Forgetting a mortal sin in confession?


#1

I did an examination of conscience and wrote down my sins, but when I was in the Church about half an hour before confession, I remembered a mortal sin. I fully intended to confess it, however when it came to confession I think I got a bit nervous (as I usually do) and forgot it. I only remembered it as I was saying my last sin. I felt by that time it was a bit late to confess it as I had said ' and I ...' just before I confessed my last sin. I had no intention of leaving it out. Is this just a case of 'forgetting to confess it, and confessing it next time?'


#2

Yep. But don't be afraid to say to the priest, "Oh, I forgot to confess..."


#3

Thanks. I should have, but I was just so nervous as I had a lot to confess. Maybe I should’ve made my examination of conscience more thorough, but it’d only been about a week since my last confession so I pretty much knew what I needed to confess anyway.


#4

You really got it.


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#5

You remembered it while you were still in confession and before absolution. So, why did you not just say “Oh! just remembered - I did xxxxx”?

That is not forgetting. That is just using any excuse to get out of confessing it - just because you, thinking you had just about finished confessing, said “and”??? No. that is more like holding back a mortal sin.


#6

[quote="Joan_M, post:5, topic:300703"]
You remembered it while you were still in confession and before absolution. So, why did you not just say "Oh! just remembered - I did xxxxx"?

That is not forgetting. That is just using any excuse to get out of confessing it - just because you, thinking you had just about finished confessing, said "and"??????? No. that is more like holding back a mortal sin.

[/quote]

A not necessarily....

Jimmy Akin jimmyakin.com/2009/12/what-if-you-suddenly-remember-in-confession.html

I leave the OP to read this and ask themselves what happened -- and they can of course bring up what happened in confession ...


#7

I’m with Joan on this one… it’s not like you forgot until you left the confessional… you remembered BEFORE absolution. If we look at the objective requirements of the sacrament, that you confess all remembered mortal sins, then you missed one. In any case, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so I would just go to the priest and tell him that you didn’t include a sin and would like a quick confession to cover that.


#8

Read Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers in the link above. He gets into various aspects of the question…


#9

Yes, and he says, as I noted, that if the sin is remembered while still confessing other sins (even the last one) that it SHOULD be confessed, precisely because “control” of the dialogue is still in the hands of the penitent at that point. Since that is the case here, then the answer is clear: the sin should have been confessed.


#10

I do see what your getting at.

But Tis difficult really to comment much --for we where not in the confessional with the OP --and had we been…we would be in trouble (I doubt the OP needs “two” interpreters) … …and not allowed to discuss it anyhow :slight_smile: …I am not saying for him not to return to confession (and perhaps better for the OP to go back to confession)

As I noted the OP could read what Jimmy wrote there and think about what happened…

Here is another treatment of the question: jimmyakin.com/2005/04/confession_vali.html

The OP can discuss what happened with his Priest in confession.

I would say it is a good idea to just return to confession to the Priest (or another if he is not available) and tell him what happened and seek from him and do what needs be done to remedy the situation.


#11

Well it’s a long story but I received communion and confessed it the next time I went to confession. I have been suffering from scrupulosity so the last thing I wanted to do was over complicate the matter. I had confessed the sin (that I forgot) once in a previous confession but feared my confession was invalid, so my plan was to reconfess it. I then forgot, probably as I realised it was not a mortal sin anyway. I struggle to trust my own conscience and I felt that going back to confession to confess a sin I had orginally thought may have been a mortal sin (which I know realise most likely wasn’t) would be the worst thing a scrupulous person could have done. I am slowly learning to trust in God more and more, but I have to do my best and I truly believe that’s what I did in this situation. Thanks for all the answers. :slight_smile:


#12

Setting aside the rest (you can discuss with the confessor). It is very important for one who struggles with scruples to one degree or another to have a

regular confessor

Who knows of their scruples and can guide them…such is the age old practice. Just wanted to note that for such is not always known.


