Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Chris Westfall wrote:


My question relates to the requirement or directive that during Confession you are to tell the priest, to the best of your ability, the number of times you have committed a certain sin.

  • If you are aware of this requirement or directive, yet still do not do this, for whatever reason, does it invalidate your Confession [and/or] add the sin of (abuse of the sacrament) to your list of sins?

Put another way:

  • Does purposely not telling the priest the number of times you have committed a sin, unless asked by the priest, have the same effect on your Confession as purposely withholding a mortal sin, or
  • Is the number directive merely a directive and not a requirement like the full disclosure of all known mortal sins?

I hope you are both able and willing to answer this question.

Thank you for your time,


  { If you don't state the number of times you commit a sin, is the Confession invalid? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Chris,

The requirement to state the number is a requirement for mortal sins, but is, of course, subject to one's memory and to reason.

For instance, if someone were to confess after years of sin, it would suffice to state that such and such sins were a part of daily life, done frequently, or whatever applies.

Mary Ann

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.