If you repent but dont confess to a priest, are you still forgiven?


Is your sins technically still forgiven when you repent and go to confession but the priest is unavailable? Like if your currently living in a foreign country and you want to do confession so you write out your sins and go but the priest isnt there…can you still receive communion? Or do you have to wait for the next availability to confess and receive communion then?




The above link is very good. I really only have one thing to add, if you do not confess to a priest, even if you do a Perfect Act of Contrition, you do not know as a matter of fact if Christ has forgiven you or not. However, since he delegated this power to the clergy, we know that that Christ has forgiven us Persona Christi.

God Bless


Well stated. I believe one still needs to hear the words “I absolve you” from the Priest.


Your sins are forgiven the moment you repent.

However, do not confuse forgiveness with absolution.

We need both forgiveness and absolution according to the teachings of the Church.

Absolution comes from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and it is not just forgiveness, but the imparting of grace, and removal of ecclesiastical penalties through the authority granted to the apostles by Christ.


:thumbsup: This. And to add on, it is* absolutio*n that restores us to communion with the Church and makes us properly disposed to receive the Sacraments.


If the sin is not grave matter, it may be forgiven in other ways–but the sacrament of Reconciliation still has advantages over those other forms, particularly in the advice of the priest and in the assurance of forgiveness.


Re: contrition, forgiveness of grave sins is NOT always considered to be forgiven by one repenting, reason being, it maybe an imperfect contrition.

As the CCC states

“By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance” see 1453

other passages that show absolution in the confessional = forgiveness & absolution with God **& **the Church.

1424 , 1484 , 1497

Anyone can repent of venial sin and God forgives those sins. It’s a different situation with mortal sin. That is scriptural.


If the priest is unavailable when you go to confess (say, too many confessions, so there is not time before he must go prepare for Mass), then you have done what you can, and are allowed to receive communion that one time, when there is a grave reason to receive–but you must go to confession before doing so again. (CCC 1437) This is because you are unable to receive reconciliation through no fault of your own. But it must really be that you tried–you cannot, for example, show up five minutes before Mass and expect to get in. If you are serious, try to get to confession 15 or 20 minutes before Mass, or even longer if Confessions are scheduled early. Go on Friday or Saturday, not Sunday morning, so you have additional chances to get in if needed.


1437 that’s not what it says

Do you have a reference from the CCC on that?


It requires perfect contrition. The relevant passage is stated above (1453). If the person is repentant out of love for God (not out of fear of hell) and never gets the chance to go to confession (through no fault of their own), they can still go to heaven if they were to die. However, they are to go to confession at the first opportunity. This means someone in a foreign country without any Catholic churches could possibly go several years without confession if they had perfect contrition, though if they continually committed mortal sins, it would cast doubt that they truly had perfect contrition.


I posted about perfect contrition in post #8 On mortal sin, one shouldn’t presume they have perfect contrition.

I was asking bmonk for references to what he posted


Sorry–should have been CCC 1457:

According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

No–this interpretation is from elsewhere, and involves the text of CCC 1457 above, especially “there is no possibility of going to confession.” If there really is “no possibility,” it should not be because your own actions or neglect made it impossible–you need to make the effort to confess,or it is an indication that true “deep contrition” is lacking: the truly contrite would seek reconciliation if at all possible.


One would normally need yes to wait for Holy Communion. See the Catechism:

1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.


As to forgiveness:

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

1453 The contrition called “imperfect” (or “attrition”) is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin’s ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52


(note too that venial sins can be forgiven in many ways…though confession of course is wonderful and recommended as a frequent practice for such).


This is incorrect. No absolution for mortal sins, no receiving communion. What you say is very bad counsel and could cost someone their soul.


The above is a wrong interpretation. CCC 1457 really is directed at priests who have committed mortal sin. It can be that there is no possibility for them to receive absolution and they have an obligation to celebrate Mass for their parishioners. In such a case, he must make an act of perfect contrition (hoping that he has such oerfect contrition) and go ahead and say Mass.

It is NOT for us laity. We must attend Mass (on Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation) but must not receive Communion if we have not been to confession. Even if you have not been neglectful, have tried to get confession as quickly as possible, but were not successful, you should not receive.


Re: this part of #1957

"unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. "

The example you used in #9 didn’t apply in that definition from #1957.

if the example was a soldier in the field for example who is gravely wounded, and might not make it, and a deacon for example, not a priest, was in the field assisting the wounded, and he had the eucharist with him, then I think that fits.

Or if a eucharistic minister was visiting the sick in the hospital with the eucharist, and someone is close to death, and needs a priest and a priest is not able to be there soon enough, then that would fit.

That’s all I’m saying. :tiphat:


I don’t believe there is never a grave reason to receive Communion, especially when the state of your soul is questionable. The only time I can think of, is to prevent a desecration from occuring.




I think if you are dying, that is a grave reason to receive Communion. It is possible to receive Communion when a priest is not available.

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