confession question


if you have fornicated in a relationship outside of marriage, which is a sin, when/if you confess it, is there a danger you could be excommunicated from the church?

Do priests forgive this sin or can you be turned out of the church for good?
I made a post about this in the Ask an apologist forum but got no reply. It’s to do with my younger brother, who is 18, he’s asked me for advice and im a little unstuck about it! He wants to confess and start anew in the church but is afraid of what will happen to him! I didnt know what to say, so, any ideas please?


The sin of fornication does not carry the cannonical penalty of excommunication. Go to confession and be done with it!

The priest has the ability to absolve this sin and will not thow you out of the Church or anything else like that.


Not to worry! God’s grace is much larger than any such sin. The church would have very few members if confession of such sin lead to excommunication! Go to the priest. He is the only one who can take the sin away, make it his own, and bear it to the Lord, who will destroy it-as long as your brother is sorry for having offended God.

Satan loves unconfessed sin-it weakens you and makes you more susceptible to his evil designs. Satan hates confession, because it renders you as clean and pure as you were at the moment of Baptism. Your brother will notice that the penance given for such a sin does not seem to make up for the seriousness of the sin. That difference is God’s grace. He greatly desires to forgive sin-if we would only confess it!

Christ’s peace to both of you.


You’ve got it backwards. You are excommunicated when you commit a sin that carries that penalty. Excommunication is lifted by confession. A least, I know it is for abortion. Can someone fill in the “all cases?”


Exactly right, and well said! The danger when you excommunicate yourself through sin is unworthy reception of the Eucharist. Only reconcilliation willl restore you to a state of grace. Christ’s peace!


Totally agree,

this is exactly what you brother must do…a huge weight will be lifted from him… we all know we are unworthy and Satan just loves playing that card…

Your brother is very lucky to have you watching his back, make sure you drive him to Church for confession if you have too!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

God Bless.


thanks all,
whilst i came through a sort of renaissaince if you will, and found the church again, (i’m 20) he wants to but is afraid of what he has done being a hindrance. thanks to all of you for your extremely helpful and understanding replies!




Tell your brother that the feeling of remorse he has for his sins is good – it’s the Holy Spirit convicting him of his sin and urging him to seek reconciliation. God’s grace, love and mercy are far greater than any sin he may have committed. Tell him to seek out the priest – chances are the priest has heard your brother’s sin more often than you can imagine and he will be able to help your brother with love and charity. Hopefully confession will be a positive experience and he will fall in love with it and see its true value and worth and go often.



even for very grave sins, like abortion, that do incur excommunication, it is usually automatic, and happens when the sin is committed, not during confession. Confession is just the opposite, the place and time where the sinner is reconciled with Jesus and His Church, healed of the sin.


There is no sin too big that the Lord cannot forgive. Tell your brother to go to confession and be forgiven. He will have a great weight lifted off his shoulders when he does this. I would recommend frequent confession as a way to holiness. Many of the greatest saints that ever lived went to frequent confession. Take advantage of this great gift given to us by our God.


My brother in Christ,

Please read John 8, as it particularly applies in your brother’s case:

[The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.
"**Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”]

Rather than a hinderance in returning to the faith, such sin is more akin to a requirement-because Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners. If this does not provide total hope, then what will? Christ is waiting to mete out just such mercy-since he IS mercy.

Christ’s peace to you and your brother.


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