Hi everyone. I asked my spiritual director who is a priest if I could Confess all of my sins since my baptism and I posted a prayer request thread asking for prayers for this. One of the members who posted suggested that I get a second opinion so here I am. Is it a sin to re-confess your sins if you have already made a valid Confession at some point in the recent past? I know I have made plenty of valid Confessions but I just want to re-confess all of my sins so that way I have everything covered. I never deliberately hid a sin in any of my recent Confessions. If I did, they wouldn’t be valid. So, if someone could answer my question for me, I’d appreciate it.
If you have never kept from confessing a sin during Confession, all of your sins are forgiven. There is no need to re-confess them just to “make sure.” Our Blessed Lord forgives you of all of your sins in each Confession.
What you are referring to is a General Confession. I wouldn’t list all your sins since baptism, but you could go over things that you are still
struggling with. Blessed Pope John XXIII did this on his annual retreats even though he went to confession weekly.
If you have sinned and completed confession in owning up to your sins, it may be a sin to re confess since it was already forgiven. I believe I was told this once in RCC class.
That is called a General Confession. I have never done it but I’ve heard that it is a good practice when a person reaches some kind of a critical point in their spiritual journey. You should do it if you feel you are called to it, but if it is a case of scrupulosity than perhaps it is not a good idea because it could potentially lead to obsessive re-confessing. If I were you I would talk to a priest and explain your motives behind it. See what he says and act accordingly.
Thanks everyone. I will try to talk to my priest again and just make sure that he is okay with it. I will discuss my motives for making a General Confession with him before I actually make the Confession.
What is even the purpose of wanting to re-confess sins you have already confessed. Frankly I see this as a waste of the priest’s time. Sins already forgiven cannot be re-forgiven and you cannot be re-absolved.
It would make a lot more sense just to sit with your priest for a talk and discuss any problems you are having.
I am wanting to re-confess all of my sins so that way I can mention any sins that I accidentally forgot to confess in the past. I have a really bad short term memory and so I often freeze up and forget what I want to confess and I can’t remember it the next time I go to Confession. That said, I am seriously considering just having an ordinary confession this time.
Sins genuinely forgotten are forgiven. If you remember them you confess them next Confession. If you never remember them they are still forgiven.
Yep that is what my spiritual director/confessor says.
There are a lot of times when I go to Confession and I will have made a good examination of conscience but my mind just goes completely blank after I have listed some of the sins. I have heard that if you do genuinely forget and not intentionally leave sins out (which I never do intentionally leave them out) that for scrupulous people you should not mention them in the next Confession. This is what a Scrupulous Anonymous newsletter from Liguori Publications says.
When I read the title of this thread, I thought of my situation upon entering the Church. I was raised Southern Baptist and baptized around age 12. I entered the Catholic Church at 38. While in RCIA, the priest told me I had to confess all my sins since baptism. I told him I didn’t remember them all! He gave me some sage advice: the first thing that popped into your mind when you heard about this, that’s the main thing for you. Confess that and say that you are truly sorry for all your sins. If I ask you questions in confession, answer them ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ You think this would take days but it won’t take two minutes."
Perhaps this will help put it into perspective.
I went some 35+ years between confessions. I was assured by two priests I did not have to go into 35 years worth of sins. Considering there were likely some 10s of thousands of sins, the priest would have to spend the rest of his years serving the Lord sitting in the confessional listing to me attempt to recall them all. He gave me a general absolution covering the last 35 years.
On one occasion I said to the priest that I’d have to write a book making Augustine’s “Confessions” look like a pamphlet if I were to attempt to do it.
What is the function, the role, the purpose, the end, the objective, the goal, the effect of this type of confession? Why and what for? What are the needs to confess again the sins that were already forgiven via the past confessions?
Do you have official documents from the catholic church on this topic?