I am worried that my confession was not valid

I had this situation in my life last June. Here it is.


After this incident, I went to confession right away. I didn’t waste any time. I was truly sorry. I have been going to church regularly since then. I am worried, though. I recently read this on Catholic Doors.


I am worried now about whether or not my confession is valid. Should I be losing sleep over this?

The best thing to do is to speak with your priest - and for this you will probably want to make an appointment rather than just going during the regular confession times. Remember, God’s loving forgiveness is unlimited; all he needs you to do is take the first step and come back to Him - which you’ve already done.

If you left the confessional last year and thought it was valid, I don’t see how it would be invalid.

You really need to talk to a priest about this and ask really what does it take to make a confession invalid. My guess if you’ve got to go in there and really decide to hold something something back.

Remember, you cannot commit a mortal sin after the fact, you need to have full knowledge and full consent at the same time. Learning about something almost a year later cannot invalidate the confession.

This seems to be getting towards scrupulosity and it’s not healthy to be thinking about things like this.

Again, see a priest. Looking this stuff up on-line is not going to help, and just because a half-way decent looking website is up does not mean it reflects accurate Catholic teaching even if it’s well-intended and seems to make sense.

I think you need to stay away from looking this up altogether.

If you confessed your involvement in a possible abortion, you were forgiven. It is true that material cooperation in abortion incurs an automatic excommunication, but I believe that all of the US bishops have delegated to their priest confessors the faculty to lift that excommunication. In any case, the excommunication may not have applied to you if you did not know about that rule at the time.


I suggest that you simply make an appointment with a priest, perhaps the one you did the confession with, or another and show him this link. The priest should be able to let you if you are truly good.

Also, as FYI - Catholic Culture.org ranks catholicdoors.com as kind of a dangerous site because some things are not totally correct


I’d never heard of that site before but in clicking on the above link, I certainly agree that “some things are not totally correct.” As a matter of fact, every answer given in that link is either flat-out wrong or at least misleading (except for the quotations from the Catechism). I’m not impressed.

To the OP: I also think you should talk to a priest/confessor about this. In my opinion, there is not much of a chance that you were actually excommunicated and, based on what you have said here, I see no reason at all to doubt to validity of that confession/absolution. But, that’s only my opinion.


I agree that the catholicdoors website is misleading. If the priest did not have the faculties to absolve the sin of abortion and lift the excommunication he would have made it clear at the time of confession. I know that all the priests in my diocese have been given the faculties to do this and I believe that is the case in all US dioceses.

catholicdoors is based in Canada so the rules there may be different. It’s easy enough to contact your diocese and find out if the authority to absolve the sin of abortion and lift the excommunication has been extended to all diocesan priests.

Note that the 2,000 priests hearing confessions during World Youth Day in Madrid were all given the authority to lift this particular excommunication during the period of that event.

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