Generic Confession

I am scrupulous. As a result, I have not been to Confession in over a year because of the absurdity of what I want to confess.

Anyway, I just read on another thread of a generic confession for those who are scrupulous. Can anyone elaborate on this? What exactly is a generic confession?

A general confession is a confession of one’s whole life.

It seems a generic confession is something that mentions sins in general without getting into too many particulars… “I had some vain thoughts…” That could mean a lot. Maybe this is what was recommended to you.

Just go. Delaying does not help.

A general confession, does not mean confessing sins “generally” under just vague titles or categories,

It means confessing every mortal sin ever committed from birth until the present day.
Or at least confessing all mortal sins of one’s life that you believe have not been confessed, or not been confessed properly.

As such, a general confession is best by private appointment with a priest outside of usual confession times, as it may take quite some time to confess.

You are confusing general confession with general absolution,

A general confession means confessing ones whole life or at least all sins not confessed, or not confused properly,

A general absolution is when a priest absolves someone without hearing.their sins, and can only be allowed in an emergency, eg: the person is dying, or the person is going out to war immediately,

Mary; the OP is talking about a GENERiC confession, not general.

They mean not every single bean-counting offence but a broad outline to stop bean-counting. It is to combat scrupolosity

Well, if it’s been more than a year since you went, it means you didn’t confess at least once a year as commanded- so it wouldn’t be scrupulous for you to go now. You need to go now. We are commanded to confess at least once a year.

Do a good examination of conscience and go. Tell the priest up front you struggle with scruples, if you want, and he can guide you in your confession. It’s okay, and even good, to go ahead and confess your venial sins in addition to any mortal ones.

I’m sorry to hear this: This is actually happening to me right now: I went to confession in January, and since I am never satisfied with my confessions, I reasoned I should just make a general confession of my whole life, but I kept on putting it off. I made several appointments, but I always stopped the confession, because I was convinced I “wasn’t ready”. Now I’m planning on meeting the pastor of the closest Catholic Church to make a good confession, and receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

I’m not too sure what a “generic” confession, I only know what a “general” confession is. Either way, it’s good to remember, since you’re scrupulous as well, what St John of the Cross said:
**"When you are unfaithful to your confessor, you are so to Jesus Christ, who has said: ‘He that despises you, despises me’. Not to rest satisfied with what one’s confessor says is pride and lack of faith.”
Satan/yourself/the world may tempt you to disobey your confessor, since you’re scrupulous.

Let’s pray for one another :slight_smile:

And the imaginary lightbulb appears over my head, Eureka!

Understood :slight_smile:

The Catechism does teach, mortal sins must be confessed by name and number.
Maybe the scrupulous Op should stop confessing sins for a while that they are certain are just venial sins

In Thomas Santa’s book on scrupulosity, a generic confession is one that, excepting for mortal sins, the scrupulous penitent says something like “I am a sinner; I repent of all my sins,” and they may mention some of the venial sins that they committed. Of course, mortal sins are a whole different thing. If the scrupulous person is aware of truly committing a mortal sin, he must confess it in kind and number. The scrupulous person, it is assumed, would be confessing to a regular confessor who knows him. It is not taking the “easy way out,” but it helps to tame the feelings of fear and anxiety that he did not confess right or that the priest did not understand him. According to this book, an individual who is scrupulous should only confess matters that they “could swear on a stack of bibles that they have definitely sinned.” Because scrupulosity is causing the person to see sin in everything, the generic confession has its place.

Thomas Santa, who is a priest, wrote a book on scrupulosity called “Understanding Scrupulosity.” Some of it is in question and answer form.

Thank you for your responses, everyone.

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