Cut off in confession

When I was at confession on Friday Father cut me off after about a minute (I had paused for a second or two to remember more sins) and started giving me guidance and then the Absolution. Luckily I had stated the main sins at the begining, but I still had a little-bit lengthy list ahead of me. I know that this confession time is short so he would have wanted me to be quick about it, but did this in any way invalidate me confession? I am just concerned that since I was unable to confess all of my sins that I might not have been validly absolved.

Sounds to me like you were absolved of the sins you confessed. Just confess the others you didn’t get a chance to do next time.

So I wasnt fully absolved of all my sins then? Only the ones I managed to get out before Father cut me off?

Hmm, there always seems to be something that makes me question the validity of my confessions- everytime! :frowning:

Your confessions are valid. I am sure God forgives those that honestly forgets to mention a sin here or there. A lot of sins can be absolved by just saying a sincere act of contrition. Heck, we do it at the beginning of mass during the penetential rite.
I always forget to confess some sins that I might recall after I have left. I have started writing them down and bringing the paper in. Nothing wrong with that, it helps one remember.
Don’t tear yourself up about this. Just do the best that you can do and God will take care of the rest.


You’re ok unless the sins you didn’t get to are mortal sins. I have always been instructed that all venial sins are forgiven during confession even if you forget or don’t get a chance to mention them. However, mortal sins need to be individually stated. So if you didn’t get to one of those, you need to receive the sacrament again.

Exactly - you’re only obligated to confess mortal sins, not venial ones, although of course it’s good practice to confess the venial sins as well. So failure to confess a venial sin doesn’t invalidate the confession as long as you mentioned your mortal sins.

Next time, though, don’t be afraid to just say ‘pardon me, father, I wasn’t finished’ if he’s hurrying you. It’s your confession, not his, and you owe it to yourself to make each one as thorough as you can.

You did not purposely withhold any of them since you were cut off in the middle. Your intention was to confess all your sins so they are all forgiven, but do mention them the next time you go.

Here are some threads from Ask an Apologist.

Is a sin forgotten during confession forgiven?
Do I need to confess this again?
What do I do when a priest won’t let me finish my confession?

I’m glad to hear that. I was never quite sure if all my sins were forgiven since I always forget some! (venial)

Good, thank you. I was getting worried there :wink:

But something like this always seems to happen to me. I often cant help but wonder if my confessions are valid for a variety of reasons- maybe I didnt state a sin clear enough, or I didnt mention times, or I didnt expand on it in some way, or I worry that I may be forgetting a sin, ect. ect.

Remember that you’re really confessing to God more than to the priest, and there are always unexpected things that happen in the confessional. I think God knows whether you intend to sincerely confess all your sins or whether you’re deliberately misstating them out of fear or embarrassment or some such. I don’t think it matters so much that the priest understands every sin and all its details perfectly.

A) cutting you off is, what they call in the medical profession, bad bedside manners. It is his pastoral duty to hear you out and allow you to make a full confession.
B) you did get absolution, so regardless of his short attention span, you’re in the clear. Remember sacraments are valid regardless of how you perceive the priest, believing a priest is not worthy to carry out his sacramental duties is an ancient heresy call donatism ( I am not accusing you of that, merely just giving a neat church history factoid).

Caesar, I’m not saying you are scrupulous, but it might help to read the 10 commandments for the scrupulous person:

One of the commandments is NOT to worry about the validity of your confession, or to pick it apart. Go in, do your honest best, go do your best at a penence, and then leave it alone. Don’t mentally rehash the whole thing, or you will drive yourself nuts. Believe me, I’ve been there.

This goes hand in hand with my reference to the ancient heresy called donatism!! You just defined it.

For instance, if you are mad at a priest, doubt his abilities as a priest, he is still a priest. The sacraments he perfroms are valid. In the early church there were people that refused and claimed sacraments were non-valid if the priest didn’t live up to their personal expectations. A modern example (heresies do not go away) would be, “Father forgot words during the consecration, he said the wrong words or made a few of his own up, so the Eucharist isn’t valid.” While we know the priest should and is required to ascribe his liturgical practices to those set forth by the church, he is a priest, his sacraments are valid.

Did the priest have you say a good Act of Contrition?

Also, I always add “I’m sorry for these and all my sins” if the priest tries to cut me off.

I have had a similar problem in my most recent confession, and it has been bothering me ever since. I had also written a short list to take into the confessional, and while I was in there the priest gave me the impression that he didn’t approve of that practice. Then before I was finished, he held up his hand telling me to stop. He proceeded to chastise me for “playing the confession game.” :eek: What! I was really stunned and hurt by his response. I think that he was trying to keep me from being scrupulous, but to imply that I was playing a game…

I was in a kind of daze, mixed with a bit of fury during the Absolution. I think needless to say this was the first and only time I plan on going to that priest. I have been worrying a bit about the validity of this confession, partly because at the end I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, and I was hardly able to mentally participate in the sacrament. I’ll bring it up next time, just in case. I must have said some sort of Act of Contrition, but honestly I have no memory of doing so. I just wanted to get out of there. Any ideas or encouragement about my situation? Was the sacrament valid if I didn’t participate mentally at the end?

Pax Vobiscum

Wow, I’d go to a different priest. When priests, clergy, or laity nit pick about little things like bringing in a piece of paper or holding hands, etc…(things that are not directly addressed by the church), I like to remember what St. Augustine said,

On major issues let there be unity, on smaller issues let there be freedom, but on all issues let there be charity.


There are actually lots of factors involved in the validity of confession (form, minister, faculties, etc.) but the point that goes straight to your concern is that absolution covers all sins, even those who are unconfessed, and is only invalidated by ommission through the intentional withholding of mortal sin (with number and species). So, in an extremely implausible case, even a mortal sin could be forgiven without confessing it if you legitimately forgot about while making an honest confession (the implausibility comes in happening to forget a mortal sin committed since your last confession!:mad: - those confessions would be too far apart indeed).

Caesar, I perceive that you are conscientious and have a tendency to scruplosity. Trust in the mercy of the Lord and know when you have done the best you could at the moment, you are forgiven. Scruplosity has been covered in a number of threads on the forums. I once started down the road you are starting down and ended up a basket case when I was 20. Unlike the pagans of Rome we do not have to get everything so correct that the gods are forced to bend to our will. God is a loving merciful Father who forgives generously.

Caesar, I’ll go you one better — well, one worse.

Long ago I confessed something and provided only sketchy information. Afterward, I worried about whether I had really confessed enough information. So the next time I went to confession, (and this was a different priest) I said to the priest, “In my last confession I’m not sure I provided enough information about something —” and the priest cut me off by saying, “I’m sure you did, don’t worry about it.”

Now, what would you make of that? LOL!

I’ve decided that regardless of whether the first confession was “good,” the second one remedied any possible defect.

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