Mortal sin and getting a confession


Some Priests will not do absolutions at adoration. What if someone’s in mortal sin and they need forgiveness? If the priest says not during adoration and something happens and they die are they covered?



Was this a designated time for confessions? I know from our church that they hold confessions during this time. Confession is confession. Without absolution it can’t be called confession (reconciliation).

I would encourage that person to keep seeking perfect contrition in the meantime. God sees the desire. But confession is the ordinary means of forgiveness and with a firm intent, one should pledge and seek confession as soon as possible.


Probably yes. It depends on their contrition :slight_smile: The tridentine catechism reminds us (I quote or paraphrase below):

<<By the Fathers of the Council of Trent, contrition is defined: A sorrow and detestation for sin committed, with a purpose of sinning no more. and a little further on the Council, speaking of the motion of the will to contrition, adds: If joined with a confidence in the mercy of God and an earnest desire of per forming whatever is necessary to the proper reception of the Sacrament, it thus prepares us for the remission of sin.

[T]hrough perfect contrition, accompanied by the desire of confession, God remits the sin of the penitent.

Perfect contrition is an act of charity, emanating from what is called filial fear. Sorrow for sins committed should be so profound and supreme that no greater sorrow could be thought of. Besides, our contrition should be not only the greatest, but also the most intense, and so perfect that it excludes all apathy and indifference. It must also be equally extended to each mortal sin.

Perfect contrition must include detestation of sin, intention of confession and satisfaction, and a fixed and firm purpose of amendment of life.

Such is the efficacy of true contrition, of which we have spoken above, that through it we obtain from the Lord the immediate pardon of all sins.>>

The more recent catechism summarizes contrition as follows:

<< 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.

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.>>

If you have true, perfect contrition in your heart and you cannot confess for whatever reason, you may have in your heart a founded hope that the Lord may have remitted your mortal sins. This is because part of perfect contrition is the firm intention to confess as soon as possible. If the penitent were to die (which of course, would have been foreseen by the good Lord), he would have a firm hope of dying in the state of grace and in friendship with God.

Always ask God for the grace of perfect contrition. Ask for Our Lady’s intercession. She was at the foot of the Cross, and now she too lives in heaven with the Lord. She understands better than anyone what you need.


Remember that according to the law of the Church, “Sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.”

Whether or not it is permissible to have confessions taking place during a period of Eucharistic adoration, by 2005 there was no official document on this specific question. However a related question was asked to the Congregation of Divine Worship: In its response the congregation affirmed the preference for celebrating reconciliation outside of Mass. But in virtue of the canonical norm that “Reconciliatio penitentium omni tempore ac die celebrari potest” (Reconciliation may be carried out at any time and day, “Ordo Paenitetentiæ,” 13) it specifically allows the hearing of confessions during Mass and even recommends that, during large concelebrations attended by numerous faithful, some priests refrain from concelebrating so as to be available for confession.

Also Pope John Paul II wrote in a 2002 Motu Proprio “Misericordia Dei”: <<confessions be especially available before Masses, and even during Mass if there are other priests available, in order to meet the needs of the faithful>>.

EWTN writes here: <<Following the logic of the above document I would say that, at least in principle, having reconciliation during a period of adoration is not forbidden.>>

Therefore if this is a critical situation and you foresee the danger of dying in a state of grave sin, you must remind the priest that he is canonically bound to hear your confession right there and then, or to walk out of the chapel and hear your confession someplace else.

My understanding is that the only times that in a critical situation he would be impeded is if he is performing another liturgical function (ex. while he exposes the Blessed Sacrament, while he himself offers Mass). If he’s not acting in persona Christi, remind him of his duties. He is a servant of God and of the people of God.

If you can wait, though, wait. Don’t get into an argument unnecessarily.


Why not just schedule with the priest to hear your confession right after adoration?


Mass is right after adoration.


Will you share the rest of the story?

Does the parish have scheduled Confession times?
Was the priest in Adoration for adoration. Or did you catch him out in the hall?
How much time was there before Mass?

