Confession help!

Hey everyone! Thanks for helping me!

First off, I am a teenager and I am going to confession tomorrow. I’ve done a whole bunch of sexual stuff I’m not proud of, and I don’t know how specific I need to be in my confession. I try to be a good person, and I really never directly harm anyone. However, I still have an addiction to internet pornography. I am really ashamed of it, and I really just want to get it off my back.

I have been reading online, but I am still unsure. I know that I have confessed the sin of looking at pornography before, but I never thought of this until now. Specifically, I am talking about child pornography and bestiality pornography. NOW, please don’t go off thinking I am a huge pervert, I don’t believe I am. Only in a small number of instances (only about 1% - 0.5% of the time in the bigger picture) at that first kind of pornography. Sometimes, if I am searching, I come across it, but I make a point to look away because of how wrong it feels. However, I did end up looking at two things I am sure of (and ashamed of). The first ‘type’ is called hentai. Basically, it is cartoon (anime) pornography, often with young cartoon women (they are not real people or pictures, just drawings). Secondly, I know that I have looked at (come across) teen pornography, but NEVER under the age of what I thought was 16 or 17; I know that anything below that was wrong. Would this be considered a separate thing I have to confess, or just under the whole heading of ‘pornography’?

Please be aware that these specific things are NO LONGER A PROBLEM. I now realize how truly wrong they are and how sorry I am, I still sometimes relapse with normal pornography (even though there is nothing ‘normal’ about it), but I try hard every time to quit, and am currently struggling right now. However, I think confession can help me on that path.

Also, about beastiality pornography, I looked at what is called ‘furry’ pornography, which is like anthropomorphic drawings/cartoons of humanoid/animals. Please, would this be considered under the whole heading of ‘pornography’?

All I want is a clean slate with God, I am truly sorry for what I have done. I am just confused as to what to confess. I really do not want to confess them specifically (it would be embarrassing and shameful, but I will if I have to). I just do not want to say ‘looking at _____ pornography’ because then I feel the priest will get the wrong idea, and he will think that I am really falling into that trap, when it only occurred in one or two situations.

I also am wondering, if I have to confess these things specifically, what ways can I say them that the priest will get the idea but still not in graphic detail? For example, instead of saying ‘I have had sexual fantasies about my friends and other people’, I would say ‘I have had impure thoughts about my friends and others’. That is one substitute I use, but the priest still gets the idea.

Also, I haven’t 100% beaten this addiction yet. Should I wait until I have completely beaten it to confess these sins?

Thanks so much for reading this! It means so much to me! :o

Graphic detail is not necessary, here or there. :thumbsup: The specific nature of the most objectionable stuff — child porn — is all you need to add, if anything.

Stay clean a few days and make a very good examination of conscience. Why wait to completely beat if if you could be in a state of grace now? Doesn’t being in a state of grace help beat such addictions?

I would say it all falls under the umbrella of confessions to masturbation with pornography. Like the other poster said, graphic detail is un-necessary. You could express how concerned you are about your addiction and ask for guidance. Just state how many times since your last confession along with any other mortal sins. Go in with the full intention that you will do your best to avoid these behaviors in the future. It is a daily struggle for many teens, acknowledge it, work on it, and move past it. It will take time. Know that God loves you and wants you to know true love, and not a twisted sexual perversion as a substitute.

You’re messed, have fun in hell.

Since the extra-nasty types of porn are bothering you, it might be best simply to say that once or twice it was those specific things. You don’t want to look back on this confession and worry about it. The priest has heard it all, and lots of it much worse than what you will confess. God bless you!

You’re aware he is confessing to Masturbating to animal porn and child porn…

That’s against the church and the law…

If I was God I would be pissed…

Confessing to an addiction means you are ready to own up to it. It would be useless to even provide a cover story during confessions, since God knows anyway and the listening priest is just an instrument messenger between us and God.

Why not try to summarize your confession to accuracy and ask to be blessed wiith grace and forgiveness by Our Father. Hope this helps.

If God knows why the hell am I going to confession…

Thanks you everyone so much for all of your help! I have done a bit of reading on these forums about confession, and I think that I am just going to commit and confess. Do you think that this would be an adequate confession for the topic?

For looking at pornography, I would say ‘looking at different types of pornography x times in total, including beastiality pornography and child pornography maybe x times combined’

Would that be okay?

Nope you’re just screwed.

While the first part of your statement is certainly true, it would be good to keep in mind that the priest in the confessional is not merely an instrument intermediary; if that were true then confessing directly to God would be enough. But the certainty of sacramental absolution can only come from the priest because he acts in persona Christi. It is not the priest who forgives sins, but Christ who chose to establish a priesthood for the outpouring of grace on the world.

You probably knew all of that already, but the distinction could be helpful for some.

Yes. Sometimes if you are doubtful in these matters it is best to simply make clear to the priest that he ought to ask you any questions necessary for clarification.

In regard to a habitual sin, as masturbation so often is, sometimes it is helpful to confess with a frequency and a time period. What I mean is saying: “maybe three times a week for two months”, or something like that, so that the priest can best determine to what degree your culpability may be mitigated by habit.

