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Do I Have to Go Back to Confession If I Forgot to Confess a Sin?


A listener named Noah calls into the show and asks, “Do I have to go back to Confession if I forget to confess a sin?” He explains that he recently converted to Catholicism and is unsure whether or not all of the sins he has committed over the past 40 years are forgiven in Confession if he cannot remember all of them.

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Father Dave asks Noah if the priest who heard his first Confession was aware that it was his first time. Noah explains that the priest was aware of this. Father Dave explains that the priest would recognize that it is not possible to remember every sin ever committed over the course of one’s life, and these sins are still forgiven. “That being said, if something occurs to you that is bothering you that you’re pretty sure you did not say in that confession or any confession since, you can certainly add it to the list for the next time.”

Noah also shares that he struggles with scrupulosity. Father Dave suggests going regularly to the same priest for Confession, “Say, ‘Father sometimes I struggle with being a little too scrupulous, so I ask you to help me with that.’ If you’re going to the same priest all the time, he will help you with that. He might help you meditate a little more on what mortal and venial sin is.”

Father Dave also points out that once we confess our sin it is gone, and we should not keep going back to the same thing because then we’re not trusting in God’s mercy. (Original Air 1-25-18)

Photo credit: Priest hears Confession at Christ the King Church in Irondequoit, N.Y (CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)