Partial Confessions


#1

Is it wrong for a person to go to confession and only confess some of their sins but not all of them, namely only confess the sins that they truly believe are sinful and are genuinely sorry for having committed them?

Let's say a penitent knows the teachings of the Church regarding what is and isn't sinful, but at the moment disagrees with the Church about the nature of one such sin. On the one hand, she recognizes that she has no right to just take it upon herself and say that such-and-such is not sinful. She fully recognizes the Church's prerogative in saying that it is indeed sinful, yet she just cannot in her heart come to the same conclusion herself. Given this, she cannot be truly remorseful for committing the act until her intellect becomes aligned with that of the Church. She recognizes that her conscience is not properly formed since it is out of sync with the teachings of the Church, and she intends to work on bringing her conscience in line with said teachings, but in the interim, at this very moment, she is not remorseful for the act. She nevertheless would like to unload her other sins that she does find sinful. She would, thus, like to go to confession, confess the sins she is remorseful for, receive absolution for those specific sins, knowing that she will leave the confessional still in a state of sin (due to the other unconfessed sins), still unable to receive the Eucharist, yet still completely intending to work out her intellectual reservations.

Is this allowed, or is this sacrilege?

If it isn't allowed, then what can she do until she comes to the point that her conscience is in line with the Church? Is there any way to be absolved of certain sins but not all sins?


#2

Yes, this is wrong ~ sacrilegious. In confession, the penitent must confess all mortal sins by kind and number.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: “When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, ‘for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.’ ” (CCC 1456)

Council of Trent: “all mortal sins of which they have knowledge after a careful self-examination must be enumerated in confession by the penitents…. While, therefore, the faithful of Christ strive to confess all sins which occur to their memory, they undoubtedly lay all of them before the divine mercy to be forgiven [can. 7]. While those who do otherwise and knowingly conceal certain sins, lay nothing before the divine bounty for forgiveness by the priest: ‘For if one who is ill is ashamed to make known his wound to the physician, the physician does not remedy what he does not know.’ [St. Jerome, In Eccl. comm.. 10, 11] Furthermore … those circumstances must also be explained in confession, which alter the species of the sin [can. 7], because without them the sins themselves are neither honestly revealed by the penitents, nor are they known to the judges, and it would not be possible for them to judge rightly the gravity of the crimes and to impose the punishment which is proper to those penitents.” (Council of Trent, 14th Session, Chapter V, On Confession; Denzinger, 899.)

Council of Trent: “If anyone says that in the sacrament of penance it is not necessary by divine law for the remission of sins to confess each and all mortal sins, of which one has remembrance after a due and diligent examination…. let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, 14th Session, On the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 7; Denzinger 917.)

With all that said.... you must confess all mortal sins; naming the specific sin and how many times you did it. Venial sins aren't required to be confessed. God Bless!


#3

[quote="holyfamily1, post:2, topic:323385"]
Yes, this is wrong ~ sacrilegious. In confession, the penitent must confess all mortal sins by kind and number.

With all that said.... you must confess all mortal sins; naming the specific sin and how many times you did it. Venial sins aren't required to be confessed. God Bless!

[/quote]

I just want to add... Without at least imperfect contrition for all of your mortal sins, the confession is invalid. Imperfect contrition is the desire not to sin for a reason other than love of God.


#4

The sacrament of reconciliation is the most intimate and informal of the sacraments, as it is where the sinner (and doubter) presents her heart to Jesus, with the sins she knows of, and any other imperfections in her understanding, her life and faith.

The priest judges whether the penitent has has made a good confession and has sufficient contrition, based on what the she has said, and, so long as she has not deliberately withheld a mortal sin, she is absolved and that is the end of it. All sins are forgiven.

We are not obligated to confess every sin and every doubt, and sometimes it is better not to. We are only obligated to confess mortal sins.

But, did the penitent deliberately withhold a mortal sin? If the sin which she is uncertain of is one deemed by the Church to be mortal sin then she must confess it. If she cannot bring herself to repent of it, and amend her life, then she must mention that as well. Only the priest can then decide whether to give absolution or not - and he may decide that he is unable to (or may not). Whether she is absolved or not, the penitent is in a much better state than she was before she entered the confessional as she now know where she stands with the Church.

On the other hand, if the sin is not a mortal sin, then whether to confess it or not, along with her doubts, is a conscience decision.


#5

[quote="Zekariya, post:3, topic:323385"]
I just want to add... Without at least imperfect contrition for all of your mortal sins, the confession is invalid. Imperfect contrition is the desire not to sin for a reason other than love of God.

[/quote]

Just to add on to this.. :D An example of imperfect contrition would be the desire not to sin because of fear of Hell. as mentioned above; perfect contrition is when you desire not to sin out of love God.


#6

Why don't you post the problem you have believing that________________is a sin. Then possibly after others share their thoughts, and insights you might find you actually agree with the Church. After all the Church teaches the truths of God. So your disagreement is with God, and.....He tends to be right. Even though that can be annoying sometimes. :D


#7

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