in the next confession (if it is remembered of course...) (deliberately hiding mortal sin --is a different and serious matter..,)

Venial sins are recommended to be confessed. They can also be forgiven in many other ways. And when one confesses them no number needed. One can be general with such.

(Now I will note that those out there who are scrupulous ....they need to a regular confessor and not scruple about confession...)


#9

[quote="Miss_Dee_LS, post:6, topic:315232"]
I'm sorry, I was teasing you only bc of the way you said it. :(
I too, was brought up to confess 'number' of times... Again, my apologies but it wasn't meant to say you are a 'sinner' :)

[/quote]

No worries :) I figured you were teasing, but I also felt that my post needed clarification. Thanks for you reply.

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:7, topic:315232"]
Umm, if you're confessing mortal sins, DON'T DO THAT. Doing so invalidates your confession and causes you to commit the sin of sacrilege for concealing mortal sins in the confessional. If one honestly can't give a number, it's sufficient to do that, but if you're doing it to avoid giving the number, it's a big no-no.

[/quote]

I don't do that to avoid giving the number, it's more of my way to give the number when I believe that the priest doesn't like hearing the number of times a sin was committed. This feeling is there because I felt that my catechist implied that we shouldn't state the number. Since I know that we are supposed to, I try to find an alternate route to do so. Am I invalidating my confessions by using this method?


#10

[quote="C794, post:9, topic:315232"]

I don't do that to avoid giving the number, it's more of my way to give the number when I believe that the priest doesn't like hearing the number of times a sin was committed. This feeling is there because I felt that my catechist implied that we shouldn't state the number. Since I know that we are supposed to, I try to find an alternate route to do so. Am I invalidating my confessions by using this method?

[/quote]

The number must be given as is for mortal sins. And the Priest is to hear such a number for mortal sins.


#11

I cannot speak necessarily to the confessions already made as to their validity (such needs though to be brought to confession --goto another Priest if need be and explain that one did not give the number etc…)

As for the future - do NOT do this with mortal sins.

Yes if I know I committed murder 10x and I go in and just confess “murder several times” to avoid saying how many -I have yes invalidated my confession and I need to confess those sins in the next confession and any other mortal sins I had confessed and that I did this (and of course any mortal sins since that confession if any)


#12

Regardless of whatever priest, catechist, etc tells you, the Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Council of Trent clearly states that ALL mortal sins MUST be confessed to the best of one’s ability in both number and kind.


#13

The main thing is that you are going to confession, and that you are following the advice you have received. You are also confessing the way you think your priest expects you to. If the advice has been incorrect, or you misunderstood it, then those previous confessions are still valid.

Still, we can always learn to improve our confessions, and so you are asking here. That is good, and I hope you have found our advice helpful.

In this example (“murder 10x”) the confession is invalid not because of the word “several”, but because the word is used to deliberately reduce the actual number. “Several” is vague but it cannot include “ten”. If I had committed three murders, and said “several”, and such was accepted by the priest, then my confession is valid.

We can use approximations, such as “several”, or “daily”, or “frequently”, even for mortal sins. Sometimes it is acceptable or even preferable to use such approximations, and sometimes not. The confessor is the best judge of any case.

It your priest doesn’t want to hear numbers, such as"5" or “228”, then “several” or “very many” is fine. Perhaps a frequency, such as " several times a day", or “two or three times a month” is better.


#14

I would say if you are not sure for certain the number of times then to say "frequently", or "many times" is better then giving an approximation. because the approximation could be a lie. If you say about 10 times and it was really 8 then that's a lie. if I am not sure of the exact number then I say "many times" or "several times" and have never heard an objection from the priest. I think if it was wrong to use those terms the priest would say so.


#15

[quote="Bookcat, post:10, topic:315232"]
The number must be given as is for mortal sins. And the Priest is to hear such a number for mortal sins.

[/quote]

It is important to note that not all priests encourage number and kind confessions. In fact, I have had more than one priest discourage this type of confession. I agree that the number should indeed be given, so I am not meaning to negate your point or argue... just pointing out that this aspect of Reconciliation is even omitted in many Sacrament Prep and CCD classes as well. I had never even heard of needing to confess an exact number until a year ago, and was never once corrected by my priests... and I went to confession weekly!


#16

If we know the number -we are to give the number --not approximate.


#17

Such would be unfortunate when such happens and contrary to the what is to be.

jimmyakin.com/2012/03/confessing-by-kind-and-number.html

As to not being corrected --often Priests will take it as that is what one knows – and not question further. They can hear many many confessions many with the number and a number who do not know it.

Priests could realize that one does not know and will help one make an integral confession.

Of course it is “confession” (we *confess *what we did)… not “interrogation”…and most do not have the gift of reading hearts :slight_smile: to help one say what one is not saying.


#18

[quote="Steveabrous, post:14, topic:315232"]
f you say about 10 times and it was really 8 then that's a lie

[/quote]

How is that a lie? It might be imprecise, but I don't really see it as a lie. You are not deliberately overstating or understating the number, you're just estimating.


#19

The confessional is like a courtroom where the confessor sits as a judge. The defendant is the penitent, and the prosecutor is the penitent’s conscience. The confessor does not accuse you of what sins you committed and how many. It is you who (by your conscience) accuses yourself. Just as in the courtroom a prosecutor has to be precise in stating what crime the defendant is accused, so you as your own prosecutor must state precisely the number and nature of sins you have committed, and for which you ask forgiveness.

If the exact number cannot be figured exactly, you can disclose that the number is only an estimate. Such detail is required, just as in any courtroom.


#20

Thanks for the replies they are really helpful.

Since durring my confessions, my intent was not to hide the number of times I committed a certain sin; could they still be valid? I was truly trying to give an accurate representations of the number by using those phrases. My only goal was to avoid being told not to confess in an outdated method. If I didn’t have that fear I would have stated the number to my best approxiamtions.


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