Omitting Sin at Confession


If you intentionally omit a sin in confession, does that mean I have to tell the priest all my sins from my previous confession and the sin I omitted plus the sin of ommitting the sin intentionally in my next confession?
or do I just confess the sins I left out?

If I do have to mention my previous sisn, wouldn’t the priest know who I am (if I want to remain anonymous)
Would it be bad to confess in another parish with another priest these sins again?!


If it’s mortal, then yes, you must re-confess your sins from the previous confession, the one you omitted, and the sin of omission.

Not necessarily. I’ve heard priests say God gives them the grace to forget who confessed what in the confessional.



Are you sure that only the mortal sins have to be said again ? ]
Why not the venial sins?
What exactly is a venial sin?

And why wouldn’t it be bad to confess my sins in another parish, when the original priest I confessed thinks they have forgiven me of my sins!


In addition, if you make a bad confession (intentionally leaving out a mortal sin) and then receive the Eucharist, you have to confess how many bad communions you made as well.


Venial sins don’t have to be confessed at all, though it’s a good practice to do so of course. Leaving out a sin you have no obligation to confess in the first place is not a sin.


You may confess to any priest in whatever parish. As a priest who actually hears confessions, I can tell you that I rarely remember anything from confessions, and I don’t even think about whether or not someone has been really forgiven–I assume they are, given that they came in, confessed, and I said the words of absolution.

You’re overthinking this. If you intentionally omitted a mortal sin, you must reconfess what you confessed in that confession, as well as the sin you omitted, as well as the omission itself.

If you don’t know if you intentionally omitted it, or didn’t know you weren’t supposed to do that, by definition, you haven’t committed a mortal sin in doing that, since you wouldn’t have had full knowledge. If you just forgot to mention it, you’re also in the clear–just mention it at your next confession, and reconfession of everything else is not necessary.

Be very careful about getting worked up about these kinds of things. It’s very tempting to fall into a lack of trust in ourselves in how we approach the sacraments and whether or not the sacraments work. For the sake of your peace of mind, examine your conscience, confess courageously, and trust in the mercy of God.



Yup, I’m positive. With confession, you are always required to confess mortal sins that you are aware of. Venial sins are optional, but recommended. From the Catechism:

“1456 Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: 'All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly.'54”

Venial sins, simply put, are sins that do not meet the requirements to be mortal. Mortal sins have three requirements:

  1. They were done willingly.
  2. You knew you shouldn’t be doing this.
  3. The sin is grave matter.

As the Catechism mentioned, mortal sins wound the soul worse than venial ones. They cut to the bone of one’s relationship with God. They are so bad, that those who die in mortal sin will go to Hell.

The priest is an instrument of God’s mercy. He is the gate, not its master. What you confess is between you and God, so it doesn’t matter what that other priest knows regarding the validity of that confession.


I have to wait a while till my next confession to admit this. I can’t wait this long and feel bad and anxious about how I am going to say the sins that I missed out and having to wait a while to express this.

Any advice on how to admit a difficult and embarassing sin and what should I do in the time being?



Get in, say what you did, and get out. It’s really that easy. The priest does not want or need detail.

“I did X, this number of times.” And that’s it. You don’t have to explain, you don’t have to tell what was going through your mind or anything like that. Trust that God is God, and he knows what you did and why you did it–he just wants to hear you say it. And trust that Father is an educated man and knows what you’re talking about. And if there’s need for clarification, Father will ask for it.

Take it from someone who’s heard about 7,000 confessions (not making it up, that’s my best estimate as to how many it’s been)–we’ve heard it all, and there’s nothing you’re going to say that will be shocking to hear. By the time I’d been ordained about a month, I’d heard everything I was ever going to hear. Worry you not. And if you’re struggling with scruples–the tendency to obsess over sin, especially thinking everything is a sin or dwelling on past sins, you really should not be asking these questions online. It’s only going to exacerbate the problem. Better to talk to your priest in person.



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