Forgiveness of Sin without confession


Can a Catholic receieve forgiveness without confession? i.e.- prayer to a crucifix, a confession by oneself, prayer of contrition,etc.


Only one way.

CCC 1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

As you can see, even if a person can make an act of perfect contrition it is still conditional upon the intention to get to Confession as soon as possible. However, if you die before getting to Confession your sins would be forgiven.
The problem I have is how anyone can possibly know that the act of contrition they make is perfect. I wouldn’t like to bet my soul on it.


I’ve been wondering the same thing. My mom doesen’t go to confession. She says if God is forgiving he will forgive her sins despite her not going to confession.


Confession- or the sacrament of reconciliation-- is a really hard thing for a lot of adults. Especially in today’s modern world, it is really, really tough to reflect on what you have done, what you have failed to do, what you have said to hurt others, how you have let others down-- and then go and tell someone else about all that stuff. But that really is the point. It takes resolve to do that, it takes courage and fortitude that demonstrates you desire to be forgiven. This is grace, and this is why the sacrament is so powerful.

Reconciliation is a fundamental need for human beings and thus this sacrament is essential for you happiness!

Don’t take my word for it-- GO, see for yourself! See the amazing difference in your heart when you make a true and heartfelt confession, when you reflect deeply on your sins and ask God for forgiveness!


This is so true. I was received into trhe Church at Easter and my very first confession was a blur due to nerves etc… When I needed to go back a few weeks later, I put it off through fear of not knowing what to do and making a mess of it all.

Needless to say I was being a fool. The Priest was brilliant. He understood everything I told him and took me through the whole procedure step by step; all the time telling me that reconciliation was all about God’s love for us.

During RCIA, my Priest told me of the importance of confession and reconciliation but nothing prepared me for the feeling of having confessed my sins, being reconciled to God.


There are two kinds of sins mortal and venial. Venial sins are forgiven upon reception of Holy Communion, by saying an act of contrition or doing a good work and mortal sins can be forgiven with1. a perfect act of contrition i.e. an act of sorrow that we have offended God who loves us. And 2 by going to confession/reconciliation and confessing all of the mortal sins we can remember. We make an act of contrition here but it can be an imperfect act of contrition i.e. an act of sorrow because we are afraid of going to hell.

So , technically speaking, it is possible for our sins to be forgiven outside of the sacrament of confession I for one would never be sure that I had made an act of perfect contrition and so would opt for the sacrament of reconciliation.


In Christianity, if you sin against another human beings, can you get the forgiveness if you went to that person and you apologized to him/her and he/she said “I forgave you”, will that be sufficient?


You would indeed have received the forgiveness of the person you had sinned against. Reconcilliation is about humility before God however.
It also fulfills a really important social function.


Crikey I didn’t know that, I thought you couldn’t go to communion if your conscience wasn’t clear?


202. Q. How many kinds of contrition are there.
A. There are two kinds of contrition: perfect contrition and imperfect contrition.

  1. Q. What is perfect contrition?
    A. Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love.
    It can be a very hard thing to have perfect contrition, but we should always try to have it, so that our contrition may be as perfect as possible. This perfect contrition is the kind of contrition we must have if our mortal sins are to be forgiven if we are in danger of death and cannot go to confession. Imperfect contrition with the priest’s absolution will blot out our mortal sins.

204. Q. What is imperfect contrition?
A. Imperfect contrition is that by which we hate what offends God because by it we lose Heaven and deserve Hell; or because sin is so hateful in itself.

205. Q. Is imperfect contrition sufficient for a worthy confession?
A. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for a worthy confession, but we should endeavor to have perfect contrition.

The Baltimore Catechism
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**The Baltimore Catechism **
Table of Contents

**The Baltimore Catechism **
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Lesson 19:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

In Scripture


Remember that you are not praying TO a crucifix…but to God himself! :slight_smile:


What if you remember that you did something long ago, that at the time, you did not realize was a sin, or a serious sin. Or … if you don’t remember if you knew it as sinful, at the time, but now you do?

Bear in mind … I go to Confession regularly, and have had “Anointing Of The Sick” recently. If I am accountable for the the possible sins in the first paragraph, would the “Annointing” have cleansed my soul?


The the crucifix is NOT God!

Whew! Your post could be confusing to a knee-jerk “Catholics worship statues” anti-Catholic! :smiley:


Here is a very good site to consider

take note of #6 in the tips about what sin is for the Adult Christian.



If I am correct, the Church teaches that there is not chance for salvation for someone who dies in mortal sin before being able to make it to Confession, unless that person has perfect contrition. It doesn’t matter how sorry the person is, how bad he feels, or how hard he tries to make it to the Sacrement, he is still damned. This is a challenge I am having in my Faith right now. Would a God who wants to forgive sin damn you to eternal hell because you couldn’t get to confession before death? Doesn’t seem reasonable. This actually seems like a sin against hope and trust in God. A person in mortal sin and who is not able to have perfect contrition in effect has no hope and cannot have trust in God since he is seperated from God, no matter how imperfectly sorrowful that person is. Is this not correct?

Perfect Contrition quesiton: If one tries to have perfect contrition but isn’t able to get there, is the desire to have said perfect contrition sufficient? Does it mean anything to God or the Chruch? If not, this seems to really be placing a limit on God’s love and forgiveness.


You sound scrupulous. Confession is the “normative” means by which Christ provides absolution of post-baptismal sin. That means, if you can’t get there, you CAN’T get there. It is not simply “unconfessed” mortal sin that does us in. It is unrepented mortal sin. The habitually penitent heart is the loving heart.

Perfect Contrition quesiton: If one tries to have perfect contrition but isn’t able to get there, is the desire to have said perfect contrition sufficient? Does it mean anything to God or the Chruch? If not, this seems to really be placing a limit on God’s love and forgiveness.

I’m not the court of final appeal, but from everything I understand about the Catholic faith, DESIRE is a very BIG deal, and would certainly be putting you “under the mercy.” Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn it.

In the face of imminent death, I am sure you would be surprised at how STRONG your desire would become to be “right” with the Lord.


This is a matter of grace syrely? The whole point of a confessor is that you have the grace to confess and the desire to be forgiven by God. I’m sure God wouldn’t damn you tell Hell, but the Church teaches us we must be as good as we can and do as much as we can to be like Jesus!


The general understanding is that if you INTEND to make a good confession, and confess everything that comes to mind to the best of your ability, then ALL your sins are submitted to the power of the keys. If you remember something later, you bring it up in confession under the heading of "among the sins of my past life I now recognize as sin . . . " Don’t get over-scrupulous about this, to the point of doubting the mercy of God, but just take care of it in your normal confession time.


Thank you for your response.

I didn’t realize that I sort of hijacked the thread. That was not intended. Sorry!


You should ask your mom, if she wants God to forgive her sins, why doesn’t she use the means God gave her? Why isn’t she willing to meet God half way in the forgiveness of her sins?

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