Who should I obey? The priest or my conscience?


Hi everyone. Who should I obey in this case I am about to tell you about? This priest (who is not my spiritual director but who gives me advice from time to time) or my own conscience? Ok, here’s the issue. I think I might be in a state of mortal sin and I would not feel comfortable receiving the Eucharist at Mass tomorrow even though my spiritual director (a different priest from above) told me that I am probably not in a state of mortal sin. I called a different priest today and ask him if I could confess to him tomorrow and he said I could. He does not know that I am not supposed to confess more than once a week due to my scrupulosity but he does know that I think I’m in a state of mortal sin. I think I know what I should do. I think I should just go ahead and not confess tomorrow but I already told the priest that I would confess tomorrow. I have no idea what to do and I could really use some advice. I don’t want the priest at the mass tomorrow to think I am in a state of mortal sin and therefore forbid me from receiving the Eucharist. Please help! I feel really stupid by posting this too by the way. :blush::frowning:


If you are reasonably certain that you are in a state of mortal sin, then confess before receiving the Eucharist.

I think (perhaps I’m wrong), that when choosing between the advice of another person and that of one’s own conscience, they are obligated to follow their conscience.


Mortal sin is a delibrate sin against the love of God, it is a no to God and his graces, you can’t accidently commit a mortal sin.
Every thing we do is a venial sin unless we are praying.
It is impossible to sin while you are praying !!!
God made you just as you are, He love you just as you are. He knows you sins and died for you anyway. Jesus wants you to receive Him in Communion, Jesus can to save the sinners, yes, you.
Jesus doesn’t tell me every sometimes I have to ask



I’d say listen to your spiritual director… i think he is right. i have seen a few of your posts here, and he seems to know you - if you go to confession, you have to tell that priest that your spiritual director told you not to confess more often than once a week or whatever he told you… another thing that you can do is change your spiritual director - but i doubt that it will do you much good…


I would comply with the not confessing more than once a week agreement because it is a matter of obedience/discipline and forgo the Eucharist this once.

If I have any doubt at all about having committed a mortal sin I will not take Holy Communion no matter what. There is no shame in not taking Holy Communion. If you feel humiliated though, you can offer it up as a powerful offering.



My spiritual director is not the one who told me to only confess once a week. A different priest told me that.


Whoever told you that gave good advice. Even going once a week is a bit much. When I went to do my first confession while going through RCIA my initial thinking was to go once a week. The priest at that church heard me tell someone that and said that nobody sins so often that they need that. But, then I heard that Pope John Paul II did confess once a week. But, in the years I’ve been a catholic, I’ve gotten use to going once a month. If I really screw up somewhere, then I’d go at the next opportunity.


Well, I did really screw up and that’s why I want to go today. But anyway, I called my spiritual director and left a message on his office voice mail about it so he’ll call me back hopefully sometime today and give me guidance on what to do. I’ll take his advice since he is my spiritual director. :thumbsup:


Not only did both Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa both confess MORE than once a week, St Padre Pio also recommended weekly confession to people - ‘if you want to be a saint’. Trick question, we are ALL called to be saints.

The just man falls seven times a day - that’s what scripture says. How on earth, that being the case, can there be anyone (severe scrupulosity aside) who couldn’t benefit from weekly confession?

Do you wait until you’re really stinky before you have a shower, or do you have regular showers to prevent serious BO instead? Do you take your car to a mechanic only when it breaks down, or do you do what all sensible car owners do, and get a regular service to prevent serious problems? Same with confession.

Maybe people don’t all sin mortally once a week (although plenty do) but we all have venial sins that need work, and we also need the graces of the sacrament to PREVENT us falling into mortal sin!


I totally agree. Anyway, my spiritual director gave me permission to confess to this priest this evening. :thumbsup:


I seriously doubt this. I have never heard such a spirituality within the Catholic church.

Naturally surrounding oneself with prayer or a prayerful mind helps one to resist temptation, but the above is an extreme statement that I have never heard expressed by any saint or in any Catholic document, or even in Scripture. “Pray always,” or “pray continually” (St. Paul) is an exhortation but not a commandment, nor is it a statement that not praying equals venial sin.


If you have problems with scrupulosity you should find ONE priest to confess to and follow his advice. The scrupulous are not good judges of their own behavior.


The shortage of priets make it impossible for everyone to confess even once a week. Even if there were enough priests, do you really think it’s necessary? Would YOU go weekly? Or, as you imply, more than once a week?


Dear Holly… Your question is NOT stupid, but courageous. :yup: It shows a deeply rooted love and respect for Our dear Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament and a desire to do the right thing; otherwise, you wouldn’t have asked the question.:heart:

If I were in the exact circumstance you’ve described, here is what I would do: Believing myself to be in mortal sin (grave matter, full knowledge and consent), but also under obedience to NOT make a Confession more than once a week. I would approach the altar for a BLESSING ONLY. Being careful, to cross my arms over my chest. Yes, it would be hard. And it might also be embarrassing to me, personally. But keep in mind, that you are setting an example of respect to Our Lord. This is a statement, that you really believe in His Presence… and since you have doubts about your spiritual state… you don’t want to risk receiving His Precious Body and Blood, until you’ve Confessed. You are saying to anyone watching… “I BELIEVE”.

Now if the other priest has said that you are not in a state of mortal sin, I’m sure he’s right. But Holly, being a scrupulous soul myself… I KNOW what you will suffer in wondering, until you’ve been permitted to receive your weekly Sacrament of Penance. At that time… you can discuss your fears, more openly with your Confessor. And he can either assure you that you were NOT in the state of mortal sin… OR he can grant you absolution.

Whichever way your Confession goes… the important thing, is that you showed great love and respect for the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I don’t know if this helps, Holly. I hope so. You’re in my prayers, and please keep my mother and me in yours. God bless you.

MV :slight_smile:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.