Confession dillemas


I have scruples. Last Confession, I could swear before Almighty God that something I did was a mortal sin, but I sort of danced around it, never really confessing it. Now, I’m not so sure it is a sin. Does that invalidate my last confession?

Also, if that last Confession was invalid, it has been around a year and a half since my last Confession. How long should my examination be?


There are several ideas about NOT Confessing a Mortal Sin.

  1. Are you sure that this particular Sin is a MORTAL sin?
    If yes, how did you determine this?
    There is a difficult issue, trying to find out if a sin is a Mortal Sin.

I called the Vicar at my diocese about missing a Sunday (Mass-wise).
He danced around for several minutes.
After I tried to pin him down, he STILL did not give me a solid answer (Just, that I probably didn’t break-away totally from God, which is an aspect of Mortally sinning).
Last year, I missed 3 Sundays, while I was traveling to visit relatives.
I COULD have attended, but I chose to NOT attend, especially because of their schedule (and mine)
Yet, last year (because I go to Daily Mass), I attended about 300 Masses.
SO, I am still not sure about that one.

  1. Is an Absolution, TRULY an absolution of all Sins?
    Some people believe that as long as you go through the motions of confessing some sins, that the Absolution gets rid of all un-confessed sins too.
    (So, if this is the case, then you are completely relieved of worrying about Mortal Sin.)
    Others feel that EVERY Mortal Sin (or possible Mortal Sin) must be individually confessed in order to be absolved.

The Bottom Line is : How do YOU feel about that un-confessed Mortal Sin?
If you worry about it, then (by all means) confess that sucker, and get rid of it.

Then, SandwichOrder asks : "If that last Confession was invalid, it has been around a year and a half since my last Confession. How long should my examination be?"

I do not understand what you are asking here.
Could you please re-state it.
If you confessed certain Sins already at Confession, then those Sins are forgiven.


Go to Confession and tell the priest everything you have said here. He will help you make a valid Confession if indeed the last one was not valid. He will also help you make as complete as possible an examination of conscience.

It will be worth it to set yourself right with God and also to set your mind at ease. :slight_smile:


All mortal sins must be confessed. The church teaches that.


How can the priest help me with my examination of conscience? Shouldn’t that be done outside the confessional.


Go to confession now & tell the priest exactly what you have said here.


The most important part of your post is that you suffer from scrupulosity. You are not a good judge of what is a sin. Instead of feeling free and clean of sin after confession you are rehashing the confession in your mind and probably making yourself more guilty than you are. A year and a half is a long time to wonder about this. Tell the priest that you have scruples and about the possible sin. He will help you sort this out. People with scrupulosity need a priest to help them with their examination of conscience.


I can’t walk into a confessional 15 or even 30 minutes before mass saying “Hey, by the way, Father, help me examine my conscience and hear my Confession.”

However, if anyone knows what I should do or could offer advice with regards as to knowing whether my last good Confession was three or,eighteen months ago, please post, as it will have severe implications on my examination.


Make an appointment with the priest for an examination of conscience, along with your confession so there won’t be others waiting for confession.


I don’t have an answer to your question, but maybe these things will help.

For a confession to be valid you must: be sorry for your sins, you must resolve to not commit them again, and you must confess ALL your mortal sins. You are strongly encouraged to also confess venial sins, but not required.
If you deliberately withold a mortal sin, the confession is invalid. Since you didn’t confess a sin you thought was mortal I don’t know if your confession was valid or not.

For a sin to be mortal it must be gravely/seriously wrong, you have to know it is gravely/seriously wrong, and you have to commit it with full consent.

You should do an examination of conscience, using an examination of conscience guide that can be found online or in a pamphlet at church to jog your memory of sins you’ve committed. Then write down your mortal sins and an estimate on how many times you’ve committed them on a piece of paper at the table (not on another stack of papers, or you might have multiple copies of your examination of conscience floating around) Then go to confession and confess all your mortal sins and how many times you’ve committed them, and ask the priest about the thing that you didn’t confess and if it invalidated your confession. After that, burn the paper and scatter the ashes.
Don’t wait. You can have all this done by Saturday afternoon confession, or schedule one and go sooner.

God bless,



I have thought about this a little bit more, and I think, if you are sure you didn’t leave out a mortal sin, your confession was valid. If I were you, I would examine my conscience for just the last three months and ask the priest about your confession 18 months ago. If he says it was invalid, (which I doubt he will) confess any mortal sins that come to mind from the past 18 months. After confession, make another examination of conscience for mortal sins reaching back to your last valid confession. You might need to re-confess mortal sins from your upcoming confession if things play out this way, but I’m not sure. You can ask him about that as well.

I hope this helps,

God bless,



What if you go to confession and no priest is available? Is the group confession the same as a one-on-one confession?

What if confess and are absolved and make the same mistake? Can you confess again and be truly forgiven? How do people with chronic problems manage?

What if I fear I will be in a situation that may lead to sin and I know it is highly possible. Can I pre confess? Is it all hopeless? Does it invalidate a previous confession?

Talking with a Priest would so much easier - I need spiritual guidance.


I think the best advice to examine your conscience and get to confession.

I did confess and was forgiven and did mess up again. People with addictions face this I am sure. But it worries me that I may confess and mess up again. It concerns me greatly.


since you have stated that you have scruples, the internet is not where you need to find your answers. Doing so is only a means of avoiding the issues.

You need to find a confessor, stick with him, follow his directions absolutely and completely, and not seek “help” elsewhere as that only produces conflict with what he may tell you you need to do.

Scruples is a heavy burden to carry. People on the internet, almost to a person, are not able to answer your questions, because your questions only lead to more of the same. The answers we give are not going to help you, or relieve your worries. They will only exacerbate the problem.

God bless. Find a confessor who understands the issue of scruples, and then don’t vary at all from him.


What if I fear I may commit a sin this weekend - in Bangkok - opportunity - I know I should not - availability - I am weak - I know what I should do - I have relations out of marriage - I confess - I am sorry - I try never to do it again - it all seems contrived.


Why can’t you? Your statement smacks of a cop-out. Priests are always faced with helping penitants examine their consciences every time the are in the Confessional.
I strongly suggest that you enter " Examination of Conscience" on any search engine and then explore the various sites to find one that suits you.


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