Should you go to confession if you don't feel remorseful?


The church teaches us that if we sin, we should go to confession in order to be returned to a state of grace.

But what if, despite knowing that the church teaches that something is a mortal sin, you don’t feel remorseful? Maybe you don’t see what is so bad about your sin, maybe you feel it was more than justified given the circumstances, but for whatever reason you don’t feel guilty or remorseful.

Should you still go to confession? Will it do any good?


Guilt and remorse are not mere matters of “feelings”. One may not “feel” sorry, but can intellectually acknowledge their sin and be sorry for offending God by their sin. Or one may fear hell and want to confess to avoid eternal punishment - that is sufficient sorrow for sin to be forgiven via confession.

The important question is: would you do it again? If the answer is yes, then (IMO at least) you don’t have sufficient sorrow for a good confession. You would be merely playing the game.

But to directly answer your question - yes, you should still go. You should seek the counsel of a good priest to help you work through the situation, and that priest can help determine whether you have sufficient sorrow for your sin in order to grant absolution. Or to help you work towards this if you currently lack it. But be honest. You would invalidate your own confession by being dishonest.


yes…Yes…YES…and tell your priest.
in my humble opinion, part of the “worth” of confession is taking that
mirror and looking at ourselves …being honest with ourselves…
and try…try…try…to correct ourselves. let’s face it, it is always easier
to find fault with someone else and blame them and deny our pitiful
part as my own. our egos, pride, selfishness can get in the way so
often in getting closer to our Lord and a healthier spiritual life, which
believe it or not, will bring us to a healthier and holier self.
similar to remorse IS penance and contrition, which we receive
with the sacrament. to get down to the basics…God gave us the
“gift” of free will. so we have a choice…good or evil…what
choice do you want? whose side do you want to be on?
this is not easy, by any means, because you have asked this
question you are doing some soul searching and that is always a good
thing. it seems you are on a spiritual journey that many don’t want to
even admit…and you may need to start looking for a spiritual
advisor…either a priest in your parish or someone he may suggest.
by all means take the next step…
I guaranty you will be glad you did!!!


The main point is not about “feelings”. They can be very helpful and make it a more rich event but they are not essential.

What is needed is contrition and a firm purpose of amendment of all mortal sin (to no commit mortal sin and avoid mortal sin). This involves grace and one will. Feelings may or may not be there.

One “repents” and turns to Christ in the Sacrament.

Now if one feels that one was justified to commit the mortal sin - well that needs to be opposed by ones will and rejected. So one may actually repent and make a valid confession (if one is just justifying ones mortal sin…that is not yet repentance and so one needs to pray and work with grace so one can repent and then go to confession). Talking to the Priest can assist this.

(Of course if one is confessing venial sins alone…one needs of course repentance for that too…but it is a bit different than for mortal.)


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