Was my confession valid if the priest didn't believe I sinned?


#1

I went to confession last week and rattled off my sins since my last confession. However, the priest told me that some things I mentioned were NOT sins. Without going into detail, I would like to point out that anyone with a conscience knows that the things he said were not sins are definitely sins! So my question is, if you KNOW what you confessed was a sin, but the priest tells you it’s not, is that confession valid? Does he have to agree it’s a sin for it to be valid?

Was my confession valid? Or should I go again?


#2

So long as you did your best to confess all that needed to be confessed, you did nothing to impede receiving sacramental absolution and so the sacrament was valid even should the priest have been wrong in his judgment whether what you confessed were in fact sins. So, no, you need not go to confession again.

Please bear in mind though that it is important to trust the judgment and direction of your confessor. Unless you have just cause to doubt his orthodoxy, in which case you should find an orthodox confessor, you should give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether particular actions were sinful or not. One’s own conscience may not be a trustworthy guide because it is possible for the conscience to be malformed and thus be either too lax or too scrupulous. That is one reason why Christ provided sacramental confession in the first place: so we don’t have to depend entirely on ourselves to judge whether or not something is sinful. A priest can give spiritual direction as well as absolution and should be trusted to give it.

Recommended reading:

Understanding Scrupulosity by Fr. Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R.


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