Do I need to make a general confession?


#1

I converted from protestantism in '94 to an independent catholic sect. I have recently come into full Communion with Rome and the Holy Father. I have heard that I will need to make a general confession because the priests in the sect have no jurisdiction to hear confessions. I am not sure I understand this but will submit to it, but how will I examine my conscience and cover my whole life? I can’t remember how many times I’ve committed each sin.


#2

Not necessary, but reccomended. If you can’t remember, then don’t sweat it. Any priest in hte Catholic faith can hear confessions unless prohobited by the local bishop.


#3

Thank you Chaldean Rite. I was under the impression that it was absolutely necessary.


#4

Not necessarily, if they’re not in communion with Rome. And there are times where it might be highly advisable even if not strictly necessary.

Don’t sweat it. Take your time, write down what you do remember, concentrate on the mortal sins and any venial ones that are particularly troublesome for you. If you can’t remember how many times you did something make the best rough guess you can (roughly once? about half a dozen times? maybe once a week/day/month for three months/two years/thirty years or whatever).

Remember that anything you do genuinely forget will be forgiven, but do mention in your next confession anything you might’ve forgotten.


#5

Thanks LilyM. I will eventually make a general confession when I find a good spiritual director who,hopefully can be my confessor as well. I think this would be the way to go.


#6

Well pray fervently that God will give you the grace of sufficient lifespan (even if it be a day or two) to make this full confession to a spiritual director instead of assuming he will, otherwise you might have to add presumption to the list :wink: Somewhere in the NT, there’s a Pauline admonishment not to say what you will do, but instead what you will do by the grace of God. Therefore, even if you can’t find a spiritual director anytime soon (a hard task, usually, these days), you should still try to make a full act of contrition if you haven’t already. By the way, this was just a minor nitpick, I really want to stress more a heartfelt welcome to the Church. God bless! :getholy:


#7

Why thank you bbentrup! Also thank you for the advice. I have a couple pf people in mind for a spiritual director and I still need to speak to them about it but, my director need not be my confessor also. Although,I would prefer it that way.


#8

Maybe I should ask the bishops recommendations. I have been in this same Diocese all of my life. Thanks!


#9

In just five sentences you provided an eloquent summary of your spiritual “history”. Just, when you go to ordinary confession to any priest, repeat what you wrote.

My experience has been, when I am fortunate enough to “chance upon” an older priest, after he hears just a bit, he nods and says “what else”. They’ve heard it all. I know this because some of my friends have had some very complicated “histories” and they reported back the same sort of thing … that it became quickly evident that the priest understood exactly what they were trying to express.]

And it has always worked out fine.

My suggestion would be to show up for confession at the published time … for example, on Saturday afternoon. Get there a few minutes early and ask the Holy Spirit to put the right words in your mouth. And then, … I don’t want to sound flip … but just go for it.

Make the sign of the cross and start in "Bless me father, for I have sinned … [and then use the eloquent five sentence description you provide above] …

State the time, more or less, since your last confession … and you don’t know for sure if the priest back then had the right credentials or faculties … and describe your sins and roughly how often you committed them. Ask if he wants you to go back in time and if he does do your best to fill in the blanks.

Sincerity by the penitent seems to count for more than an audited and precise accounting.

Let the priest ask whatever questions he needs answered.

If you are up for it, let us know next week how you made out.


#10

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