Confession Clarification


Hi all, I just have a quick question:

Earlier this week, I went to confession, during which I confessed the sin of masturbation. I used the term “personal sins of impurity.” I did not, however, state the exact number of times that I masturbated. The priest did not ask for clarification; so, my question is, even though I confessed to masturbating but did not state the specific number of times, was this a valid confession? So in other words, I didn’t withhold the sin from confession, just the number of occurrences (which, admittedly is a small number). Anyway, any thoughts are welcome.


Since you did say it in plural form, AND it was a few times, I wouldnt sweat it, and neither did the Priest.

However if you were doing it so much as to need the use of one of these

(can I use a little humor?)

then I think you would need to tell him of the frequency as there may be other issues at play here.

BTW love that euphinism (sp)


I think you’re good to go. If you’re worried, next time you’re in the confessional, ask the priest and get his opinion (or just go ahead and confess it exactly as is; don’t worry, they’ve all heard it before). :slight_smile:


For future reference you are required to state the number of times you have committed a sin if you can remember. If you cannot remember then you should, for example, use words like few, several, many times.


Again just use statements of number such as many, few, too many times to remember etc…You could of course be more specific but if you are worried talk to the priest.

You are in my prayers.

God Bless


That is required by Canon Law, but it is a disciplinary requirement for liceity, and is not an essential part of the sacrament, and not required for validity.

I have never had a priest ask or correct me on this matter, so I am not in the habit of mentioning it.


As Catholics we are bound by Canon Law and we are bound by the Church disciplines (even if we don’t agree with them).
It might be argued that if you know this but deliberately withhold the number of times a sin was committed or the frequency in general terms then you are not genuinely contrite which again it might be argued that makes the Confession invalid.
Why would anyone who knows they are bound to confess the number of times they have sinned deliberately withhold this information. That’s disobeying the Church.

closed #8

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