Question about confession?


I’m going to confession this week with my favorite priest, and am going to see if he can direct me to a spiritual director, but I just remembered this sin(s) from my past, and they are very embarrassing and humiliating, and I don’t want my priest to get a bad impression from me, because I know that he will with these sins. Can I not say those sins? At the time that I committed those sins, I didn’t know what mortal or venial was, and I don’t even think I knew what sinning was, nor did I care for God, and now I’m deeply sorry and embarrassed, but could I not say those sins and just mention them to another priest at a later time? What should I do?


Oh to add on, I always confess behind the screen, but this time I wanted to confess INFRONT of him, since I was going to ask him about spritual direction, and so he could know who I am, and not just my voice.


You are confessing to Jesus, through the priest. In the end it doesn’t matter what the priest thinks of you. We are put on this earth to love, honor and serve Jesus not the priest. Jesus is the one that forgives you.If you confess face to face and the priest thinks bad of you as you are imagining, well I really don’t think he is the person you want being your spiritual director. That would really be a slap in the face if you went to confession, and had Jesus forgave you but then the priest judges you and holds it against you… It may happen in some cases, but it certainly isn’t right.

Confession and mercy are for sinners, not the perfect people… I’d say go, confess all sins and see what happens. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised how the priest reacts… I’m sure they “heard it all.”


You don’t have to confess forgotten sins. But if you really feel like doing it you say that you’re confessing sins from a past life. That’ll tip him off to be on ignore while you rattle them off.


Priests go to jails and prisons and hear confessions from gang members, rapists and murderers on a regular basis. Do you really think that any of your mundane sins are going to shock a priest?


If you are personal friends with a priest and don’t want him to know your sins, you completely and totally have the right in the eyes of the Church to go to someone else before you see him and give your Confession to him so you don’t have to repeat them to you friend.

Also, I am sure that your priest will help you find a spiritual director without hearing your confession, and will completely get it if you say, “I don’t really want to make a Confession today, but I wanted to talk about finding a spiritual director.”


Frankly your whole post is bad advice for the OP.

If a forgotten sin becomes remembered it does have to be mentioned at Confession even though it has been forgiven.
As for your final sentence about the priest I’m speechless.


One is obliged to confess forgotten mortal sins.

(if they are remembered that is …obviously if one never remembers the sin but intended to confess all their mortal sins and were contrite…one cannot confess something never remembered).


Do not be embarrassed, priests have heard it all. Sinners like myself have long since “broken them in” for you! :o Yes, you should confess the sin if it had the possibility of being mortal (contained grave matter.) Once it is confessed, you will be free from it forever. Don’t miss out on this precious opportunity of freedom from sin and its guilt! If it embarrasses you too much to confess this sin to a priest you know, then go to another parish and confess this sin to a priest you don’t know. Do not fret anymore about this. Go, boldly confess your sins, receive God’s love and forgiveness, be thankful and sin no more! :thumbsup:


If they were not mortal sins then one is not obliged to confess them.

If they are doubtful (ie you doubt that they were mortal at the time) - one is not obliged to confess them. The Priest can direct one.

(with some things one does not need to know the term “mortal sin” to know it is a very serious thing - such as murder …the point being one does not have to know all the theology to commit a mortal sin - but of course one does need the three aspects…but that is an aside here).

Those without scruples can be recommended to confess them (noting there is doubt).

But look you will just tell the Priest these are from my past that I forgot (say from what you said above) …(and if they are doubtful- if they are)…and do not worry.

The Priest has heard everything and more…


This is excellent advice, especially for those who (like myself :o) tend towards scrupulosity!


Those with such a struggle (I note for readers) ought to have a regular confessor to direct them.

Often their confessor may direct them not to confess any doubtful sins and he may direct them that if it is a question of “past sins” that may or may not have been confessed - to only confess them if they are both 1. certain they were mortal and 2. certain that they were not already confessed as one is to do if one commits a mortal sin. Those with that struggle would discuss this with their regular confessor who can direct them personally.


Good thing it was short. :wink:

I usually just say “for these and all sins I can’t remember I confess.” I mean I never figured God for a rules lawyer here. The point is a guy’s trying to confess. If a guy’s honestly forgotten something he did 5 years ago it seems a bit of a doubt against the strength of the sacrament to have to pull a 180 and blurt it out before the next communion run. I mean that’s what I was told anyway.

Meaning he hardly has to come on strong with how to stop doing things you’re no longer doing. He doesn’t have to spend a lot of time in that department of your life. He can safely ignore it in terms of advice given in the now.

So stop holding your breath. You can go ahead and make that speech.

Peace thistle.



Yes and if one remembers a mortal sin - one is *obliged *to confess it. It is not about God being a “rules lawyer” but it is about what God requires - the nature of the Sacrament etc.

Yes there can be exceptions such as one never remembers the mortal sin, other kinds of impossibility…certain cases of scruples etc…but those are exceptions.

Quote from Jimmy Akin the senior Apologist at Catholic Answers:

“You are forgiven if you meant to confess all your mortal sins and just forgot one. Having been forgiven of the one you forgot, you are still obligated to confess it the next time you go to confession. It’s not that your forgiveness of it is conditional on you adopting the intention to confess it next time. That sin has already been forgiven. It’s that you incur a new sin if you refuse to adopt the intention of confessing it.”

As to the OP’s articular question - that was addressed up above.


Ah so that’s the way it breaks down hey? Thanks for the clear reading on that. So the sin’s forgiven. But remembering it becomes the sin if the intent’s not to remember it long enough to spill it at the next session. Got it.


If you want him to be your SD, then the first thing you should do is to make a General Confession with him. This will free you from all past sin and also he will be better able to guide you if he fully knows what you have done, where you have struggled, etc. And, once you get over the initial GC, you will find that you are able to speak to him more candidly, honestly, and openly. This will do nothing but make your direction more worthwhile and beneficial.


The OP might want permission to make a general confession as it’s recommended that scrupulous persons refrain from them


While I admit this can be extremely difficult, if you want him to be your spiritual director, the best thing you can do is tell him the sins that are most humiliating to you, because he can only help you if knows what your true struggles are. Don’t let fear keep you from the sacrament or from seeking a spiritual director, but try to focus on the tremendous spiritual and natural benefits that will come from telling the priest even those sins that make your stomach turn just thinking about. He will help you realize that everybody is in need of God’s grace, and that, whatever your sin may be, everyone of us could commit that exact sin at any moment, unless God’s grace prevents us.


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