Quick! I need help w/Confession Question


I’m going to confession today, I hope, so I need to know the answer to some questions fairly quickly…(And it would be difficult to put it in words to my priest during confession, and I can’t count on him reading his email and replying before I go there, so. I need to ask it here.)

I’m a very scrupulous person, so I don’t know if I’m simply being scrupulous or not, but this has been concerning me greatly…

Let’s say someone commit two objectively grave sins at the same time that relate directly to each other, . But let’s say only one of them is mortal (due to the other sin, while objectively grave, lacking one of the factors necessary for it to be a mortal one). In confession, is it all right to confess only the mortal sin, and not even to mention the other sin at all (which, while objectively grave, was only venial due to one of the other factors not being present required for mortal sin)?

Actually, I might have two different types of questions, so to let me explain myself better, let me give a couple examples that I just made up off the top of my head instead, so I can know how to deal with both types of questions (WARNING: These examples are of a more sexual content)

For instance, let’s say one watches pornography. While they are watching the pornography, they are also masturbating. They know that watching pornography is a mortal sin, but they truly thought masturbating was only a venial sin. Later on, they might discover that masturbation is a mortal sin. However, is it all right for them to only confess to the pornography, and not to mention the masturbation at all (since the latter sin of masturbation , while objectively grave, was only a venial sin, since it was missing one of the factors necessary for it to be mortal)?

Or, to give another example that might be a little different type of question (I don’t know), let’s say one is having premarital sex. However, when doing so, they are imagining they are having sex with someone else, engaging in impure thoughts that way. They know that the premarital sex is a mortal sin, but they thought the impure thoughts (imagining they are having sex with someone else) was a venial sin. (And, while the two sins are directly related, still, if one confessed to a priest to having premarital sex, the latter sin of having impure thoughts, and imagining you are having sex with someone else, is not something that would obviously be implied, of course. Even though it is still directly related to the sin of premarital sex). Later on you discover that the impure thoughts of imagining having sex with someone else is a mortal sin as well. Is it all right to only confess to the sin of premarital sex, which was a mortal sin, and not even mention the impure thoughts of imagining you were having sex with someone else (since, though objectively grave, it was only a venial sin, due to lacking one of the factors necessary for it to be mortal)?

In either of the two examples I made up above (which are examples, it seems, for the two perhaps different types of questions I have), would it be all right to only mention the one sin that was mortal, and not to even mention at all the latter sin which, while objectively grave, was venial due to missing one of the factors necessary for it be mortal?

I am concerned about past confessions I have made, worrying that I’ll need to re-confess sins (even though forgiven) due to that. I’m also worried about confessions in the future having to worry about that. (This is the last thing I wish to be worrying about…It seems like having to worry about sins of my past never ends.)

Do I need to worry about any of that? I hope it’s only my scrupulosity, and that I do not need to worry about either type of question, but…Please help me! Thanks.


Confess what you know you did, and trust in the mercy of God for any sins you committed while unaware that they were sinful actions. God knows your heart - one of the greatest things about Confession is that, if you intended to do it right, then you did it right, since God understands that if you had known, then you would have Confessed.

If something is bothering you from the past, simply say, “A sin I committed in the past that is bothering me is …”


Just refer to CCC 1857. "For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

  1. Grave Matter
  2. Full Knowledge
  3. Deliberate Consent

So well without full knowledge one is still not committing mortal sin even though it is a grave matter and there was deliberate consent.


Thank-you for your answers!

I was afraid that the other stuff would have to be confessed, not because it would need to be confessed in and of itself (being venial, though objectively grave), but because it might be considered “relevant detail” for the mortal sins I did need to confess, since those sins (venial though objectively grave doing to lack of one of the factors necessary for mortal sins) was committed at the same time and were directly related to the mortal sins)

I’ve never really learned what is “relevant detail” and what is not, which is one of the probems I have such a bad time with scrupulosity, and keep feeling the need to reconfess past sins…

So, am I safe in assuming I don’t need to worry then about confessing those types of sin, and that they don’t count as “relevant detail” for the mortal sins I do need to confess (taking into account what I described above)?

I hope I don’t need to worry about confessing them. I don’t wish to have to, yet again, start worrying about reconfessing many of the sins from my past…(or worry myself to death about a million different things for confessions in the future, for that matter).

Do I need not worry about that stuff then?


Bump (Sorry, I’m in a hurry…)

So, would I be safe in assuming then, (taking into account what I have written in all my posts in this thread, including the one just above this) that what I am being told is that I would not need to worry about confessing that stuff?

I would rather not if I don’t need to…


Although a sin may not require you to confess, it one does the graces received, IMHO is worth the minor embarrassment and the total peace of mind. I normally go to confession with venial sins only and I hope and pray it remains that way.

CCC: 1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.


Unfortunately, it wouldn’t bring me peace of mind…My scrupulosity would make it very problematic (even assuming it is only for a few sins I had to worry about this problem with). I’m trying to get over my scrupulosity, but it is very difficult…

So, taking into account everything I have posted in all my posts in this thread, am I safe in assuming I don’t have to confess that stuff?


If the priest needs more detail, he will ask for it.

If he didn’t ask for the details at the time, that means he didn’t need them - you’re fine.


Well, with what I am talking about, the priest would not be aware that there would be anything more he needed to ask…(even though I was afraid there might be)

It’s hard for me to explain what I’m trying to say, so I guess that’s why I gave two examples that I made up on the spur of the moment, earlier in my first post, since they illustrate what my two questions were…The two examples paralleled my situation, so I knew that if I wouldn’t need to worry about anything in the either of the above examples, then I wouldn’t need to worry about it concerning my own situation either.

Anyway, though, I did go to confession today, but before the confession, I printed the first post I made in this thread (though only the first post I made), and I read it to my priest.

He said that I did not need to worry about that stuff. So I will trust him on it.

But thanks to all for the help!


Great! I’m glad you found the peace you were seeking. :thumbsup:


Mr A, you are at it again. You will not solve your problems with scruplosity by constantly asking questions on the forum. You absolutely need to put your trust in a single confessor and listen to what he tells you. You are persisting in digging the “hole” deeper and when you fall into it you will have no one to blame. Until you place that trust and follow orders you will never have the peace the Lord Jesus wants you to get from the Sacrament of Penance. Unfortunately too many of us are feeding your “devil” by trying to answer your questions.


Now you’re on the right track. Keep it up.



The matter having been resolved, the thread is now closed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.