You made the right decision—God will reward you with great graces for your courage!

well you are not God. If you think He is angry at people who are repentant, that’s a huge misunderstanding of Christianity and God’s nature. If God was angry at repentant sinners, no one would ever be forgiven for sin. We know God is merciful because Christ died on the Cross. We confess our sins because through repentance we are able to accept God’s mercy.

So wait…

If I rape and murder now but go to confession before I die i’m good with God?

This is sounding like a pretty sweet deal…

yes. Don’t be afraid :slight_smile: the priests have heard it all and they’re there to give absolution and to help.

here are some quotes that helped me…

(Jesus to St Faustina)

Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.

(Jesus to Sr Josefa Menendez)

“For love of souls, I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they need it to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My Blood. How often in the course of the ages have I, in one way or another, made known My love for men: I have shown them how ardently I desire their salvation. I have revealed My Heart to them. This devotion has been as light cast over the whole earth, and today by its means those who labor to gain souls to My service have been enabled to do so.

“Now, I want something more, for if I long for love in response to My own, this is not the only return I desire from souls: I want them all to have confidence in My mercy, to expect all from My clemency, and never to doubt My readiness to forgive. I am God, but a God of love! I am a Father, but a Father full of compassion and never harsh. My Heart is infinitely holy but also infinitely wise, and knowing human frailty and infirmity, stoops to poor sinners with infinite mercy. I love those who after a first fall come to Me for pardon . . . I love them still more when they beg pardon for their second sin, and should this happen again, I do not say a million times but a million million times, I still love them and pardon them, and I will wash in My Blood their last as fully as their first sin. Never shall I weary of repentant sinners, nor cease from hoping for their return, and the greater their distress, the greater My welcome. Does not a father love a sick child with special affection? Are not his care and solicitude greater? So is the tenderness and compassion of My Heart more abundant for sinners than for the just. This is what I wish all to know. I will teach sinners that the mercy of My Heart is inexhaustible. Let the callous and indifferent know that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them, because I love them."

By all means try your absolute best to overcome this addiction. Avoid occasions of temptation, have someone keep you accountable, pray the Rosary, be devoted to Our Blessed Mother and ask her for purity, go to Adoration often… etc. For this Confession, tell the priest what you wrote here, and accept God’s forgiveness that He wants to give you :slight_smile:

God bless.

You must be truly repentant and also have a firm purpose of amendment. It is impossible to fake these things before an omniscient God. Also, committing sin with the expectation that God will forgive you in confession is, itself, a sin: presumption upon God’s mercy.

But you are right. Grace is a pretty sweet deal.

If you do a sin thinking that “I’ll just go to Confession later”, it would be very hard to repent and have enough contrition. It’s possible, but it’s a great insult to God. (also as Damase said, it’s a sin to presume upon God’s mercy, because we need repentance).

But if a person is truly repentant and sorry for their sin, there is nothing God can’t forgive. That is why Christ died.

And yes that’s pretty amazing but I wouldn’t call it a “deal” considering what it cost.

And they say the bitter atheist is only a stereotype. :rolleyes:

Possibly, after a lengthy furlough in Purgatory. You seem to be confusing Catholicism with “sinner’s prayer”-type Protestantism when you pose questions like that.

  1. You should be truly contrite for your sins. You should reject them before walking through the confessional door. You should also have a firm purpose of amendment, in other words, you should be prayerfully considering a plan on how you are going to avoid getting into the position you are in right now. (In the case of Internet porno, you should consider installing a filter on your computer or blocking the IP addresses in the HOSTS file or something else along those lines. Yes, you could undo anything you’ve done, but the undoing of it would give you enough of a pause where you could think about it first)

  2. You should confess sins by type and number. God already knows what specifics you’ve already done. Except as a matter of getting better counsel from your confessor, I don’t know that you need to go into that much detail about the specific nature of the pornography you are viewing…other than the fact that you are viewing online porno. It would probably be useful to identify the steps you’ve taken to avoid the near occasion of sin in the future, though. Obviously if your confessor asks you the details, you will want to be candid with him, but otherwise, I don’t know that you need to get down to the nitty-gritty, other than to list the type and number of your sin (whether kiddy porn, animal porn, gay porn, or normal run-of-the-mill porn, it is still porn and falls into the same genus)

  3. Don’t feel badly if you slip. Just get yourself to confession immediately and get back into a state of grace. There are a lot of us who have had habitual sins in our lives of one variety or another. Through prayer as well as the intercessions of the Blessed Mother and of the saints, God can give you the graces needed to overcome your habitual sin.


And on a completely different vein, you may want to think about the legal implications of your actions as well. Right now you are a teenager and I will assume that means under 18 and a minor. If you downloaded and viewed kiddie porn on a computer in your parents’ house, you may have placed them in some legal problems…particularly if the logs of the server where the kiddie porn is located are ever seized by the authorities. That would also apply to you personally once you turn 18. You are, I am sure, aware that possession of child pornography is a felony. (Residual cached images on your hard drive counts as possession)

Downloaded files have a habit of hiding in the most unexpected places on your (your parents’) computer’s hard drive. You should consider, if at all possible, rebuilding your system. Consider doing a multiple-pass wipe and a low level format on the hard drive and then reloading the OS and all the application files (obviously backing up and saving any necessary files from your “My Documents” folder onto a thumb drive or CD before you start).

I say the above because although God will forgive you to the uttermost, the authorities may not be so charitable.

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