Confession dilemma

I experience unwanted, evil, disturbing thoughts all the time, and usually confess the worst of them even when I think I didn’t give full consent, just to be sure. My Parish has only one priest, and I want to go to Confession this weekend, but I have a problem. I’ve been frustrated with various issues at my Parish lately, and last night I had the thought to c*rse (can’t even bring myself to type the whole word) my priest, and maybe other people or things too, but mainly him. I don’t think I fully consented to it, and I’ve started praying a novena for him, but I’m dreading the idea of having to confess this to him. Can I just say that I had the thought to do that to “somebody” or “a certain priest” and not him specifically? What would make this kind of thought a mortal sin? It’s obviously grave matter, but if I didn’t want to have the thought, that makes it less serious right? It’s so hard to judge full consent with bad thoughts :(. I would go to a different priest, but schedules make it hard to go to the other Parishes in town. I have other sins to confess that may or may not be mortal, so I really don’t want to wait much longer. If I must confess this to my priest I will, but it would be much easier if I didn’t have to. Thanks for your help.

Thoughts that pop into your head are not sins. You say you don’t think you fully consented, How can you consent to a random thought It’s what you do with that thought. It sounds like you didn’t entertain the thought but used it to pray for the priest. I don’t think you need to confess this. If I confessed every bad thought that popped into my head I’d be at confession every day. Thoughts come and go, the sin comes when you let the thought take over.

No sin involved unless you consent to the thoughts.

On the other hand, I would do a quick check to assure that I gave Jesus and Mary custody of my eyes and ears. Don’t put yourself in places and situations where those types of thoughts could be generated. Bad movies, TV, music, people, etc. Stay away from them. Run! Be on guard!

removed as not helpful to the subject.

You must.

Not because it is mortal sin (for without deliberate consent it may not be) but because it will help you in the spiritual combat. What worries me is this strong concern of yours to not confess this (“I’m dreading the idea of having to confess this”). The Spirit moves us to reveal things, the adversary to hide them. Such a strong repulsion from confessing something is in itself an excellent reason to confess that something.

You must not be afraid: confess with utmost simplicity that you were tempted to curse him specifically, as well as other people.

Satan is an expert in tempting us and leading us not to confess things. We must defeat him at the root. The fear to not confess is indeed his work, because it is rooted on shame (which is rooted on pride and vanity) as well as on servile fear of the Lord, which He is not well pleased with.

Relax and remember that you do not confess to a priest, but to Christ. The priest acts in persona Christi, and inside the confessional the relationship between you and him is no longer personal.

I experience unwanted, evil, disturbing thoughts all the time

You may also mention this beforehand, so that he doesn’t get the idea that this temptation was “out of the blue” but, rather, a recurrent thing that reflects an ongoing trial.

I would confess.But also remember sometimes when we try not to think of something, the harder it is not to. Say a Hail Mary anytime you get these thoughts. You can also have a priest bless you as well.

These are signs of scrupulosity and possibly OCD. Please talk to both your priest and a mental health professional about intrusive thoughts and compulsions.

I’ve confessed all kinds of horrible thoughts before, to the point that it’s become routine for me, but I’m scared of this one changing my relationship with the priest. I know that I’m confessing to Christ, but priests are still human and have feelings and memories. I do feel like I should confess it, I’m just scared to do it and that’s why I’m trying to find a way out I guess…

Update: I’ve now had this thought towards all the priests at local parishes, so I guess I have to tell whichever priest hears my confession. I pray everyday to be freed from intrusive bad thoughts and they keep coming back :(.

I want to do both those things, and I know I need a regular confessor, but in my current situation, where I live etc, it’s hard to get to those resources. Plus time and childcare, I have young children at home.

I’ve seen a lot of your posts and respect your opinions. Do you think I need to confess this too?

No, I don’t.

(note we can not give psychicatric advice or diagnose…

Given what you have noted such to be “doubtful” that such was a mortal sin … Particularly since you doubt you gave complete consent (and the “unwanted” aspect of such thoughts).

Hence there would be no obligation for you to confess them or any like thoughts.

(a good general rule is one is advised to confess “doubtful mortal sins” (noting it is doubtful). Those with scruples etc are often* advised* not to confess “doubtful mortal sins”)

One can if one likes (since doubtful) say in general “I have had a number of not good thoughts but they seem to be “intrusive thoughts” -if there was any sin I confess them”.

But again one need not do even that. And in fact it might be advised (see a regular confessor for particular advise) not to confess “intrusive thoughts” (I assume no complete consent) – but include any “sin” under “and all my sins” at the end.

If one did not consent to the thought at all -did not want it – some unwanted “intrusive” thought is not even venial --it happens against your will…

If one does confess something one is doubtful it is sin or doubtful if mortal --on notes such in some way (“it is doubtful”…I am not sure it was mortal… a sin…etc")(unless of course one forgets…)

Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers:

What about a private confession, behind a grill? :thumbsup: What are they doing to set you off, if you don’t mind me asking? Perhaps dropping to your knees and praying the Rosary, every time it happens, would prove effective. The Rosary is a powerful weapon against the devil in my humble opinion. You are in my prayers friend. :slight_smile:

I would listen to 1ke because like you have suggested, you like their posts… :slight_smile:

That way too you wouldn’t have to mention this to your priest because is it a problem rather than a sin?

Perhaps you could have a ‘chat’ with your priest outside of confession about this problem and keep confession for sins rather than problems :slight_smile:

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