Weird confession, is it valid?


I have been to a very weird confession today. I asked a priest for confession in rather inconvinient time. Priest accepted. When I started to say my sins, he seemed very uninterested in it and it seemed to me that he was looking at the corner of church all the time (we were behind the altar). When I told 2 or free sins, priest interupted me and said something like “all your sins that you want to say are included in this confession, pray 3 Hail Marys”, I prayed that prayer in which we say that we are sorry and then he absolve me. I have 2 questions:

  1. Is this confession valid and can I be 100% sure that all sins I wanted to mention are absolved
  2. Does not being concentrated while prayingg that prayer we pray during confession in which we say that we are sorry effect validity of confession?


Also, there is probability that priest hasn’t understood my sins well and it’s not only his fault. I was a little confused. Does that effect on validity of confession?


Without commenting on the experience I will note that if one has only venial sins - one needs only confess one for a valid confession. One is not obliged to confess all ones venial sins (I am not saying here to only ever mention just one - I am only noting that for a valid confession one venial sin (or even past sin) that one is sorry for etc and seeks to overcome suffices. When there is no mortal sins.

In your refection now - the question to ask yourself - was there any mortal sins that were left out? If so - one would mention them in the next confession.


If one was contrite - the fact that one was not concentrating on the words exactly that one was praying does not effect the validity. Even if the prayer was not said - the contrition itself suffices (which involves the will…no particular feeling required).


Do you go to confession very often? Do you talk about the same venial sins all the time? Did the priest tell you before this you don’t have to confess most of them? You say you asked him for confession at a really bad time. This leads me to believe he thinks you come to often.
On the other hand, maybe he had an urgent appointment or just had to use the restroom in a hurry. :slight_smile:

  1. Yes
  2. No, as long as you mean it and it expresses what you feel.


Thank you for sharing. While it may have seemed rushed, or the priest probably seemed distracted it sounds as if you made a good confession.

God can bestow grace and that is not dependent on how distracted a priest is. Admittedly you got the priest when he had no plans to hear confessions, yet he made time for you anyway that is a wonderful thing. He probably had a meeting with someone else that may have even been urgent. You never know someone else may have been coming to meet him for marriage counseling or may have been suicidal and wanted to see him or some other emergency. Priests are quite busy and often have urgent matters to attend to with the sick and dying. God bless.


In order for the sacrament to be valid, one is obliged to confess all mortal sins in both number and kind. If you fail to confess a mortal sin because you forgot about it, then the confession is valid and the sin is forgiven. Nevertheless, you would still be obliged to confess the sin at your next confession. If you deliberately withheld a sin, your confession would be invalid, and you would heap additional guilt upon yourself.

Assuming contrition on your part, confession of all mortal sins in number and kind, and proper form of absolution on the priest’s part, then your confession was valid. If you failed to confess a mortal sin after the priest hurried you along, then you need to re-do your confession.


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