How specific do you have to be in Confession?


Can you just say “pride” or must you go into an example of when you were prideful?

God Bless!


Vincent, I suggest you get over your pride and ask for the guidance you seek IN the Confessional. :slight_smile: If you are unsure of how to go about Confessing, you can and should be able to receive the guidance you seek right there from the start. Just tell Father you’re rusty and how long it has been and he will talk you through it.

There really are wonderful books on the Sacrament. Frequent Confession by Benedict Baur is one. Or perhaps a small guide such as the Confession: Its Fruitful Practice published by TAN.

Good luck and God bless,


You need to say a little bit more than just one word of “pride”. For example, “I was arguing with someone knowing I was wrong but out of pride and wanting to appear that I know better, I insisted my position and continue to fight with him.” You don’t have to give the detail what you were arguing about.


I generally give examples.


Telling ones sins to the priest is not supposed to be easy.
What many people seem to forget about Confession is that having to admit to our failings in detail, with its attendant embarrassment, is part of the Penance we owe to G*d for our transgressions.


You can just say “pride”. If the priest wants more information he will ask, and you should be prepared to answer his questions (truthfully) and give details. The priest knows what level of information he needs.


Okay guys thanks for your inputs!


For mortal sins one is obliged to confess them all in number and kind (and that which changes the kind–like it was a chalice one stole). (murder 2x, fornication 2x etc).

For venial sins one can be general (like saying “pride” etc)… and one is not obliged to confess them.


My priest tells me to forgo the nuances or explanations, just state the sin. Anything else tends to flow into making excuses. If he wants more explaination he asks for it.


Pope Francis says be concrete. He says:

“Little children have that wisdom: when a child comes to confess, he never says something general. ‘But father, I did this and I did that to my aunt, another time I said this word’ and they say the word. But they are concrete, eh? They have that simplicity of the truth. And we always have the tendency to hide the reality of our failings. But there is something beautiful: when we confess our sins as they are in the presence of God, we always feel that grace of shame. Being ashamed in the sight of God is a grace. It is a grace."


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