Is Confession Needed?


Just looking for opinions, for the record I do believe and was taught confession to a priest of mortal sins was needed to accept the Eucharist, not go to Hell even, etc, aka pretty important…so, I’m in Lectio Divinia every week with this one gentleman and a few months ago, I forgot the topic, but I made mention of something to do with this and he cuts me off saying Gd is merciful and every good person will get “into heaven.” As a Jew, (sorry, I don’t say former bc I still am one, but I get Jewish readers might not like that so I apologize in advance…) I believe that, but I have thought Catholics and the Catechism said differently (and I don’t debate that).
Long story short now every LD he brings it up, this week he mentioned a podcast where a priest said the prayer we say at mass at the beginning (sorry, I’m new at this I don’t remember name of prayer) is enough and same as confession.
Anyone else heard of this? I’m all for the idea of “by faith alone,” but isn’t that a Protestant maxim? Why even have confession? And I also have to wonder why this guy is coming for me with this every.single.week. Of all the “hills to die on” why would it be the anti-confession one? lol
Help me out friends, maybe I’m the confused one.


Mortal sins MUST be confessed to a Priest.


Surely every good person will get into heaven, but part of being a good person is to ask God’s forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation. To knowingly refuse that sacrament and take a “by faith alone” attitude is very prideful.


right, that’s what I thought, was taught, etc…but this particular gentleman, as I stated, has basically asserted its a formality and kind of implies that I think differently is because I still have a “legalistic” mindset (they all know I’m a Jewish convert). But thanks, I’m not crazy.


If this group is trying to teach something different than what the Church teaches, it may be time to leave them behind.


I would have a talk with him about what he means. Does he really think confession is never necessary even when one is in mortal sin? Does he really believe all people go to heaven? Find out what he really believes. If he still insists, gently tell him that both of those erroneous beliefs are heresies.


NOPE always has been and always will be that mortal sins MUST be confessed to a Priest and absolved by a Priest before someone can receive Holy Communion. To be a Mortal sin it must meet 3 requirements:

1 Grave Matter
2 Full Knowledge
3 Full Consent


lol…I’ve tried, and been cut off and embarrassed. It’s very bizarre to say the least.


Have you talked to him one on one? Do all people in this group believe this?


If he is hearing the truth and denying it then that is on him. You just pray for him and when you can bring him the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s quote on this.


not one on one, but our group is only about 8 people and we have been meeting weekly for…well, I’ve been since my conversion a year and some ago. Yes, he strongly believes this, brings it up almost weekly, for my benefit it seems at this point. I don’t bring it up to the others privately bc I don’t want to be talking behind his back, so to speak.


Here us the Gospel for today:
Gospel MT 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”


Print out the applicable section from the online catechism and hand it to him. It “should be” sobering. If not, then he may be a case of invincible ignorance.

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.

He probably matured in his faith during the 60s and 70s - a time of murky and ineffective catechesis. Chances are he has redefined grave sin into venial.


Is this LD group affiliated with a parish? If so, I would let the priest or deacon know that this person is teaching error in the LD group.

Unfortunately there are some “good Catholics” who do not like the idea of confession or don’t think it’s necessary. Some of them may have been catechized poorly. Others are just embarrassed or put off by the idea of telling their sins to a priest so they pooh-pooh the need for it. It sounds like this guy has decided that all sins are venial, so do not absolutely require confession, and further that God is merciful, so will let you into heaven anyway, so in his mind this means you don’t need to bother going to confession. I didn’t know people thought this way until I met a whole bunch of such Catholics on a pilgrimage trip.

It is wrong for this guy to be teaching people the wrong stuff about confession based on some podcast he heard. Like I said, if this group is a church ministry then I would let a priest or deacon know so they can take this up with the guy. I would also be very wary of continuing to associate with a group where the leader is spreading error. I would also wonder why he is singling you out to bring this up every week. Maybe he feels guilty about not going to confession and is trying to talk himself out of the need for it. Anyway, he’s being a bit of a jerk by continung to bring it up to you every week. I would tell him flat out he’s in error, he’s conflicting with the Catechism, and that you don’t want to discuss it any more with him and are tired of him trying to convince you that Church teaching is wrong.


I think nothing is so misunderstood nowadays as Confession and receiving the Eucharist worthily. Last year when I was in hospital for an extended stay, they asked if, since I was Catholic, I wanted a priest to come by, and I said yes. A day or so later this woman comes into my room all smiles and says she’s a Eucharistic minister. I asked where was the priest, and she said there wasn’t one available. I said I couldn’t receive as I wasn’t in a state of grace. She said, ‘Oh, that’s all right. Just say the Our Father and it’ll be OK.’ I couldn’t believe my ears. She was serious! Trying to avoid rancor, I said ‘No, I don’t think I’ll receive today.’ She said, ‘Well, would you like to pray together?’ I said, ‘Yes, could we pray the Hail, Holy Queen together?’ She said, ‘What’s that? I’ve never heard of it.’ I said, ‘Thanks anyway, I think I’ll just rest now.’ Yet another reason to stay out of hospital. And this was nominally a Catholic facility! :angry:


yes is needed for realizing yourself from the sin.


“is confession needed?” is a bit of a loaded question.

The Sacrament should be received not just when “needed”, but when “desired”.

When the Sacrament is needed, based on the answers we have seen here, is often subjective. But if the Sacrament is received when desired, we can bring all those subjective matters before Christ, and whether or not they meet the textbook definition of mortal sin at that point doesn’t matter.

Although the Sacrament is needed for absolution of mortal sin, there is no prohibition for using the sacrament for absolution of venial sin, which the Penitentiary Rite in the Mass addresses.

A very wise Franciscan Friar, who was my confessor for years, and is now my spiritual advisor, always told me if you are uncertain whether it is mortal or venial sin, if it is tugging at your conscience, take it to the Sacrament.

Pax et bonum!


But, first, tell your priest! It’s his responsibility to lead his flock.


From my understanding of this is the prayer…

I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault,
through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God

Now I think he is taking the Priests words out of context or only picking and choosing from the Priest’s words.

From my understanding this prayer is said for the remission of venial sins. Now it is possible that this can also remit mortal sin, yes I said mortal, HOWEVER only if one is PERFECTLY (that’s the key here) contrite. ONLY God can know this. We have no way of knowing if we have performed an act of perfect contrition. That is why God so graciously gave us confession to a Priest. That’s our objective certainty. Jesus gave the power to forgive sins to the Apostles/Priests so I know for sure when He says your sins are forgive that they are forgiven.

Finally, there is this ever important word that some people tend to ignore (Especially when reading the Bible). An act of PERFECT contrition can only be perfect IF, just in case anyone missed it I’ll say it again, IF you promise God to get to confession as soon as the next opportunity arises.

So your friend is mistaken, the Confiteor at the beginning of mass is only the same as confession if one promises they will go to confession.

Hope this helps,

God Bless


You have a responsibility to take this up with the priest. If you don’t you are cooperating with what could be sinful in letting this person mislead others.
Bad things happen when good people do nothing.

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