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Carol Simpson wrote:

Hi, guys —

My mom is 87 years old and just got out of the hospital after having had seizures. It started when the doctors changed her Dilantin dosage. Now they have her back on her regular dose.

My question is does she have to go to Confession since she is still having home health care come to her house?

She is worn out from everything.

Thanks,

Carol and Rosemary

  { Can she be excused from Confession? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Carol —

I'm unclear about something. Exactly what sin do you think she committed that requires Confession, or are you asking whether she can be excused from Confession in general since she is homebound?

First of all, it's important to keep in mind that Confession is only obligatory for those conscious of mortal sin. As a reminder, a mortal sin is a sin

  • that has grave matter — it's objectively serious, for example, adultery
  • is committed knowing that it's objectively serious and
  • is committed deliberately with full consent of the will. ( e.g. not in passion, under pressure, or due to habit.)

I doubt in her present condition she is likely to commit a mortal sin. For other sins, Confession is helpful and there is grace there for avoiding sin, but it isn't obligatory.

Second of all, she can always ask a priest to come by and give her the sacrament, which he certainly should if she is at any time close to death.

Eric

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