Can I go to confession before being received into the Church?

I was baptized Catholic as a baby, but raised Protestant. Last year I began studying the Catholic faith, and have been studying on my own since then. I am about to join an RCIA class, and have been going to Mass.

I know that I can’t receive the Eucharist until I have completed RCIA. My priest has said that I will be confirmed at Pentecost. But, can I still go to confession, since I was baptized? Or do I have to receive formal instruction through RCIA in order to be able to go to confession?

You will certainly be expected to go to confession before you are received into the Church; the only question is when that will happen. Because you have been baptized, you are capable of receiving confession (baptism is the gateway to the other sacraments); but you need to first be instructed in the sacrament of confession and be prepared for the sacrament.

RCIA is primarily for catechumens (i.e., unbaptized adults). For reasons of practicality, non-Catholic Christians are usually instructed through the RCIA, but this is not required. You can request instruction in the faith apart from RCIA. Once you feel you are ready to be received into the Church, you may ask your priest to assess your readiness and receive you into the Church should he determine that you are indeed ready.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit