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Chris Westfall wrote:

Hello,

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,

Chris

  { 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

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