Moral culpability of sins of my youth and Sacrament of Confession

Hello all. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.

I’ll try not to make this too long. I was never taught while growing up, especially in my teen years, about sexual purity and sins related to. My parents never even told me about sex and i learned all about it in all the wrong ways (movies, internet, non-catholic friends, magazines, etc). I didn’t even know the now obvious genital differences between males and females until i was a young teen. Essentially, i grew up having quite impure personal habits not ever actually knowing i was doing anything sinful. I sometimes suspected they weren’t quite “normal” but never thought they were sins. I always thought it’s my body so how can it be wrong? So now I’m 27 years old, FYI.

I committed a lot of various sins against purity from the time i reached puberty til even now while i still struggle a lot with my lack of purity. I go to confession pretty much every other week now. I always tried in my Teens what i thought was my best to deal with those things in confession but i never was able to put them to rest and put them in the past. For the past few years it’s felt like these sins have followed me everywhere i go…into my friendships and past failed dating relationships. And now i live with this fear that i just haven’t properly handled and dealt with my sins the numerous times I’ve been in the confessional. Basically i never feel satisfied or at peace that I properly and thoroughly confessed all my sins. I usually only made general confessions in my teens believing at the time that i was making good confessions. (saying “i committed various sins of impurity” to refer to many different actual acts i didn’t want to do into details of. Or i would say “masturbation” or “impure sexual act with myself” to refer to anything involving impure touching or impure action) I talked to my pastor a few weeks ago (who is a very good, orthodox, holy man, and great priest who i should have every reason to trust) about it but he told me i had no need to confess those sins of my past again. This would be true, i know, provided I really did make good confessions. He said, i quote, “I have full confidence you’ve confessed those sins. I have no doubt about that.” So basically he didn’t want to hear about them. He made that clear. He said The past is in the past and i need to trust Jesus rather than trusting myself that i’m forgiven and absolved. That only temporarily released me from the strong anxiety and fear i had/have about my past sins. He said the only sins i NEED to confess (since absolution removes all venial sins not spoken) are Mortal sins i KNOW I committed and have not confessed. But i ask myself…what about those i feel like i didn’t confess well enough or sins that have come back into my memory.

So my question is this: When i made those general confessions, not being completely explicit in describing every one of my sins but rather being a bit vague and leaving room for interpretation (implicit, or species of sin VS kind/type/specific act) did i botch all those confessions and invalidate them one after another? I struggle with not knowing how specific i have to be considering embarrassing factors and not wanting to be too graphic while speaking to the priest. My pastor urged me to be at peace about it and continue taking Communion but I can’t seem to have peace about it and always feel after going to confession that if i had just completely “spilled my guts” to the priest one last time this would all be behind me.

What am I to do? :confused: I know there is scrupulousness at play here too. I realize all the parts of this subject that i’m probably over-thinking but i can’t help it.

‘masturbating’ is as specific as you need to be. pornography and etc. the number of times, as far as you can remember. try going to another priest and confessing the things you feel you haven’t confessed in enough detail. i bet you will still feel that you haven’t done enough. what you probably need is a course or book on God’s love, mercy and forgiveness.

Don’t forget to say
***“For these and all of the sins of my past life, I am truly sorry”. ***
that should help you.

You had a good confessor tell you the truth. He was acting in “In persona Christi”, in the person of Christ. You need to have faith, and trust in the Sacraments that Christ established.

One of the great mistakes many make when going to Confession is to go into too much detail about ones sins…especially those of a sexual nature.
I was taught by the Jesuits, many years ago, that Confession is not a counselling session and one should be as brief and precise as possible, so as to not take too much of the priests time, since there are many others waiting to go to Confession. If the priest wants to know more about your sins, he will ask you about it.
We were also taught that if we had a serious problem or sin to Confess, we should make an appointment to see a priest in private.

This post relates very much to me where I came back to the church after several years.

I keep remembering past mortal sins and have brought these up in confession, but many priests have told me not to mention any more past sins.

I had one original priest who told me not to mention past sins. I changed confessors “to be sure” and since them two other priests have allowed me to confess past mortal sins, but the last one told me not to mention any sins from my past. I suggested to him that if I remembered any further mortal sins that I could mention them at my next confession, but he said definitely not to do this, which backs up what other priests have said.

Needless to say, the minute I came out of confession I remembered more mortal sins and feel that I should obey this priest but also feel the need to confess past mortal sins. I am trying to find out the priest’s name, so I can go back to him to check just one more time.

I am also reading St. Faustina’s Diary and what comes across very strongly is obedience and that Christ is directing the confessor. In this case, it would appear to me that despite remembering other mortal sins, that I should just take his advise and move on.

Has anyone else experienced this?

post # 3

And yes, listen to your confessor.

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