Do I need to be explicit when confessing sins in confession?


#1

Hi

Today I went to confession and confessed my sins as usual, however I wasn’t very explicit, I only confessed my sins under so called umbrella terms. In this case, there were some cases where I did not explicit say these sins (which are not usually present in my weekly confession) but were included in the broad statement of sins. I guess you could say that I deliberately wasnt explicit becaise I felt stupid to say them. But on the other hand they were included (broadly) in those statements. Is this mortal sin?


#2

Venial sins are not required to be confessed so using “umbrella terms” to confess them is not a problem. Mortal sins, on the other hand, should be confessed in number and kind (canon 988 §1) so “umbrella terms” should not be used. However, I will say that often times when individuals confess “umbrella terms” the priest often knows what sin they are trying to confess and if the priest is unsure he usually will ask for clarification.
If you had confessed mortal sins in “umbrella terms” I would not say you committed a mortal sin by doing so because you were unaware that you shouldn’t do that. I would recommend that if you had mortal sins to confess that you simply confess them in number and kind the next time you go to confession. Otherwise, if they were venial sins then you don’t have to worry about it.


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