Confession concerns


I read a survey last week that only 6% of regularly-practicing Catholics go to confession on a regular basis, and that only 1% go more than once a month. At the same time, reception of the Eucharist is at an all-time high. This survey was conducted in 1990, so I imagine the numbers are even less now.

I have several Catholic friends and family members who do this – they never go to confession, but receive the Eucharist every Sunday. They have rationalized away what they are doing. One has told me she feels guilty about it, but believes God knows her heart, knows she isn’t an evil person, and will forgive her. While I don’t dispute that, I told her that isn’t Catholic teaching.

I am deeply deeply concerned about this. It seems since the Second Vatican Council, the notion of sin, hell, and evil has been glossed over. In my view, it is imperative that you knowingly do not have any mortal sins on your soul before receiving the Eucharist…and doing so will put your salvation in danger – that’s what the Church teaches. Yet, this teaching isn’t emphasized, and further many parishes barely even offer confession times.

For several years I have felt a calling toward some type of religious life and within the past few I have taken steps toward that end. I believe this concern is the specific niche for me in the Church – I believe I am called to preach about this, hear confessions, and offer absolution. It’s still a bit out of focus and is going to need some refining, but I have the general area pinned down.

Any comments about this? I would like to engage in a dialogue about this topic, if anyone is interested.


Confession: I think that small amount of confessors is driven by our, ‘do what you feel like, it’s all good’ culture. Many people may not be able to see sin because they have been conditioned to feel good no matter what. It’s hard to admit to wrong doing, and it is even harder when society actively encourages you not to.

Eucharist: Similar vein. If I am good, then I can receive. Plus, I am sure a lot of Catholics don’t know that you are not supposed to receive in a state of mortal sin. I didn’t know that until my 30’s and I am a cradle Catholic who wen to Catholic school!


This really really concerns me…I really feel I’m called to preach about this danger, then hear confessions and be used by the Holy Spirit to provide absolution.


That would be a wonderful ministry, and very much needed in our day. Have you read any biographies of St. John Vianney? He would make an excellent patron for you.


I have not, but thank you for the suggestion! :slight_smile: I will ask my mentor/spiritual director about this.

I know Padre Pio spent a good amount of time in the confessional booth…I feel like that model is something I should emulate.


It saddens me and causes me to fear greatly for these people’s souls. My husband is one of them! :frowning: He doesn’t think that there are any mortal sins other than outright theft and murder. He thinks, “good” is “good enough.” Now, to his credit, he is a very moral and ethical person, but I’d hardly even call him a Catholic since he can’t say he believes in God. :eek:

I did it too, though. I didn’t realize how deep in sin I was, frankly. Now I confess at least once a month, “whether I need to, or not.” LOL I always need to!

Let’s all pray for these sanguine Catholics to feel pricked by the Holy Spirit to go to confession before they Commune again!



I agree with you, Juliane…you know exactly how I feel. One of my good friends hasn’t gone to confession since 1994. He’s a great guy, and wonderful…but he is divorced, has met various women for liaisons (though he’s not a male slut or anything)…and yet still receives the Eucharist every week. I’ve asked him about this and he’s rationalized it away…but I really do worry about him.

I know for years I’ve had some kind of calling to serve in the Church…and I really think it’s in this area.


Perhaps those who have not gone regularly have not committed mortal sin. If so, receiving the blessed sacrament is no problem. While it may seem unlikely they are free of mortal sin, only God knows, and we should not be so quick to usurp God’s authority to judge.


A lot of people are afraid to go to confession because the devil incites a nervousness in order to keep people away and they tell themselves things like the priest will yell at me or my sins are too embarassing etc. People need to pray to God to help them go because those sorts of worries and temptations are not going to go away in the future but the need to confess remains. The truth is that confession is easy because God wants it to be priests have heard all the sins and aren’t going to yell at confessors.


When you become a priest, right? :smiley:


you know, i’ve been thinking about this same thing. The parishes and diocese need to push this teaching further so people understand it. I also agree on teaching more about hell, sin, damnation, etc. People today are just babied around too much. They think that everyone is going to go to heaven so that they do not have to change their cushy lives. It’s a tough topic to talk about, but it needs to be done fast.

Just like Our Lady of Fatima said, souls will fall into hell like leaves falling from trees.

(I don’t know the exact quote so please don’t get mad. I just remember hearing it from the Fatima tour. :slight_smile: )


[quote="Jordanes, post:3, topic:288178"]
This really really concerns me...I really feel I'm called to preach about this danger, then hear confessions and be used by the Holy Spirit to provide absolution.


Same here bro!


Are you saying that you feel called to the priesthood? Have you spoken to a priest?


I’m glad to hear that you have a spiritual director. This conversation is one that you should be holding with him. If you are called to the priesthood (which is more than hearing confessions), than you should also discuss this with your pastor and contact the diocesean vocations director.


I can accept this premise, but I know personally two people for whom this is untrue. One has not gone to confession since 1994 and has had a number of sexual encounters outside of marriage since his divorce – yet he still receives the Eucharist every week. I know he’s committing some kind of mortal sin there.


I agree, but part of the problem is what I have highlighted – many people today don’t believe in the devil, or in hell. Those concepts do not fit in well with the modern world, so the Church tends to shy away from teaching about them.


Of course. :yup:


Exactly. I’m not saying we should be preaching hellfire and brimstone – but it is important to ensure this Catholics are exposed to this teaching. Young people today don’t even know the difference between mortal and venial sins, or aren’t being taught about purgatory. It is the responsibility of the Church to teach these things, and they are being all but ignored.


I’ve established a relationship with a priest, and we’ve been talking since December 31, 2010. I know I’m eventually going to go into some type of religious life, once I figure out where exactly God is calling me. This concern I posted about is a large piece of it, though…I feel certain.


Oh, I will. I’ve sent him some emails of articles addressing this topic and I know we’ll discuss it soon. I am aware the priesthood is more than hearing confessions. I have already made contact with several vocations directors of different dioceses/orders…I’m deep in the process of discernment.

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