Examination of Conscience and Confession


I want to start by saying that I don’t believe this is from scrupulosity because I’ve actually heard conflicting views on the relationship between confession validity and the examination of conscience. As a result I’d like to know if there really is a link. So my question is if someone does a rushed examination of conscience (5-10 minutes) in addition to spending the week keeping track of their sins, and completely forget a sin, would their confession be valid? What if they would have remembered the sin if they had done more traditional examination of conscience, instead of simply reflecting on their week?


Yes, their confession is valid. Rushed examen or not, keeping track during the week is pretty good and an EOC on top of that is wonderful.


There are many Examination of Conscience sites on the internet. Anyone would do well to explore them. I certainly makes the necessary prelude to Confession much easier. There are even prayers listed on some sites that are very helpful.
If one is honest with ones self, it is not necessary to be an accountant in writing down ones sins as one does them…besides, what happens if the wrong person were to find your list and track it back to you? G*d does not expect you to nit pick your psyche, All He expects is that you be honest with yourself and Him.
It is a completely another thing to make a list during your examination of conscience to carry into the confessional with you so you don’t forget anything. Such personal information is best safeguarded and limited to yourself and your Confessor.


Unless one deliberately avoids confessing a sin, then the absolution is valid. Although, if one was just lazy, then it would be a sin of sloth, however, it would probably be venial (don’t quote me on that, though).

It is wonderful if you keep track of your sins, and in addition do an examination of conscience, if you are the one doing it, I would strongly encourage you to continue (although, I would encourage you even harder not to commit the sins that lead you to need to examine your conscience in the first place :)).

Anyway, you do not need to worry about the validity of your absolution (assuming that the situation you describe above is yours.

Benedicat Deus

closed #5

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