How Concerning is This

So a couple times while going to confession, my priest said something along the lines of “your sins were forgiven before coming here.” This was done before saying the words of absolution. Also, I can guarantee some of what I confessed was mortal. How concerned should I be about this?

On a slightly related note he was asked about the criteria of a mortal sin a couple weeks ago. In his answer he never talked about mortal and venial sins. He said that the mortal sin criteria was what the Church said determined whether or not an action was sinful. He then briefly discussed the criteria from there. Could this have been meant in a theologically correct way? I know this second part doesn’t belong in this sub-forum, but I think it may relate to the first part. As a result, I think it’s better to put it here instead of in the Moral Theology section.


Your priest was wrong at first glance, but perhaps he merely did not express himself properly. As he absolved you in the proper form though, you should not be concerened aboutthe validity thereof.

Just looking at the information available to us, I’d seek another confessor ASAP.

Thanks for the replies.

I wasn’t too concerned about the validity, but it’s good to have that confirmed. I had begun to worry a little. I was mostly concerned that my understanding may have been off.

I understand how this is concerning, but look at it from a theological viewpoint. Christ has already died for our sins on the Cross (including yours, incidentally before you confessed it to your Priest). However, this does NOT negate the need for Sacramental Confession. As God knows your needs before you ask Him, He was pleased with you when you had the intention to go to confession, but, it was only when you actualised the intention (went to confess), that your sins were forgiven.

Your priest was probably just using the pastoral approach in telling you that your sins had already been forgiven to reassure you of Gods’ forgiveness and Christ’s Mercy.

If you made a good act of contrition with the firm intention of going to Confession as the first possible moment, I think they may have been forgiven. But don’t think that a good act of contrition and NO Confession would gain forgiveness for mortal sins.

For that you need a PERFECT act of contrition. And that is not possible for most of us. Which is why confession is such a great blessing from God.

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