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Sushufiji wrote:

Hi, guys—

Let's say you did something really bad when you were younger, then forgot about it because you hadn't really known it was bad and subsequently never told anyone about it. You also never corrected yourself nor apologized because you forgot. You recently realized it was bad, but now it's too late.

  • Because you never specifically confessed it in Confession, is your sin still forgiven seeing that Confession cleanses you of all of your sins?


  { Are we forgiven all our sins in Confession, even those we didn't think were sins a long time ago? }

Mike replied:

Dear Sushufiji,

Thanks for the question.

You are only guilt of sin, if you knew it was wrong at the time you committed it.

It appears you were not aware, when you were younger, that this was wrong, so there is no sin.

Your culpability for any sin extends to the degree you either knew, or didn't know, it was wrong at the time you committed the sin.

Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it. All venal sins are forgiven in Confession (or when you receive Holy Communion on Sundays) whether you mention them or not.

Nevertheless, it is a wise practice to mention:

  • any sin, venial or not, that you are having a hard time with, or
  • any sin you are unsure of.

The sacrament of Confession gives us the spiritual medicine to stop any sin with perseverance.

The only sins that you have to specifically confess are mortal sins, and they have to meet three criteria:

— it has to be a serious matter
— done with full knowledge, and
— complete consent on your part

If one of these criteria is missing, it is not a mortal sin.

I hope this helps,


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