#13

Yes, thank you very much. It took me a while to find a good priest who was patient and listened to me. But I’ve found one that I go to regularly.

In regards to forgetting that sin I must also mention that I did slip it in, sorta combining it with another sin. It’s complicated but I’d rather just forget about it and trust in God, than continue to worry about it. Thanks :slight_smile:


#14

No. I would like to point out that I would not just leave it out. I don’t like the way you have worded that, as you cannot be certain on a person’s situation. I know I put the question out there but in my opinion there was no need to put such a negative spin on the matter. I did my best and believe it or not, I’m human, so I do make mistakes just as everyone else does.


#15

[quote="YellowPancakes, post:13, topic:300703"]
Yes, thank you very much. It took me a while to find a good priest who was patient and listened to me. But I've found one that I go to regularly.

In regards to forgetting that sin I must also mention that I did slip it in, sorta combining it with another sin. It's complicated but I'd rather just forget about it and trust in God, than continue to worry about it. Thanks :)

[/quote]

Discuss it with the Priest in confession....

And in going to see him regularly --if he is to be your "regular confessor" in dealing with scruples --discuss such with him directly about your coming to him as your regular confessor regarding scruples...


#16

If you forgot jusst mention it the next time you go to confession. say i forgot to mention ----


#17

YellowPancakes, I based my comments on exactly what you told us. If what you told us is correct, then my comments are also correct. You don’t like how I worded it - well, I believe in being direct. I know that if I remembered a mortal sin before the priest said absolution, or even after it, while I was still in the confessional, I would have to confess it.
You said “I felt by that time it was a bit late to confess it as I had said ’ and I …’ just before I confessed my last sin.” Well, that just doesn’t cut it! So you remember something serious - well, say "Oh, and … " and confess it. The priest is not going to be upset. He would much rather you confessed everything at that confession.

I did not put a “negative spin” on what you wrote. You allowed something - whether human respect (fear of what the priest would think, perhaps) or something else to stop you confessing what you had just remembered. Instead of brushing off mistakes, we are supposed to learn from then. Now you know what you should have done. You’re welcome.


#18

I’ve read the article, and if the OP reads it, he/she will clearly see that what I said is correct! Perhaps you should also read it (or re-read it), since the OP states that the forgotten sin came to mind before the priest started to give absolution.

We also need to remember that Jimmy Akin is not the Pope, and further, he does not quote any official Church document in his reply. It appears to be only his opinion.

I know that if I had remembered a forgotten mortal sin after receiving absolution I would (I hope) immediately say to the priest that I had remembered a sin that I needed to confess and ask him how to deal with this. If the priest told me to bring it to my next confession, I would happily do so, but would not determine to do this on my own (or based on a lay person’s opinion, no matter how well known or popular he/she may be).


#19

I already replied at more length above to others. I too would seek too would seek to say it before Absolution. And I recommended the other person to see a Priest in confession.

Yes of course he is not the Pope (wonderfully that is Pope Benedict XVI!) as neither are you or I but one does not need to be the Pope. As to sources he draws from various theological works that is things written for confessors etc.

One may do that and make basically a second quick confession then and there …(I know I have done so in the past) but if one remembered a mortal sin after absolution (as Jimmy too notes) such would it would seem in the order of a “forgotten mortal sin” that the Church discusses …so thus one could wait until the next confession…just as would be the case of a person remembering it a few moments later as closes the door of the confessional…he does not need to get back in line.

Unless of course one was not contrite etc for it…like one remembers hey I am living with my girlfriend and plans to continue doing so.

Yes it is good to seek direction from the Priest (thanks be to God for them!). But I would note that while Priests have the benefit of particular concentration on such in their studies as well as experience and hopefully will know the right response it is also the case that it can happen that a lay person can be correct where a Priest is not. May we all seek to know and live truth and right practice.


closed #20

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