Which of the following is necessary for making an act of perfect contrition?
(I am not asking what is necessary for a person to become eligible to receive Holy Communion. I am focusing on the act of perfect contrition in-and-of-itself).
- intention to confess one's mortal sin(s) as soon as possible
- intention to confess one's mortal sin(s) the next time he receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
I have found conflicting answers on the internet.
However, a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her grave sins at the earliest opportunity and may not, in norma circumstances, receive Communion before he or she has been absolved by a priest in the sacrament of penance.
One who seeks the pardon of mortal sin through perfect contrition must have the intention of confessing that sin the next time he receives the sacrament of Penance — not necessarily as soon as possible.
Baltimore Catechism No.3 Confraternity Edition, by Fr. Connell (same as author of above article)
403 A person in mortal sin can regain the state of grace before receiving the sacrament of Penance by making an act of perfect contrition with the sincere purpose of going to confession.
In order to regain sanctifying grace by perfect contrition, it is sufficient that we intend to go to confession the next time we are obliged to do so.