I am not saying you are like this but there are many people that figure if they can catch a priest, no matter what he is doing, no matter where he is going, then they can have him hear their Confession. I know priests that have been stopped in the parking lot.


How does any of that matter? A priest is a priest in aeternum et ubique! He is there to serve, not to be served. As Msgr. Fulton Sheen once wrote, “A priest is not his own.” He is married to the Church, and a husband’s body belongs to his wife, he cannot refuse her.

I recall this one priest that was being followed everywhere. He tried to go pray on top of a hill for five minutes, and they ran after him. On one occasion he was literally surrounded by a crowd of people seeking to have their sins forgiven by him. I wonder why these people figured that if they could catch him, no matter what he was doing or where he was going, they could manage to express their repentance and have their sins forgiven by him.


Very true.

But when we have priests dropping dead from stress and lack of sleep, please don’t be surprised.

Remember, even God took a day of rest.


OK there is one scheduled confession time a week. He was one the front pew and to my observation I would say he was partaking in the adoration. As to whether or not he was the “celebrant” I do not know. I was content to sit down and went back to do so and remain for adoration myself.


Give me a break, now - no pun intended. Priest dropping dead from lack of sleep and stress? What are they, St. John Vianney and St. John Bosco or something? Let’s get real, please. If priests are stressed out, is because they are less pastor and more administrator.

As for the “day of rest”, Christ the High Priest had this to say: “My Fater is at work even this day, and I too am working.”


I’m curious, I go to a confession and I guess I did a mortal sin, after he give me some advice, he give me the absolution, but I really never heard the word “I absolve you” and I haven’t recite the Act of Contrition, he just told me to pray 2 our father, is my confession is valid? :confused:


Okay, let’s get real. People have computers. They know they need Confession. How hard could it possibly be to look up the times for Confession?

How about they don’t wait until they catch a priest during Adoration. How about they do a little planning and actually show up at the scheduled time?

And yes, priests need time to recharge their batteries. If you think they don’t, you can’t know how much they have to do.


You said he gave you the absolution? Do you recall the words he used to begin with?

If he gave you penance, he has absolved you.


I’d like to chime in for a minute if I may. Please no one let me make you forget your conversation now :slight_smile:
I have never during an absolution not been required to say the act of contrition. Isn’t it required?


When I went to confession recently the priest gave absolution but I hadn’t said an act of contrition. I had told him at the beginning that I’d not been for a long time so I think he was maybe trying to help me along and didn’t want to confuse me at the end.

I think while the format is obviously important and should be stuck to, lets not forget that God sees you going into the confessional and he is there waiting for you. You speak to Jesus. So long as you are going to confession for the right reason, and a firm contrition, then I believe God knows you are sorry. So, I am not concerned about my last confession.

I shall go again soon with the firm opinion that it was valid and I have forgotten my past sins.

I believe that when I confess all that I remember (and I have already put behind the sins from the last confession) then anything else I haven’t mentioned (but-importantly, didn’t deliberately hold back) is also forgiven.

I’m not sure of the rubrics in terms of the priests actually saying the absolution- but I would expect that if they haven’t said this, then there was no absolution?


All you ever wanted to know about Confession - courtesy of the conciliar fathers of Trent :slight_smile:

That’s really worth reading. I’ll just mention three things:

The “act of contrition” is a manifestation of contrition. In itself it would be entirely useless unless you actually experience contrition in your heart (more on this later).

The form of the Sacrament is “Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis, in nomine Patris +, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti” (or the equivalent vernacular translation). Aquinas (as a private opinion) and the Catechism of Trent (as an expression of the Magisterium) state that “Ego te absolvo” are sufficient. Even if the priest whispers those words inaudibly and does nothing else, that should suffice.

But form is not sufficient for validity. Matter is also necessary. And the matter of the Sacrament is the acts of the penitent (contrition, confession and satisfaction). Read the details on each at the link above :slight_smile:


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