Must we correct inaccurate statements from past Confessions?


#1

I know there is an obligation to Confess forgotten mortal sins from a past Confession, and I have heard that if one forgot the number or circumstances of a mortal sin in the past Confession, one should mention them too. However, in my last Confession, while I didn’t forget anything mortal afaik, I did make an inaccurate statement about to whom I committed a certain mortal sin. I don’t think I invalidated it because I believed at the moment what I was saying was true, but I am unsure as to whether I need to correct myself next time or if it is OK to just let it slide. I struggle with scrupulosity too, and try not to worry about past Confessions unless I know it’s a big deal, but here I am very unsure. Is it necessary to correct myself here?


#2

You noted that it was an honest mistake - but you wonder now if it needs to be corrected.

I would think that it may or may not be depending on the mistake (setting scruples aside here) - did the circumstance change the kind of sin? Like you said I burned down a building but forgot to say that it was a Catholic Church or I shot a woman but forgot to say it was your sister…(such I would yes bring to confession).

Discuss with your regular confessor - a person with scruples ought to have a regular confessor to direct them. Such is key and the age old practice.

Some with scruples can scruple in this area and need particular direction from the confessor (which they then follow…)


#3

If you were telling the truth with all the honesty that is in your heart then you should be fine. If you want, I guess it would be a good idea to mention it in your next confession. On the other hand, if you really were lying then it would probably be invalid. When in doubt, say a Hail Mary and talk to a priest. God bless.


#4

Maybe you needn’t mention the mortal sin again but just say ‘At my last confession I accidentally confessed committing a certain mortal sin against such a person when it was actually such a person’

You’ll be happy to have this off your conscience.

(please say 1 Hail Mary for my intentions too!)


#5

Maybe you needn’t mention the mortal sin again but just say ‘At my last confession I accidentally confessed committing a certain mortal sin against such a person when it was actually such a person’

You’ll be happy to have this off your conscience.

You did not invalidate your confession, you are forgiven but need to mention it at your next possible chance to confess

(please say 1 Hail Mary for my intentions too!)


#6

I don’t believe your mistake invalidates your confession. If you are truly repetant and your confessor absolved you, you are fine.


#7

My dear brother,

Now, I don’t think that it is majorly important, then again, what do I know? I think that if you are unsure, it is better that you just mention it to the priest, that way you’ll have nothing to worry about.

With love in Christ :slight_smile:

Please, pray for me!


#8

Pieman,

I wouldn’t correct myself unless the mistake materially changes the nature of the sin. “I hit someone” is much different than “I hit my wife.” Both may be mortal sins but the latter is much more serious than the former.

I hope this helps.


#9

Don’t worry. Just make a very quick mention of this the next time. For instance:

“Also, it occurred to me while thinking back to a previous confession that I made an inaccurate statement by accident. This wasn’t intentional, but I just want to mention this.”

This should be enough. You didn’t sin, and I don’t think there would be a situation in which you would ever need to even mention what the original sin was.

I know scruples are tough, but with this you are just being mannerly to Our Lord. That is a good thing. Since I’m sure you know the rules of the confessional, take heart in that it will be impossible for you to unintentionally invalidate it. Even if it was your first confession and you had committed 1000 mortal sins, and you genuinely only remembered just 1, you would still be forgiven for everything. This is quite comforting.

It is a very good thing to mention any others when and if you become aware of them. You don’t have to confess them over again, just mentioning them should be enough:

“I have recently remembered some sins that I had committed in the past. I know that a good confession removes all sins but I just want to mention them as a sign of penance. They are XY”.

Or, since the priest will already understand this, just: “I have recently become aware of some sins in my past that I have forgotten to confess. They are XY”. Will do.


closed #10

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