Necessary detail in Confession?


I always give short and straightforward confessions, and I know that details only needed to be added when the detail would change the severity of the sin, the type of sin, or your own culpability. I’m not sure whether a certain detail is necessary or not, and I want to hear your thoughts.

I have same-sex attraction, and I try to live according to the Church’s teachings. Every once in a while I slip up in areas of purity. If I am confessing the sin of lust, do I need to specify that it was homosexual in nature?

I know that homosexual sex is a different and more serious sin than fornication because homosexual acts are inherently disordered. It makes sense that homosexual lust would be a different and more serious sin than heterosexual lust, but I’m not sure? I’ve never seen an indication that it’s a necessary detail, but maybe it is.

Thank you for your help, and God Bless.


Actually, no. There are folks out there that will maintain that even homosexual activity sin is worse than, say fornication or adultry. I don’t know where that idea comes from. :confused: Sexual sin is sexual sin, and Lust is Lust.

It doesn’t make a difference; confess it as you see fit. The Lord knows what you’re talking about. :thumbsup:

There are folks out there that will maintain that even homosexual activity sin is worse than, say fornication or adultry.

That is what I believe, and I think that’s the Church’s stance as well. Fornication, for example, is improper because the individuals aren’t married, but once they are married, then their marital sex is good and holy. Homosexual sex is never good (or, needless to say, holy). It is always disordered. That is why homosexual sex is worse than heterosexual sex that is outside of marriage.

Um…when someone is married, there is no more fornication, so it is no longer a sin, as you say. I’m referring to an act or acts of fornication, not married relations. When you say “then their marital sex is good and holy”, then we aren’t talking about comparing sin to sin anymore.

Fornication is always sinful. Homosexual sin is always sinful. Why is one worse than the other?

Because homosexual sex is always disordered, depraved, and against divine and natural law. Fornication is a misuse of something (heterosexual sex) that can be good and holy.

At least that’s how I’ve been taught.

Instead of trying to guess in matters like this, I think it’s best to discuss it with the priest. Tell him everything you told us in your first post, and ask him. Then if you have future slip-ups, you know what to do.

I know that would be best… I just get shy. :o

That’s understandable. Maybe you should submit the question to one of Catholic Answers’ apologists? They can probably help you.

I think that asking your priest about it would probably be the best choice, but asking an apologist at Catholic Answers would be the next best choice. They’re experts and can probably help you, if you feel too shy to ask the priest.

God bless you, by the way! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


I think I remember reading something from Father Harvey , the director for Courage who said that homosexual activity should be specifically mentioned.
Perhaps you could contact the Courage group for more info on that.

Maybe that would be a good time to confess behind the screen.

Thanks! I submitted my question to the Apologists. That’s a good idea. I doubt I’ll get a response since it’s such a specific question, but it’s also probably quick to answer.

I guess I’ll try to work up the courage to ask the priest, and I’ll search for any statements about this by Fr Harvey or Courage. Thank you again, and have a blessed Holy Week!

I agree you should go directly to your priest with this question.

“Maybe that would be a good time to confess behind the screen”

I’m a huge advocate of the booth and screen. I have had to confess some terrible stuff. I did once face to face because it was the only option where I was. Knowing that it would be face to face, it took me six months to do it. Recently I had to confess something not quite as bad, but bad enough. I knew I had the booth and screen and it took me 1 week.

Love, love, love the booth and screen!!

Thank you, again, everyone. I emailed a priest who runs a blog I read occasionally with this question, and he answered me in just a few hours! What a great priest! I am sure he gets so many emails.

He said that yes, it is necessary to confess what type of attraction it is. (I’m guessing you can skip this if you have heterosexual attractions, since that’s probably the assumption the priest makes.)

I feel so relieved that I have an answer.

Monica, I love anonymous confession! Unfortunately, I have to travel into the city to find a parish with confessional booths, but sometimes it’s worth it. :blush: I love St. Monica, by the way. What a wonderful mother (and son!).

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