Confession question


(possibly scrupulous, and a bit graphic)....
I had not been to confession in a long time. I recently repented of a lot of sins and went to confession. Among other things, I confessed to (in these exact words) "using birth control, self pleasure (i meant masturbation but I am certain he knew what i meant), and premarital sex." I also talked about the role of the culture and peer pressure that led me to these acts. However, lately, i have been reading more about Catholicism in general and spending time on these forums and elsewhere on the internet, and I don't know if I should have been more specific. I didn't give the number of times or length of time for any of these, I just said what i said above. Also, by "premarital sex", this included inappropriate touching and oral sex, but I didn't say those specifically. I meant "premarital sex" to cover all of it. The priest didn't ask me any questions, and it was clear that he was pretty overjoyed that I was there confessing it--i'm sure he's aware how many people do these things and are never sorry.

My question--was my confession valid? Do I need to go back and be more specific about what exactly I meant? I have confessed on a couple more occasions since this initial one--were those valid? I stopped thinking about the major sins i confessed that initial time and focused on other things.

I just want to do the right thing. I've seen conflicting advice on how specific one needs to be in confessing sexual sins--some say be very specific, others say being more general is fine.


From just what you've said here, I don't see any reason that your confessions would not be valid. If a particular sin bothers you because you feel you were not specific enough about it, then certainly, mention it in your next confession. But generally, in my experience, if the priest needs more information, he will ask. I think you did not intend to leave anything out. It sounds like you gave enough information that he understood the situation well enough to properly (and validly) grant you absolution.
Now that you know you should specify number and kind, do that from now on, but not knowing that before does not invalidate your previous Confessions.

HTH. God bless!


Hi Rachel

It sounds a thoughtful confession to me, and it seems wrapped up with a wonderful journey you are on.

You go back a few years and when confession was much more common it seems people found ways of confessing without giving much detail "I broke the first commandment x number of times, etc." Your's sounds much more thoughtful than a formulaic confession. Well done.

God bless +



If the remorse and repentance is there then it is valid with the words from the Priest " I absolve you... " Now go and sin no more! If you fall again go back to confession. But try to cut yourself from the nearest occasion of sin. Some say not to sin is the hardest but in today's society to avoid the nearest occassion of sin takes divine intervention...:D God Bless!



Rest assured that your confessions were valid and you have been absolved. :thumbsup: Though number would be best in the future, if the priest had needed more information at the times of your previous confessions he would have asked.

As PP have said, stay away from near occasions of sin and stay close to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

God’s peace be with you.


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