Not confessing a forgotten mortal sin

So you forget a mortal sin. Wait until next confession.

So suppose your next confession, you remember the forgotten mortal sin but decide not to confess it anyway. Is that bad? Because that’s exactly what I did. Was my confession invalid? :frowning:

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 :smiley:

Yes, you need to go back.



Thats another mortal sin.

It’s especially insulting to God, because He forgives forgotten sins, all He asks is for you to mention it at your next confession (you don’t even have to make a special trip, just confess the forgotten sin the next regular confession). So the sin is already forgiven, God has forgiven it already even though you didn’t remember it.

And the next time, when you do remember it, you can’t even be bothered to just mention it to the priest as God has asked you to do?

Remember, Confession is for YOUR good. It is for YOU to benefit. Not God. He set it up for YOU, and authorized His Church to carry it out for YOU.

So be gracious and thankful, and go straight away to Confession, and confess the sin, and this sin of refusing to confess. Hopefully the reason this was not confessed was because of some fear or trepidation about confessing it. But remember, the priest has heard it all before. And he has forgotten it all. Ask just about any priest. They are more focused on the wonderful gift of Confession, and really don’t remember the sins at all.

You definately need to go to Confession again. I hope you did not receive Holy Communion after your last Confession.
By not confessing a remembered sin on purpose, you committed a Mortal Sin, and if you received Holy Communion afterwards, you committed another. Both of these sins are extremely serious, in that you insulted our Lord.
There are some exceptions, however. But, these can be determined only by a priest who is informed of the circumstances of the forgetfullness and omission. For example, I was away from the Church for many, many years. (over 40 years). I made a General Confession, in which I told the Priest that the only thing I hadn’t done was kill somelone, and that I had done these sins too many times to remember how often I did them. I received Absolution and became a regular Communicant again. I have since remembered some details, but have been told that since I was absolved, I did not have to confess them again, especially considering that memories are usually faulty.
However, one must never put oneself in the position of self delusion…which is very dangerous spiritually. Follow the old dictum: “When in doubt, Confess” Let the Priest decide. He knows what is best for you.

This was bad and the confession was invalid. What I would do is go back asap and confess it. You should also say that you omitted confessing that sin on purpose during the previous confession.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to these things. God knows everything anyway.

If you go to confession and honestly forget to mention a mortal sin, your confession is valid.

Once you remember that mortal, sin you are technically back in the state of mortal sin so you should get to confession ASAP.

If you go to a second confession and deliberately omit confessing said mortal sin, your confession is not valid.

My 2-cents.

The bolded part is not true. If you do forget a mortal sin in confession, it is forgiven when the priest absolves you. If you happen to remember that sin, you should confess it at your next confession, but there is no need to rush to confession. You are not in a state of mortal sin as soon as you remember, as that sin has been forgiven. It would be a new sin to continue to conceal the original sin.

Yeah, I am wondering how one falls into the hell of scrupulosity. That is just great advice, for someone that is paranoid and constantly hopping from one foot to another, biting their finger nails.

I wonder how detailed the thief on the cross was about his sins. Not very detailed at all.

Now, deliberately concealing sins is one thing, but constantly going over memories and looking backwards is a wonderful way to turn into a pillar of salt.

Anyone that looks back is not fit to follow Christ and everyone sticking giant burdens on one’s back is on the path of hypocrisy.

Unless your righteousness surpasses hypocrisy you will not enter.


babochka is correct.

One other point: whether the second confession was valid, or sacrilegious depends on why the sin was not mentioned. If it was deliberately withheld knowing that it needed to be confessed, then yes that would be grave matter. But, if it was withheld thinking that it was not necessary to confess since it was already forgiven, then that was just a mistaken notion. Simply mention it the next time.

Does anyone have a specific citation saying that the mortal sin must be mentioned at the second confession? When I’ve encountered this issue before, I’ve generally heard that you really ought to mention the forgotten sin at the second confession, but because it has already been forgiven, you are not strictly obligated to. At the very least, I don’t remember reading that it is specifically a mortal sin not to mention the forgotten sin at the second confession.

I wasn’t sure if I confessed all my sins at my last confession, so next time I went I told the priest my new sins and told him I wasn’t sure if I confessed some sins in the last confession. He told me I was being overly scrupulous and should just concentrate on the new sins. Maybe other priests would advise differently, but this is what the confessor I usually go to told me.

The Code of Canon Law states, “A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and in number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet directly remitted through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which one is conscious after diligent examination of conscience” (CIC 988:1).

Sins forgotten in confession have still been absolved through the keys of the Church.

Honestly, I have no idea how to avoid scrupulosity in the church and in this life. I know there are things I was not specific enough about.

Even if I thought I was, I will convince myself that I was not specific enough.

