Do I need specific sins for confession?

I wanted to receive the Sacrament of confession on Divine Mercy Sunday.

I told the priest that it had been 2-3 weeks since my last confession and after a thorough examination of conscience I could not recall even a venial sin to confess BUT for any sins that I may have not recalled and confessed in my life I was heartily sorry.

The priest said I had to confess a specific sin. I was told years ago by a Monsignor that I could receive the Sacrament simply by confessing any sins that I may not have recalled.

So I have conflicting info by two different priests. Please help me here.

God Bless you

Ideally someone goes to confession with at least one specific sin. My assumption is that the priest was probably trying to spur you to a greater examination of conscience since he may have thought it was improbable not to think of even one venial sin. However the main requirement of confession would appear to be present in your confession: contrition for any offense against God and neighbor. The fact that you could not remember a specific instance is not an impediment if you made a good faith effort to do so.

Its a little bit of a gray area since priests want to avoid people coming to confession for forgiveness but not actually confessing any sins, such actions not only possibly invalidate the sacrament (if mortal sin is involved) but also contradict the nature of the sacrament. In the situation you describe the priest could have absolved you without it being problematic.

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