Confession question

Recently I went to confession and began to confess mortal sins . A few minutes in, the priest stopped me and said he had heard enough and said the absolution. He prevented me from continuing.I also forgot to say an act of contrition. Was this a valid confession? I was prevented from confessing many mortal sins and did not say an act of contrition

I would say yes. But the priest should have dialogued better.

I would say yes. But the priest should have dialogued better.
You confessed and were absolved. The other sins while forgiven should be mentioned at the next confession. Also, priests in a confessional can be in “triage” mode, so maybe a better way for you to confess is to schedule an appointment if you have many things that go over. I’m sorry that happened. Maybe he was having a bad day.

I forgot to mention that the priest said "I’ve heard enough " in a kind way as if he understood


Do you go into more detail than need be?

I was just confessing individual sins. I don’t think I was being too detailed

Alright then. Maybe he was just in a hurry.

Given that this poster’s initial history here on CAF was to submit a duplicate thread asking the same question despite having already been answered (multiple times), I would think I’m not surprised why the priest said what he said.

Is this the same priest from your previous threads about the validity of absolution? If so, it may be that he got a solid impression of what you were going to say because he’s heard your confession before. (Many people are repetitive in the confessional.)

I would recommend you speak to him about spiritual direction or counseling so that you are more comfortable in these matters.

Were you confessing multiple incidents of the same sin? As in, “I committed Sin X on Tuesday. I also committed Sin X on Thursday. Then I committed Sin X on Friday…” If that’s the case, you can just say “I committed Sin X three times since my last confession.” The priest may have been conscious that there was a long line. Or maybe you were going into too much detail.

Are you a scrupulous person? Were you confessing really trivial venial sins, perhaps?

During my fist confession, I had the same thing happen to me. I had this huge list of mortal sins and I had not finished it. The priest stopped me and gave me absolution. I asked the RCIA director, did a thread about it here, and all said the same thing. All sins on this paper I had were forgiven. So you are good.

If something happened where a penitent was not able to confess all their mortal sins (not through their fault) --they still would need to confess them in the next confession.

Just wanted to add that you are not required to say an act of contrition in the confessional.

Your priest probably knows you have real issues with scruples and anxiety. Trust him, rather then strangers on the internet. If he stopped you, he had a reason for doing so.

This question is better asked of that priest.

The absolution is certainly valid - you need have no doubts there.

As for your confession of mortal sins being interrupted, the same thing happened to me once - the priest interrupted and said “That’s enough”, and gave me absolution.

I’ve never asked another priest or anyone else about it, and don’t intend to.

The person who was in the best place to judge that confession had already decided, and done so with the authority of the Church. He didn’t add “But you still need to confess any remaining mortal sins another time”.

We have been over this several times previously in CAF, and bookcat holds to his position that any omitted mortal sins must be confessed at another time. Curiously, there seems to be no definitive answer to the question on the web.

If you are in doubt then ask a priest some time. The simplest way is to do so in your next confession, with the same or another priest. Priests are always happy to answer such questions. As for me, I have no doubt.

Question submitted to the Catholic Answers Staff apologist - and the answer:


The last two times I’ve been two confession, with two different priests, I was unable to finish my confession because each priest cut me off in order to talk and then granted me absolution and ended the confession.

I am incredibly frustrated. I’ve done my best to confess the remainder of my sins straight to God, hoping it will be enough until my next confession. But what do I do the next time my priest cuts me off and doesn’t let me finish confessing? Should I keep trying to find another confessor?

Catholic Answers Apologist

What do I do when a priest won’t let me finish my confession?
If you have done your best to confess all your mortal sins and did not purposely omit any mortal sin, your confession was valid and you need not repeat it. If a mortal sin remained to be confessed but you were not allowed the opportunity to confess it, your confession was still valid. Just mention the mortal sin next time you go to confession.

While the priests probably should not have cut you off, please understand that when priests start hearing a litany of venial sins, they likely assume that you have finished confessing all of your mortal sins. As venial sins do not require confession, a priest may become anxious to wrap up your confession so that he may hear as many confessions as possible in the time allowed for confession. The priest may also be concerned that a litany of venial sins is a sign of scrupulosity that he does not wish to encourage.

One way to handle this is to make sure to mention any mortal sins first. Once that is done, confess any venial sins you would like to confess. If you get cut off again then you need not worry that you have not mentioned any sins that must be confessed.

Michelle Arnold Michelle
Catholic Answers Apologist

Also from Catholic Answers regarding forgotten mortal sins (which is a similar case - instead of being prevented from confessing them one is prevented by memory lapse):

“Since you remembered this grave sin, you should mention it in your next confession.”

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI:

  1. Which sins must be confessed?


All grave sins not yet confessed, which a careful examination of conscience brings to mind, must be brought to the sacrament of Penance. The confession of serious sins is the only ordinary way to obtain forgiveness.

(note: grave sins = mortal sins= serious sins).

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: "All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession…

Canon Law:

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism …

(Now I will note for some readers who are scrupulous - that *they can be in a different boat *(scrupling about something in confession etc) Their regular confessor can direct them in their particular case.)

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