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Cody wrote:

Hi, guys —

I know that lying in Confession invalidates the sacrament, but I'm unsure if not mentioning certain sins is ever justified.

For example, in my last Confession I was going to mention sins that I was unable to confess during my last Confession. I had always been told to mention such sins because, while they were forgiven, they still needed to be confessed.

Well, the priest, who wasn't my typical confessor, told me not to mention these sins. Wanting to be obedient, I didn't mention them. I figured this was the right thing to do — my problem comes later. I had one more sin, that was related to those he told me not to confess. I thought about confessing it, but because it was so closely linked to one of the sins he didn't want me to mention, my initial thought was that the only way to mention it was to lie. As a result, I left this sin out.

My intent wasn't to conceal the sin and I was originally planning on confessing it, although, I do believe that I didn't put enough thought into it and that my decision could have been influenced by the fact that I didn't know how to word this particular sin, at least without mentioning the other.

Still, I think my primary motivator was obedience.

  • By doing this, did I invalidate my Confession?

After receiving the sacrament, I reflected on that sin and decided it was likely venial, but I hadn't previously felt that way.

  • Also, when I go back to Confession with my normal Confessor, would any of this be worth bringing up?
  • Could I say something like:

      "Last time in Confession I tried to mention some sins that I hadn't been able to mention

      here's what happened as a result, and
      here is what the sins were"?

Thanks.

Cody

  { What should I do if I go to a different Confessor who tells me not to mention those sins again? }

Bob replied:

Cody,

You can tell your regular Confessor, if that eases your conscience, but keep in mind that anything you left out, provided it was not intentional, is still forgiven.

Therefore, you may be just over thinking this or becoming a little too scrupulous.

The bottom line is, God is looking for a sincere repentant heart, not a fastidious accounting of our faults. None of us can ever keep a true accounting of all our transgressions. It is sometimes difficult to trust and accept Gods unfailing mercy.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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