is a persons confession still valid if the priest absolving them is in a state of mortal sin or is generally evil? Just a hypothetical that I was wondering about.

Yes. The sanctity of the minister has no effect upon the validity of the Sacrament. The Donatist heresy, which Augustine preached vigorously against, was about precisely this issue. We believe the sacraments work ex opere operato, that is, by the working of the work itself. A priest who doubts the Eucharist could still validly confect the Eucharist, provided he was using valid matter and the proper form (intent is presumed if he’s using the proper form, so long as he doesn’t positively exclude consecration).

So in short, yes, a priest in the state of mortal sin can validly absolve and perform any of the other sacraments.


Yes. Any priest that has jurisdiction can perform any sacrament (except for Holy Orders which is reserved to only a bishop).

Can a Catholic or Christian perform a emergency confession if a Non-Believer is about to die and has come to their senses about the goodness of God and wants to repent, but their is not enough time for them to go to a priest?

What do you mean, confession? You mean hear and give absolution? If so, no, no, absolutely not. Sacramental confession requires a priest, face-to-face, and a believer (Catholic Christian, Orthodox, and under extreme circumstances a non-Catholic Christian) but can never leave out the priest.

What you can do is urge the person to make a perfect act of contrition, being sorry for their sins purely from love of God, and not from fear, and trust to God’s mercy.

But you can’t have a ‘pretend’ confession session.

It’s not for “pretend” or as a “act”. I am talking about a life or death emergency and someone is about to die but the are still in a state mortal of sin.

You still cannot, as a layperson, hear another person’s confession or offer absolution. You can’t. You cannot forgive in the name of Christ. You aren’t a priest.

Please don’t ignore what I said "You can help the person to try to make an act of perfect contrition.’ This is something any person, Catholic or not, can try to do.

And by the way, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Francis agree with me. You cannot as a layperson offer to hear another person’s confession and ‘give him or her absolution’. Cannot be done, unless you’re a priest. If you continue to have a problem with that, tell Jesus that He was unfair to insist on not letting you be able to do what you want here. :slight_smile:

Well I guess I will disagree with the Church on this issue. If you look at my religion I am a independent catholic. I do not follow the rules that are bad and instead follow jesus in my own right. If I come across a non believer who is about to die and wants to repent I will gladly encourage them to, not tell them that I am not a priest. Once again I will not let you or anyone else condemn someone to hell because of a silly rule. I will encourage them to repent instead of running away.



If you are a baptized Catholic you are a Catholic and should behave as one.

And I am not condemning someone to hell. Please stop that. So you’re saying you will lie to people and you think that will save them? Not only will it not do so (only God saves) you’ll be risking your own soul as well.

I’ll pray for you.

I am a **Independent **Catholic, meaning I follow the main rules, but not the trivial rules that are designed to control the congregation and make a buck for the church. I also strongly oppose Condemnations as i have exhibited on the forms (which you very well know).

Yes I am baptized Catholic, which in my interpretation gives me emergency power to perform confessions.

I am independent, but still very much Catholic.

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