Was this ok?


I go to an Augustinian school and so we had a mass today in school to celebrate St. Augustine’ feast day. At one point during the mass the priest said to think back on the Summer and ask God for forgiveness for the sins we may have committed during it. After giving us a few moments to say them in our heads he said a few forgiveness prayers and said they were forgiven.

I’m wondering if that counts as being forgiven. He definitely made it sound like it did(I’m pretty sure he said they were absolved or something similar) but my understanding of it was that you had to go to Confession and talk privately with the priest in a Confession box to be forgiven and tell him your sins. This wasn’t like that at all. So was that ok? And does it count?


Probably whatever he said was intended as a prayer for forgiveness like after the Confiteor where the priest says, “May almighty God have mercy on you, forgive your sins and bring you to life everlasting,” not something intended as a replacement for the actual sacrament of penance. You still have the obligation to confess any unconfessed mortal sins.


Venial sins are forgiven during the Penitential rite, during communion, etc.
Surely he doesn’t believe that children have willfully committed mortal sins.


… What part of the country do you live in where teenage boys with access to the internet DON’T commit mortal sins?:confused:


I try not to peer into other people’s souls.
If he goes to an Augustinian school, and he is worried about this, I gather that he understands the sacrament of confession and when it’s necessary.


The Church considers 7 or so to be the age of reason. Why can’t they commit mortal sins?


They CAN I suppose. But most children are pretty innocent.
Many of the young children that I interact with daily lack the capacity to willfully commit a mortal sin.

I just think that a young person should take the word of the priest at face value.
I tire of people constantly judging the motives of their priests. A priest has the best interest of his congregation at heart, despite what people would “think” about him.
Let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt ok? We’re not there.
I think it was St. John Vianney who said “Never criticize a priest”. Especially when we don’t have first hand knowledge.
Are there wonky priests? Sure. I’m not convinced this guy is bad. :shrug:


We were taught to confess all the sins we committed against a “list” of sins we were given. These were in most of the missals and prayerbooks. This was called an examination of conscience and we taught to confess lies, acts of disobedience against our parents, missing Mass, stealing, cheating, etc. To me it seems like it’s rationalizing to say these now don’t have to be confessed.


In the Confiteor:
"I CONFESS to Almighty God…etc. Who says no one confesses anymore? I’m talking about VENIAL sins and you know it. No one is saying that mortal sins do not have to be confessed.
I’m out.


Well, I’m not sure how that’s peering into anyone’s soul at all.


That does NOT forgive mortal sins.


If I recall, this is only one of the options. Formula A?

I don’t hear it much in my neck of the woods. The Kyrie is more common.


Not sure how to interpret the above.

My American Heritage Dictionary defines rationalizing thus:
1. to make rational, i.e. consistent with or based on reason
2. to interpret rationally, again, consistent with or based on reason
and 3. to devise self-satisfying byt incorrect reasons for one’s behavior

Given that we are not now nor have never been required to confess all the venial sins we have committed in order for them to be forgiven:

a. Using definition 2, to me it does indeed seem like it’s rationalizing to say these now don’t have to be confessed

but b. using definition 3, to me it does not seems like it’s rationalizing to say these now don’t have to be confessed


Stop right there. But isn’t it rationalization when one convinces himself (or has someone confirm it for him) that what he once knew to be grave matter is really not?

I think it was in the movie “Mass Appeal” where the priest said something like “Hey it was just an innocent lie” to which the seminarian asked, “Is there such a thing?” The priest didn’t have an answer for that. Point is that it seems we’ve reached a point where we are convinced we can’t commit mortal sins because we’ve convinced ourselves it is not grave or that we didn’t give full consent. Note, however, this doesn’t take into account unintentional ignorance.


I’m still not quite sure in what sense you are using the word rationalization. In your example here, I would say that if a person convinces himself that what he once truly knew was grave matter is really not, then that is rationalization as in devising self-satisfying but incorrect reason for one’sbehaviot.

BUT if a person convinces himself that what he once mistakenly understood was grave matter is not grave matter then that is rationalization as in intepreting consistent with reason.

So again, I could agree or disagree depending on which definition of rationalization you are using.


Yes but suppose you knew ABC was grave matter but someone convinced you that you were mistaken as long as you use your conscience, and now you’re convinced it isn’t grave. Does it make it venial if sin at all?


:shrug:Golly, that’s getting way above my pay grade. Off the top of my head, I could only say yes, no, and maybe, depending on the circumstances.

The thought that’s underlying my previous comments, and maybe I just should have stated it before, is that sometimes we somehow acquire an incorrect understanding of sinful matter or all kinds of things and then at some point by “rationalizing”, in the good sense as in reasoning it out, we come to the correct understanding. Back in the day I think we were all taught things,by parents, priests, nuns, whomever with the best of intentions, that we later discovered were inaccurate. And thread after thread here indicates that this is an ongoing occurance.


I wouldn’t think to challenge the character or motives of this priest based on what I’ve heard here. I absolutely give him the benefit of the doubt. And it’s also true that we don’t know the age of these “kids” we’re talking about, which may obscure the issue some.

I would only be a little worried for a younger person who has committed a mortal sin according to the teaching of the Church, but was getting mixed signals about its seriousness. If the priest tells a large group that their sins are forgiven, and one person thinks to himself, “Not this sin,” then it is might absolutely be appropriate to pursue the issue further in the confessional. If it sticks in your mind, clean it out (even if you’re young). That’s all.


You’re right about that. But then the more conscientious person is labelled as scrupulous by someone. That always raises a red-flag with me. As we have our salvation at risk, shouldn’t we err on the side of confessing as though our sins were mortal? Personally I don’t have the time nor find it profitable to go against what I’ve been taught. If it’s a grave sin for a 7-yr old to state a lie (or even the truth or even participate in a conversation) which hurts someone, then I don’t see how it can be venial for someone older. I think the Orthodox and others who find communion without confession to be a decadent practice have a good point.


We are teens. Quite a large percent, if not nearly all, of us commit a certain mortal sin nearly every night. Also besides that, since us teens are really rebellious we break the commandment of honouring our parents often. And since it’s breaking a commandment I’d imagine that’d be considered grave, and thus a mortal sin. So those are two mortal sins that’d happen a few times a week for most of us.

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