Should my mother go to confession before Communion?


#1

:confused: I have recently been bringing my 85-year-old mother to my church. She has a different one. She really likes coming to the daily Mass. A mother/daughter thing during the week. Well, the last few times she was reluctant to receive Communion and I almost had to push her out of the pew to go up and she had seemed like she had been withdrawing from me, so later I asked her what was wrong. I asked her to tell me the truth and she admitted that she hadn’t been to confession for about two years. So am I in sin if I continue to bring her to church to receive if only we know this? I think my priest suspects. Maybe he knew before I did? She is unhappy I am not bringing her now!


#2

No one, not even a Catholic, should be pressured to receive Communion. While it is certainly all right to gently inquire of a close relative why she is not receiving, she should not be pressured to reveal the reasons if she chooses not to answer.

[quote=dessert]I asked her to tell me the truth and she admitted that she hadn’t been to confession for about two years.
[/quote]

Catholics are required to confess their mortal sins once a year. While it is certainly a matter of concern that your mother has not confessed in such a long period of time, there may be just reasons why she did not (e.g., no mortal sins to confess, inability to get to confession, etc.).

[quote=dessert]So am I in sin if I continue to bring her to church to receive if only we know this?
[/quote]

No, it is not a sin to bring your mother with you to church even should she choose not to go to confession. You may certainly gently encourage her to go to confession and assure her that you will help to make it possible by taking her to confession, but ultimately the choice to confess is hers. She is not bound to go to confession in order to go to Mass. Only if she has an unconfessed mortal sin may she not receive Communion, but only she can determine, perhaps with the help of a priest, whether or not she is in mortal sin.

[quote=dessert]I think my priest suspects. Maybe he knew before I did?
[/quote]

I doubt that. Priests do not keep track of who is going to confession and who isn’t. In charity they assume that those who do not come to them for confession are probably going to another priest for confession. My guess is that, if your priest has thought about it at all, he probably figures that your mother is going to her own parish for confession.

[quote=dessert]She is unhappy I am not bringing her now!
[/quote]

It’s a good sign that your mother wants to go to church with you. I urge you to resume taking her. Continued exposure to Mass may eventually wear away whatever resistance she may have to the idea of going to confession.


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