Is imperfect contrition sufficient at the hour of death?

Hello! My friend suffers from a great fear of hell, and we are discussing being forgiven at the time of death. He asked me if it would be sufficient for salvation to be sorry for one’s sins out of fear (imperfect contrition). I was unsure, as I know that under normal circumstance imperfect contrition cannot forgive mortal sins.
God bless, and thank you!


Imperfect contrition is enough for the sacrament of Penance (Confession). But if one is not able to go to Confession, perfect contrition is necessary for salvation. The more we focus on how much the Lord endured for our benefit, the more inclined we are to love Him. As St. John says, love overcomes fear.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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