My father had been diagnosed with cancer, and the doctors say he doesn’t have long left to live. Since both my parents are not-so-strong-in-their-faith Catholics, I have kindly recommended to my father that he take the last anointment. To my great joy he also says that he wants to go to confession and take the communion as well for the first time in very many years.
Because of this, my mother also wants to go to confession and take the communion for the first time in a while. While this is of course great news, I am also very worried that they will instead make things worse for them selves, especially my mother.
The thing is that their faith and morals are sometimes questionable. My father gives me the impression that he at least has an easier time accepting things. My mother worries me a lot, since I am afraid that she will intentionally leave out some sins that she is uncomfortable confessing. For example, she believes abortion should be allowed in some cases, like if a baby is to be born gravely handicapped. She argues that this would be the most merciful for the child. At the same time, she argues that she is so old that she doesn’t really need to take a stance on it since it won’t really affect her directly or indirectly.
One thing I know for a fact is that my dad left his old wife for my mother, and that they conceived me outside of marriage. I don’t know if I should inform them of this, or if I can trust that they will say this in confession. In some way I feel like a have an obligation, but I am afraid I might come off as judging them if I try to remind them of this and that it will have the opposite effect of what I am trying to achieve. I think I have told my mother about this a long time ago, but she replied that she could never regret having conceived me. I also worry that she or my dad will pull out that argument again.
I am think about giving them both an examination of conscience, but I am not sure if that will make things even worse, considering they might think of some sin they have committed in the past that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, but willfully leave it out in confession. I have tried to inform my mother that it is very dangerous to willfully leave out any sins that you remember, but I am not sure if she takes it seriously. She just tells me not to worry and that everything will be fine, and that I should stop nagging her about it. I am afraid that she sees confession as not that big of a deal.
I was hoping I would be able to work with my dad, and then slowly with my mom in the future. But it seems the Lord has other plans, and I can’t help to feel overwhelmed. I am not very comfortable guiding them either to be honest, since I am far from an apologist. I don’t know how I should go about these things the best way possible.