Does exaggerating sins make a confession invalid?

If someone exaggerates some or all their sins in a confession is the confession still valid?

Bring your questions regarding your confessions to your confessor.

WHY would you do this? Like your sins aren’t bad enough on their own???

Sometimes I get nervous and can’t think of the right words in confession, so I use exaggerated adjectives to describe my sins. I’ve always felt like the priest understands and has given me a valid absolution.

Best thing to do is not give any detail unless is it strictly necessary. Just say “I did x this number of times” and leave it at that. It’s far easier on you, humbler, and more respectful of those in line behind you.

And as with all questions on confession, consult your priest. Asking questions online will only add to your confusion.


As has been noted, this is an issue for your confessor whose word should be taken to override the advice of anyone on this forum. With regard to this thread itself I would put the most weight on what the priest above me wrote. That said, this work helped me considerably when I was struggling with the common (for the scrupulous) worry of whether or not my confessions were valid:

I don’t recall if your specific issue is addressed, but it’s a worthy read. The Catechism of Pope Piux X also, to my surprise, had some very useful information about the sacrament of Confession. I say to my surprise not because I doubt St. Pius’s knowledge or ability, but rather because his statements, contrary to what I originally thought would happen, also aided in decreasing my scrupulosity related to the sacrament itself.

I often wonder about this too. I think sometimes people think they are worse than they actually are or they downplay their serious sins. Confession is a very humbling thing to do.

In my eyes, this is a situation of “better safe than sorry”, so I don’t see anything wrong with it. If you’re not sure about the weight of a sin, better to assume it is worse than it is. That way you know for sure you are completely forgiven. There is no room for doubt. For example, sometimes an impure thought will pop into my head, and I fight it off but am not fully sure if I did enough to fight it. In that case, I count it as a full mortal sin during confession. Then I don’t have to worry whatsoever about the state of my soul.

On the other hand, deliberately minimizing the weight of a sin to make yourself look better would prevent forgiveness for the full weight of the sin. If it was just a mistake though, God’s not going to hold it against you. I agree with others too. Follow their advice to bring it up with your confessor.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit