Confession in the War Zone


#1

I have a delicate question. My husband is a faithful Catholic serving in Iraq right now and goes to Mass whenever it is available to him in his remote location. He has felt a strong desire to go to confession recently, but there has been no priest available for a couple of weeks. If the worst were to happen (say, he were killed in action without having been able to go to confession), what would happen to him? He is very concerned about this possibility. He prays fervently and is constantly asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance, but is that enough? How can he be held responsible if he has no access to confession?
Thank you in advance for your help


#2

Your husband may be assured that his sins are forgiven when he makes an act of perfect contrition with the resolution to go to confession as soon as possible. The catechism explains: “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.’ When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.” (CCC 1451-1452)


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