Confession for Non-Catholics?


Good afternoon everyone,

I plan to begin RCIA when classes resume in the fall and look forward to converting to Catholicism when the initiation is complete. In the meantime I am faithfully attending mass, praying and reading the Bible and studying Catholicism. However in the meantime, I am worried about the condition of my soul. I know there are things I need to confess. In the fall of 2007 I was moved by God to repent to Him for sins and then seek forgiveness for those I have sinned against. I truly feel repentant, but I believe I need to go through confession as well. Furthermore I am currently in a civil marriage(now headed for divorce) that I am about 99% sure was not sacramental and not recognized by God, and I don’t know what to do about it at the present. I would like to confess to a priest. But as someone who has not been baptized into the Catholic church, am I allowed to partake in confession?


You need to speak with your priest. :slight_smile:


Hi kettle,

I get that I need to speak with the priest of my parish. But I don’t know the protocol involved in doing so. As I stated, I am not officially part of the Catholic church and won’t be baptized into it for some time. Since I was raised Baptist, I have little idea of the protocol regarding speaking to a priest-whether or not I even have such a right at this present time. That is what I am asking.


Since you are not Catholic, the sacraments are not available to you yet. You will make a first confession at the discretion of your parish priest, ONLY IF you have already been baptized. If you have not been baptized yet (validly, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit”), then the baptism washes away all the sins you seem eager to confess.

Remember to keep the sacrament of reconciliation separate from the psychological relief that comes from forgiveness. The sacrament is about justification of you in the eyes of God, the psychological relief is about your own self assurance. The former is important, the latter is not.


Hi nobeerinhaven,

I have been baptized twice. The first one took place when I was ten years old, in a missionary baptist church. The second took place when I was nineteen, in a non-denominational church that followed the teaching of John Calvin. When I joined the non-denominational, I was told that my first baptism was invalid and I need to undergo another one. Looking back at all the half truths (and some outright lies) that I was taught in both churches, I question if either baptism was valid. Thanks for your post; it helps me understand. But now I have another question: if I were to die before partaking in the sacrament of reconciliation, would my soul be condemned?


No I don’t think your soul would be condemned to hell if you die before going to confession. God knows our hearts.
It might make you feel better to say an Act of Contrition every night, as we are advised to do before bedtime.
But I can assure you that God knows your repentant heart. Remember the thief on the cross had no time for sacraments but Jesus forgave him and said that the thief would be with Him in Paradise that very day.


My baptism is from a baptist church, and they baptized me using the formula “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” As long as these words are used with dunking, sprinkling or pouring water on the person with the intention to undergo baptism, then it is a valid baptism. The Calvinist sect you mentioned had (more than likely) little grounds to doubt the legitimacy of the first baptism aside from silly schismatic attitudes. You are almost definitely baptized validly, which means you must wait for a first confession. [Note: the baptism is valid by the formula, medium, and intentions - NOT by the other things being taught in the Church, so even though the Baptists and the Calvinists are wrong, they can still have valid baptisms as long as the formula used is the right one]

For this, you are up to the discretion of the priest. You should come to him with your concerns, and explain that you’d like to begin the sacrament as early as possible - he will tell you when that is. Before that, you must only trust in God and have a contrite heart.

closed #8

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