Do I need to worry?


When I did convert, I am a former Lutherian (but if you need advice about Lutherian faith please ask someone else because I never did practice that faith, my eyes was on The Catholic Church for a long time before I did convert) and in Finland we have this “information course”, it last one year, but our Bishop, the prior to the one we have now, said it is OK for me to convert without that one year of information about the Church because I knew what I needed to and had allready then some difficulties using a bus, so to the question. A fortnight or so before my first Communion I had to make my first Confession, and I was absolved, (of course I was) and now I just wonder, I was not a Catholic then, was that Confession valid? And if not, what should I do now? And there was another thing as well. I had been married to a divorced woman, my x-wife, but the priest did know that, actually, that marriage was the sole obsticle why I did not convert earlier, I was in a state of sin as long as I was married to her (and in a lot of agony) but I did not mention that when I confessed my sins. Should I do something about that also?


You were already a baptised Christian? You rightly had Confession before your First Communion.
It doesn’t seem that you deliberately withheld any past sins but remembered later, so weren’t trying to avoid confessing it.

If I had concerns, I would contact the priest rather than struggle and wonder, and make an appointment for Confession, even if for a few moments before the next Mass I would attend.
17. If I forget to confess a mortal sin, is my confession still valid and my sins forgiven?

Yes. If one through bad memory or nervousness forgets to confess a mortal sin, the person’s confession is valid and all his or her sins will be forgiven.

The person should, however, mention that forgotten sin in the next confession to receive advice and a proper penance. If this is a routine occurrence, it is probably an indication that one is either confessing too infrequently or not fully aware of the true horror that is a mortal sin, because one should not forget mortal sins easily.

If, on the other hand, a penitent deliberately refuses to mention a mortal sin in confession, none of the person’s sins will be forgiven, the person will remain in the dangerous state of mortal sin, and will be guilty of the additional sin of sacrilege.


Assuming you were already baptized the confession before being received into the Church with the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist was correct and (I think) required. No need to worry on that account. Priests can give sacramental absolution to non-Catholics in certain situations, including baptized people who are about to be received fully into the Church.

The question of your marriage is potentially a cause of concern though. Were you still living with the woman at the time you received the sacraments?

If so it is a very big cause for concern. But you say this priest knew about the situation. And that the bishop himself was somehow involved in the process. Are you sure that the priest knew she has been married previously? I find it hard to imagine how this issue was not discussed and resolved prior to your receiving the sacraments.

On the other hand perhaps you were already divorced from this woman at the time you were received into the Church, and forgot to mention that important fact in your post. If that is the case then it is just a case of a sin that you forgot or were not conscious of at the time. In that case I would just go to confession and bring the subject up with the priest, explaining what happened and why you haven't confessed this before.


If you are Alfred E NEWMAN from Mad Magazine you needn’t worry!


Thank you for your answers.

Yes, I was divorced legaly, actually the divorce did happen in 1994 and I converted 2002. And yes, the priest did know that, and I did not withhold any sin I could remember at that point. I also confess regulary once a month when the priest come and bring me Communion, I can't attend Mass due to panick disorder, and I try to remember all sins I have done. Our Bishop at that time was aware of my situation and he did tell the vicar to make it short and easy for me. I did not date at that time, nor later either, and I had moved away from my x-wife in 1994, as I did write earlier. So I reckon I have no need for concern?


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