If the Catholic Church would change the annual requirement, would you?


If the Catholic Church form another Council under the guidance of the Pope, would you support a change that would require a Catholic to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation monthly instead of annually?

What benefits would the lay Catholics have for a changing the annual requirement to monthly?

Vote and explain whether you agree or not.


I voted “I don’t know.”

I truely believe that confession is a wonderful sacrament and we should all take advantage of it as often as possible.

However, I’m just afraid that more people would feel “put out” if they were “required” to go more often. I don’t want the church to put more of a burden on people than what they can really do.

I do wish, though, that more priests would teach about the graces that we receive in the sacrament. And I really wish that more Catholics would take advantage of the sacrament.


There are a lot of children and elderly people who don’t need to go more than once or twice a year. I think the Church knows what it’s doing, to have the general requirement to be once a year.

We can always go more often, if we feel the need.

Obviously, if the Church changed the requirement to once a month, we’d all go once a month.


I know so many Catholics that rarely even go once a year so perhaps if it was changed to every month they’d go once a year :slight_smile: I supported once a month.


The know that the Church said the minimum is one year requirement for confession.

I do believe that lay Catholics have an spiritual obligation to go to confession.

I made a poll a while back and most Catholics here go to confession on a monthly basis. In second place, two weeks is required.

I know members of Opus Dei are recommended to go weekly, correct me if I am wrong.


I so agree with you on this one, as much as I have loved the priests I have had these past few years, both of them did do not teach enough about it. If you don’t talk about it people don’t think about it.

I suppose people are not always comfortable with it.


Catholics are not required to go to confession once a year. they are required to confess their mortal sins once a year, and instructed not to receive communion until they do confess mortal sins. so the poll is useless (like most polls here)


When I took my children to monthly conession, things were great for about 3 weeks. The bickering and squabbling began, and I became irritable and lacking in charity, sometime during that last week.

So I would definitely support a move to encourage monthly confession, and not just for mortal sins, but so that it would be easier to avoid them.


No since there is only an annual requirement for the Eucharist so it seems logical that there be an anual requirement for the sacrament of confession. Now the vast majority of church going Catholics go much more than once a year for communion and likewise, some Catholics go more than once a year to confession, which is a good thing.


Interesting question.

Personally I don’t think requiring more frequent confession and/or communion as a matter of church law would make a difference. There are plenty who currently ignore the yearly requirement. Not to mention other church requirements such as fasting and abstinence. I should know, I was one of 'em for a number of years. Making it a matter of law to go more often wouldn’t have made a difference to me, I just didn’t go.

What I’ve seen make a difference is when it’s actually offered more frequently. Particularly in conjunction with daily or Sunday masses as well as Saturdays, so that EVERYONE in the parish sees the priest in the confessional, sees people going and has no excuse of “oh I can’t hang around here for long before/after mass”.

And the biggie of course - priests need to mention it more in their homilies!!! No getting around that.


Hit the nail on the head there! If they do that, and stress the importance regarding Communion, then lines will fill up, I predict.


The same statement could be made about the Eucharist. A lot of children and elderly people don’t NEED the additional supportive Grace that the Eucharist provides. But the lack of an NEED doesn’t rule out that the BENEFITS of frequent reception of the Sacrament.

The exact same is true for Confession. Like any other Sacrament, there is a fortifying Grace.

Not only are sins forgiven in Confession, but the soul is strenghend and fed. That is why Pope John Paul II recieved this Sacrament weekly. Did he NEED too? Not in the sense that his soul was in mortal sin, but did he need the Grace of the Sacrament to advance in Holiness. Certainly!

As do we all.


Well Brendan, I actually agree with you on this! :smiley: miracles do happen :wink: or you’d probably say there’s hope for me after all!hehehe jk I do like what you said though.


I agree with this. I wish the church would get over the “Saturday afternoon only” limitation. For those who can’t make Saturday afternoons, there aren’t many other options, especially if they prefer “behind the screen”. (As far as calling Father to arrange to have him be in the confessional at a certain time, I’m not sure how well this works in an area where he has to pastor two parishes in a busy, urban area). I would like to see the sacrament offered before Masses on Sunday, and before at least one or two weekday Masses.


Sure - and I know lots of children and elderly people who go twice a month, and even more, voluntarily.

But there are also those who literally can’t think of any sins to confess - and not because they don’t know how to do a proper Examen.

I’m definitely not including myself in that, by the way - I have valid matter for the Sacrament every single week - but there do exist those few who actually don’t - who have already attained to (or who haven’t left behind their original baptismal graces yet) the kind of holiness that we are all expected to achieve while here on this earth. For them, once a year is plenty.

The exact same is true for Confession. Like any other Sacrament, there is a fortifying Grace.

Of course - but in the case of Confession, the valid matter of the Sacrament is a venial or mortal sin committed by the person making the Confession. One may repeat a sin that has been confessed before, but it is dangerous to the soul to do so too many times, and most Confessors won’t allow repetition of sins more than once or twice.

Not only are sins forgiven in Confession, but the soul is strenghend and fed. That is why Pope John Paul II recieved this Sacrament weekly. Did he NEED too? Not in the sense that his soul was in mortal sin, but did he need the Grace of the Sacrament to advance in Holiness. Certainly!

As do we all.

The Pope, holy though he is, is in the world, and has many opportunities for venial sins.

There are so many little children and elderly who simply have no inclination or even any opportunity to offend anyone, even by accident.

Again, I’m not talking about myself.


The annual obligation is set at a minimum for a reason.

Most of us are very fortunate to be able to attend Mass weekly, daily, etc. and confess whenever we please - monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, etc.

In some places in the world, it can be much more difficult to attend Mass and Confession due to geography, lack of priests, remote locations, the legality of the Catholic Church (Saudi Arabia and China come to mine) etc.

Some Catholics actually have to travel great distances to practice their faith through the Sacraments, either because they live somewhere that there is no priest or church for miles and miles and miles. What happens if you live somewhere like that (either by choice or not - the military comes to mind) do your best to make a pilgrimage AT LEAST once a year to confess and receive the Blessed Sacrament, and then the Church changes the requirement to a monthly obligation. You wouldn’t be able to submit to the obligation.

So the yearly obligation is a minimum. We are free to frequent the Sacraments as often as we can.


Currently, I am homeschooling my two eldest children and with my youngest son, we just finished learning about the Ten Commandments and what they forbid. Most of us would be surprised to learn that simple gossip is a sin against the 8th Commandment, and therefore a mortal sin. Lying, cheating, stealing, speaking ill of your friends or neighbors, becoming angry with a spouse, child, friend, relative or neighbor; being jealous at what other people have. All of these are mortal sins. Just as taking the name of the Lord in vain and missing mass on Sundays is a mortal sin, so are offenses against the other Commandments. I believe that none of us are perfect. Even Pope John Paul II went to Confession weekly. We are human and have free will which is why we are defective. Confession is not spoken of enough in our churches today, which is sad. Too many people are receiving our Lord in Holy Communion who have no right to do so. Our priests should speak more about the healing powers of this sacrament so that more people would be willing to partake of it. My father recently put it this way: When your house gets dusty, you clean it. The same thing happens when venial sins begin to multiply. Too many of them and it injures our souls.

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