I have no clue how to live in any kind of peace when every little step I take or perverted thought I have are all mortal sins. Just from gluttony sloth alone, to say nothing of the constant anger I feel all of the time.

Mortal sin mortal sin mortal sin. That is all I am.

Even if by some small miracle I was able last a whole day with out sinning, I would never last 2 days let alone a week or my ENTIRE LIFE.

I do not know how one is suppose to actually go through life and not be totally paranoid and find ANY PEACE with the notion of ALWAYS committing some mortal sin.

I have not been to church in weeks, cause for me quite frankly it is hopeless.

Christ Himself even said Judas would have been better off never being born. Well, that is the case for anyone that is PREDESTINED to hell. People are predestined too. So, that is yet another thing for me to grind my teeth about.

Many are called and few are chosen. Yeah…what peace.

I suppose if I truly thought I was one of those fortunate few that is destined for heaven and walk through life NEVER COMMITTING mortal sin…I would be at peace too.

I guess. Then again, I would be constantly bored trying to resist all of those sins of the flesh, along with thousands of other things the church and God holds against us.

Sorry, that is where I am…

Oh well. :shrug:

True, but the second condition needs still to be met too, i.e., the obligation to acknowledge the sin in confession. As an example, suppose one were to confess a sin, and for some reason the sin was not forgiven, perhaps due to some other grave sin being withheld. The penitent must confess (acknowledge) all of the grave sins again from that confession in order to be forgiven. Even though he had already confessed that particular one, it was not forgiven the first time, so he must confess it again a second time since the first condition was not met. Likewise, were someone to forget a sin, his sins are forgiven, the first condition is met, but if he remembers the sin the next time he must still acknowledge (confess) the sin to meet the second condition of the canon. This canon is telling us that even if the sin is already forgiven, it must be acknowledged by confession. It is also telling us that we are only obliged to confess each occurrence one time, not again and again.

There does not seem to be a corresponding canon in the CCEO, The CCEO does not mention kind and number, nor the necessity for confessing forgotten sins. I wonder if that is why I had never heard of either thing until I came to this forum?

I really see how this could lead to scrupulosity. I am in a completely different space spiritually than I was 10 years ago, and God willing, I’ll be in a different place 10 years from now. I returned to Confession after a 12 year absence about 15 years ago. It was a very difficult confession for me, and my tears made it difficult to speak. Like the Prodigal Son, I had a script in my mind, but like the parable’s forgiving father, the priest did not even let me finish my script. He gave me his forgiveness and God’s at that moment. I have not once doubted that I was forgiven all sins at that moment, because I was turning away from my sinful past and turning toward a forgiving God. For that confession, I had on my mind the obvious sins, those that had caused me enough pain to bring me back to Jesus on my knees. There were so many others that were obscured by the obviousness of the “big ones” . As I have come to realize the sinfulness of other things in my life at that time, I have not once felt that I should dredge up sins from my past. I’m dealing with enough sin in my present, though they are different sins. I have been forgiven for those sins. Today, if I have forgotten to confess a mortal sin, I will try to remember it for next time, but not because my forgiveness is contingent upon it. It is because I have a need to make an honest and open confession in order to move forward in my spiritual life. I try to not forget by making sure I get to confession within a week if I have a serious sin to confess. While it still weighs heavily on my soul, I am unlikely to forget it.

To me it seems that Canon 720 in the CCEO does cover this when it uses the term “integral”. This means the confession must be formally and materially complete (in terms of ordinary human ability). Stated simply, an integral or complete confession would include all serious sins that one is conscious of that have never been confessed, whether committed since the last confession, or forgotten and now brought to memory.

As a practical matter, if one makes a sincere examination of conscience, and confesses accordingly, without deliberately holding anything back, then what else can one do? If something unconfessed from the past happens to come to mind, then confess it. Otherwise, be at peace. It seems to me that dredging through the past is more appropriate for a general confession, and not something one should normally do - especially the scrupulous.

These are just my thoughts.

I would highly encourage calling your pastor and asking for references to help with your scrupulosity. Fleeting thoughts, little missteps, and just feelings of anger are not mortal sins. Many are not even venial sins. Remember, one condition of a mortal sin is a DELIBERATE decision.

And no one is predestined to hell. This is called “double predestination”, which the Church has definitively ruled against. Remember that God wishes for ALL men to come to Him. And Jesus came into the world for ALL mankind, and to give His life for ALL people. Some people will choose not to follow Christ, but that is their choice. Salvation is there for them, if they will just turn towards Him.

Be at peace. Go to the sacraments, trust in God, and ask for help from your pastor to handle your scrupulous tendencies so that you can have the true peace of Christ within you.:slight_smile:

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