Did I not give enough detail in confession?


So I went to confession a few days ago and I was wondering if I invalidated it by not going into enough detail. (This was a mortal sin) Im not gonna explain what it was but I gave the ‘kind’ of sin and how many times it was done and I stated it was with a family member. I didnt think anything else was nessisary. Now ive been wondering if I shouldve added that it was my sister (that family member was too generic) and that she was a minor (I was 13 at the time so I was a minor too). So was her being a minor invalidate my confession? I thought what I confessed went into enough detail but now im not sure…could anyone tell me if im just being scrupulous? Ive also gone to communion since then thinking I recieved it in a state of grace. So this is kinda a big deal :frowning:


At the time you thought you were saying what you needed to say and where contrite and amended against doing so right? giving number and kind (murder 2x -not something general but the kind). So it does not seem that you ought to be concerned about it not being valid. For you were not intentionally hiding what was needed…

However as to if you need to mention the rest - you can simply do so in the next confession - the Priest can guide you. We do not need “too much detail” but there can be that which changes the kind. So in the next confession (maybe same Priest would be best) you can bring it up.

You mention that you were both 13 at the time…so this seems to be from the past. Was this something that you just remembered? If it was intentionally hidden in the past-- you need to bring that up too…the Priest can guide you…

At the time you thought you were confessing all that was needed (as noted above)–so even if something else was needed --that is like a “forgotten mortal sin” - thus a formally integral confession…a confession “in good faith”.


It was just something I remembered recently. I didnt intentionaly hide it in a past confession. My family only goes once a year so its hard to keep track of things (im trying to go more on my own now) im just making sure I didnt recieve communion in a state of mortal sin. But thanks for the advice.


At the time you thought you were confessing all that was needed (as noted above)–so even if something else was needed --that is like a “forgotten mortal sin” - thus a formally integral confession…a confession “in good faith”.

yes seek out confession frequently :slight_smile:


Thats for the help. I believe I suffer from scrupuplicity (I think I spelled that right) so sometimes I just gotta make sure I got everything under control and in a state of grace


Scrupulosity. :wink:


If you didn’t knowingly conceal a mortal sin during Confession, but you fully intended to confess it when the time came, and then you forgot and went about your daily business, I believe you are already forgiven, and there was no need to mention the sin. At least this is my one of the priests in my parish has told me. :slight_smile:


Haha thanks :wink: spelling never was my best subject and spell check hates me.


If the fact that she was part of your immediate family carries weight on the sin, it should be mentioned. If not, family member will do. [for example false witness]

If her age makes a difference due to the law of the place you live in and the nature of the sin, then yes that makes a difference. Otherwise, just to put you at ease for now, family member should do. If I were a Priest, and someone said family member, I would take that ambiguity to mean immediate family.

As others have said, you can always add the age and status to your next confession.


If the priest thinks he needs more details, he’ll ask. Otherwise, the standard is to confess the sin and number of times (if you can.) Really, confessions shouldn’t take much more than 5-10 minutes, especially when there are lineups (as there usually are - hopefully - during advent and lent.)


I have heard that too. I believe theres something in the catechism about that




I agree that the priest will ask if he needs more detail…
be at peace.


One is obliged to confess a forgotten mortal sin in the next confession (if of course it is not entirely forgotten…this is assuming one realizes one forgot it!)


Yes the Priest can ask us if he needs something more. That is true. And persons need to avoid scrupling about confession and to avoid giving too much detail. :thumbsup:

That being said it is important to keep in mind that we are to “confess”…in confession.

where we “accuse ourselves”…

the Priest cannot read our minds…nor is it his part to interrogate us…it is “confession” …not interrogation :wink:

Some people might not confess what they should -they for example will say “I did something not good to my wife that hurt her” …where as he needs to confess – “I beat my wife” or what have you…and there are at times things that change the kind --like you you murder *your mother *-that is something quite different than a random murder-- or one has relations with ones first cousin or one commits adultery is quite different than such between two unmarried persons…

If a person says “I had sexual relations with a woman” - the Priest my just take that as it sounds and not ask - was she married?

But yes --while not too detailed --with mortal sins we confess the number and kind (and that which changes the kind – like it was your mother you murdered…or it was the Church you burned down…)


One is obliged to confess a forgotten mortal sin in the next confession (if of course it is not entirely forgotten…this is assuming one realizes one forgot it!)

Catholic Answers: catholic.com/quickquestions/if-i-forgot-to-confess-a-mortal-sin-was-it-forgiven

Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers:

“You are forgiven if you meant to confess all your mortal sins and just forgot one. Having been forgiven of the one you forgot, you are still *obligated *to confess it the next time you go to confession. It’s not that your forgiveness of it is conditional on you adopting the intention to confess it next time. That sin has already been forgiven. It’s that you incur a new sin if you refuse to adopt the intention of confessing it.”



Thank you for straightening me out! :slight_smile:


I will note for some readers out there -that there can be exceptions - like a person examines their conscience well and thinks they found all mortal sins and confess such --but never realize that they never thought of Y mortal sin. We cannot do what we cannot do -sometimes our minds do not cooperate (we are not expected to be Vulcans).

Or a person is rather scrupulous about past confessions – seeing forgotten mortal sins where there really is none etc…the confessor needs to guide them. For they may be in a different boat due to their difficulties --for example he might direct them to-only confess a forgotten mortal sin if your are both 1. certain it was mortal and 2. Certain it was not confessed…

Or say perhaps a person with some serious memory problem -where all their mortal sins of their life are “popping back” into their minds but due to their disorder they are not able to know what was confessed or not …the Priest needs to direct them and help them. They are likely in a situation where it is rather impossible for them to sort such out…and if they had a rather checkered life they would be re-confessing the same sins each week - due to their disorder! Over and over …(I am making this up --but it would seem to be a good example!). The point being there can be some exceptions…


Ya sometimes this can be a bit confusing --for on the one hand if one is intending to confess all mortal sins and contrite etc -even what is forgotten is forgiven…but then some think when they hear “it was forgiven” you can go to Communion…they think… -oh it is forgiven so I do not need to confess it next time (which is understandable)…where as one is to confess all mortal sins…so yes one is to confess it as noted in the links above.


Good advice from the posters.
God loves you. He is always with you, desiring you, willing the best for you, ready to forgive when you take a step towards him.
God is God, he is all powerful. There is nothing you can do to stop him from loving you, because you are not God, you are his beloved creation. Just trust him. He can heal all your wounds and bring you peace of mind, in his time.
Trust him to be God.

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