How does one deal with premeditated sin and Christ's fogiveness?

I have read on this forum from apologists and others that the sacrament of Reconciliation absolves one of all past sins, even ones unremembered:

[quote=Fr. Vincent Serpa] Whenever you receive absolution, the sins you don’t remember are also absolved.

I am in a situation where I am in a small group with several other couples from my parish (most are mixed marriages, although some are not). We all have several young children, and I am distressed that the “trend” in the group is for the men to have vasectomies, even though they are aware that it is against Church teaching. One wife said outside of our meeting time “he’s just going to do it and then go to confession.” They are both Catholic.

This kind of “pre-meditated” mortal sin, with the plan for confession afterwards seems all wrong to me. And yet from what I understand, the sacrament’s validity is not predicated on true penitence for the sin. It is certainly true that the man will not commit that sin again, because there is no longer the need!

Further, my wife has been asking that I have a vasectomy as well, and I have been steadfastly against it to this point. She is resisting more children (partly due to medical concerns for her and future children), but I really feel like our family is not finished. Yet she said she would be open to one more (we have two young beautiful children) if I were to have a vasectomy afterwards and keep adoption as a means to care for more children if we feel God wills it.

So, will our male friend be truly absolved of his pre-meditated, unrepentant sin by participating in the sacrament?

Would the same course of action be a real option for me?

Please respond, or PM me!


Dear Javelin,

Do not succumb to your wife’s sinful suggestions. You cannot fool God. Don’t play at turning the sacrament of Penance into a giant sacrilege. You know better than that.

It’s amazing how often after the vasectomy the couple has a change of heart. Be aware that reversing a vasectomy is no picnic. It’s painful and can render one incontinent. There are no guarantees that it will be successful. Often such operations are not.

If one is sincere, any sin can be forgiven when SINCERELY repented of, confessed and absolved. But to deliberately sin with the thought of confessing it afterward is a diabolical, deliberate affront to God’s mercy. Do not….tempt….God! Only God knows the sincerity of your friend’s repentance. Just don’t imitate him. Besides, looking at a crucifix reminds us that He deserves so much better from us.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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