Omission and sin details?


In confession, say that you disobeyed your parents. Do you just say:

a.) “I disobeyed my parents.”

Or do you have to say:

b.) “My parents told me not to do [so and so] but I did so anyways.”

Can you just say which commandment you broke or do you have to say what you actually did?


I asked this question once in Ask an Apologist. They answered that I need to be as specific as necessary. For example, stealing $200 from my mom is worst than stealing a baseball card card from my friend. That’s a neccessary detail.


You can’t just say what Commandment you broke, but, like The_Scott mentioned, you should mention details as necessary.


You need to confess the kind of sin you committed and the number of times you committed it (or as near as you can guess, if you don’t know the exact number).

Usually simply naming one of the ten commandments will be too vague unless it is the specific sin mentioned in them, but the case you described might be ok. Actually, saying you disobeyed your parents is more specific than simply citing the commandment, which speaks of honoring your father and mother.

Partially I think this case would depend on what the matter is that you disobeyed your parents about. The more serious the subject, the more likely it would be appropriate to say specifically what you disobeyed them concerning. Maybe a good idea would be to have a general discussion with your priest, whether inside or outside confession, about what level of detail is appropriate for confessing different kinds of sins.


At the same time you don’t need to go into every gritty detail of the sin. In the case of theft, the detail of what it is you stole is necessary in order for the priest to understand the gravity of the sin. It’s only those details that pertain to exactly what kind of sin was committed that are necessary, not all the incidental details.


Likewise, as to the example in the original post, there are several degrees of severity to disobeying your parents. Refusing to take out the trash or doing ones chores is not as bad as opening yelling and screaming at them.


=KelseyBelsey;9537287]In confession, say that you disobeyed your parents. Do you just say:

a.) “I disobeyed my parents.”

Or do you have to say:

b.) “My parents told me not to do [so and so] but I did so anyways.”

Can you just say which commandment you broke or do you have to say what you actually did?

One MUST confess ALL Mortal sins in detail as to both the nature of the actions and the number of times in order that the Confessor can assist your Spiritual Improvement.

Venial sins need NOT be confessed but If ans when Confessed out to follow the same guidelines and for the same reason.

God Bless,


While I agree with as many details as necessary, I think a) and b) are the same. I’d only add details if it were something more material - there’s a difference between

“My parents told me not to stay up late but I did”


“My parents told me not to go into the liquor cabinet but I did and I drank half a bottle of whiskey and refilled it with water so they wouldn’t notice”

If you withheld details to avoid embarrassment or showing more sins, that was sinful but it was also unnecessary. Remember that Grace precedes forgiveness so that the Lord hears us and forgives us. There’s very little you can do in this life that won’t be forgiven in the Confessional.


Actually everything can be forgiven in Confession, as long as there is a firm purpose of amendment, sincere contrition, and the Penance is completed. The only sin that can not be forgiven, is not confessed generally, that is The sin against The Holy Spirit.


Further something which would be small such as you were told not to play with matches, which would normally only be venial. However, in your pyro disobedience you accidentally burnt the house down,or lit your little sister’s hair on fire (:mad:) you would also have to mention that you burnt the house down or lit your little sister’s hair on fire (I’m still a little edgy during Easter Vigil and Candlemas with little kids waving their candles around), as that would make the sin much worse.


I was taught by the Ursuline Sisters…to say what you are by what sin you committed.…take ownership of what your sin has made you…then say what you actually did:

I confess that** I am a Disobedient Son**…twice I disobeyed my mother by not cleaning my room and not walking the dog

So if you took change from you Dad or brothers dresser…you first say…I confess that** I am a thief**…I stole $.25 cents from my Dad/brother for a coke (I know, I know you can’t get a coke for $.25).

No “sugar coating”…no euphemistic descriptions.

I love those Sisters…had a crush on just about everyone of them…even got in trouble for asking one out for an innocent dinner date…was told that she was “spoken for”…!..and not to forget at my next confession… to confess that…I am a “womanizer”!

Pax Christi


A few rules of thumb I use when confessing are:

  1. Don’t justify your sins to make you feel better–true penitence accepts full responsibility.
  2. If you’re not sure whether or not the sin constitutes as grave matter then confess it anyway.
  3. If you want to hide certain details then you most definitely need to share them with the priest–sin wants to stay in the darkness and the only way to destroy it is to bring it into the light.

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