Do you have to confess all your sins when becoming Catholic?


I'm trying to get into a RCIA program and just wondering do you confess all the sins you have committed in your life prior to being baptized or does the baptism mean the cleansing of sin and only confessing sins committed after baptism?
or do you make a first confession at some point saying all the sins you have done?


If you have not been baptized before you enter into the Catholic faith, I do not believe there is a requirement for confession. There is one if you have been previously baptized. For example, I was baptized when I was roughly 8 years old, not as a Catholic. I will go to confession before my confirmation at Easter vigil to confess the sins I have committed since that point. If you have not been baptized, though, baptism washes away all previous sins and you basically start from square one.

Glad to be entering the true, holy, catholic and apostolic chuch with you!


Baptism removes all sin, original and actual. After becoming a Catholic you would confess sins committed after baptism.

If you were baptized in the Anglican church, then you would receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to entering the Catholic Church and receiving Confirmation and Eucharist. You would confess the mortal sins committed after baptism, to the best of your ability.


I've never been baptized.

It's good then that the baptism washes away sin because I think I would be in confession a long time confessing 21 years (my age) of sins!


God bless you, Gemma.
Welcome to CAF,
and above all welcome amongst us as you become Catholic.


Gemma and Joshua....

      Welcome Home! :)    I was once outside the Catholic Church as well. I was raised Protestant and now Im finally home. I Love the Catholic Faith. Will keep you both in my prayers and as far as confession goes, go often. I honestly love going. Its just such a powerful sacrement and you feel so cleansed when you leave the confessional. Your relationship with Almighty God feels so much stronger every time. :)  And keep coming on to as you will learn so much right here as well.    -Mr. Franklin


Our pastor used to tell them to just hit the high points.:wink:


[quote="_Gemma, post:4, topic:298687"]
I've never been baptized.

It's good then that the baptism washes away sin because I think I would be in confession a long time confessing 21 years (my age) of sins!


It would only have been since you turned 8 years old, and it likely wouldn't take that long, as you only confess mortal sins when making a general confession. I made a devotional general confession of my entire life, as I had never made one. I believe it spanned about 18 years and I was out of the confessional in 10 -15 minutes. Of course, I waited until the end and let everyone else go ahead of me.


I went to confession before entering the Church at the Easter Vigil. My previous baptism (as a child) was judged to probably be invalid, so I received conditional baptism at the Vigil.

You can imagine that after 40 years or so I had a rather extensive list of things to confess. In preparation I made the most thorough examination of conscience I was able, and confessed everything I was able to remember. Quite a few were along the lines of “I did Humiliating/DisgustingMortalSinXXX more times than I can possibly count, starting when I was YY years old”. (Not that some mortal sins are less bad than others, mind you) The whole thing took maybe 10 or 15 minutes, I don’t really know.

What’s required is to confess the sins you are able to remember, and have the willingness to have confessed the other ones if you could have recalled them.

There’s a really good book entitled Frequent Confession - Its Role in the Spiritual Life, by Benedict Baur.I highly recommend it.

Confession is AWESOME. You’ll be very, very glad you did it.


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