Worried about sins from childhood


I know I should ask this question in confession but I get so nervous I would never be able to ask this clearly.

What does one do about childhood sins. I had a problem with habitual impurity with self, that probably started about age 5. I think it was a response to stress. At some point I was doing it everyday and everywhere (home, school and in church )-: ). No one ever corrected me appropriately or told me what I was doing or why I should stop. I remember a couple instances of my mom telling me to stop but she never told me what I was doing why I should stop or that it was a sin. Was I guilty of mortal sin at that age? Was I making bad confessions and communions from the age 7 on? Or just once I learned it was a sin?

Anyway I don't remember when exactly I learned it was a sin. I am guessing it was probably around age 12 when we has a CCD "sex-ed" class. Even then I was a little confused because the way they described it always pertained to the boys and I was a girl, so I wasn't 100% sure and I definitely didn't have the kind of parents I could ask about this. Anyway I don't know when I first decided to confess it. I know I said I committed this particular sin. I know when I did I was very embarrassed and I am sure I was not very detailed. I know I wouldn't have told how long it was going on or any other details that about that sin that could have increased its severity. My head keeps telling me that I was only required to confess how and what I knew at that time. Not how I would confess it now, it light of what I know now. But I keep worrying that I should back and confess some more details of that sin. And re-confess all my sins since then.


Firstly, as long as you didn’t deliberately withhold grave sins in your last confession (and assuming it was otherwise valid), you are forgiven all of your sins. So please relax.

Secondly, given your age and your lack of knowledge about these sins, I don’t see how they could possibly be considered mortal sins, or even personal sins at all. Sins from childhood that you didn’t realise were sins at the time have long been forgiven. But this is a matter for your confessor to properly advise on. If they still trouble you, and so you can clear your mind of them, just discuss this with your confessor next time. No need to race back to confess this, but just next time you make a confession you can ask about this.

If it is hard to discuss with your confessor, you could post this question in the “ask an apologist” forum. A definitive response from one of the priests there may help you put this behind you.


when you didn't know it was a sin it was not mortal - it was venial due to lack of knowledge

as long as your sorry you are forgive with your last confession

if you are compelled to restate the sin or commit the same sin in the future and want to confess

one may go about it like this

In the past I committed the sin of self gratification multiple times or (x) number of times


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