Faith/Spirituality Forum: Confession
Confession QUESTION from Jane on January 3, 2003 I converted almost ten years ago. I didn't understand a lot of things about the Church's teachings then, although I knew I wanted to be a Catholic. The RCIA program I attended unfortunately didn't provide a lot of that information, and as a result, I didn't understand how or why to make a good confession.
I didn't confess hardly ANY sins on my first confession before baptism (due to shame, pride, etc.) and I subsequently meandered away from the Church and Christ until I came back home about 2 years ago.
Since then, I regularily attend reconcilliation and have confessed my past mortal sins, some that occured before my baptism, but mostly things that I did when I was away from the Church. I've tried my best to confess other sins I have omitted, but what about those things I may have done before my baptism or things afterwards that I can't remember or don't come to mind?
Did my baptism cover those old sins? Am I still responsible for things I may have done afterwards but have forgotten about?
Thank you for your guidance.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 4, 2003 Dear Jane:
I am so sorry that your RCIA experience did not give you thorough information to form a solid foundation to your faith.
Unfortunately it appears to be status-quo for RCIA programs to be treadful and sometimes even heretical in what they teach.
As a result of this national scandal of sub-standard RCIAs we are planning to offer an RCIA course online where people will get the real scoop of Catholic teaching. This will not replace the need to attand RCIA classes locally, but this project can fill in the gaps that local RCIAs leave, and offer full particulars and accurate information about Catholic Teaching that many RCIAs fail.
The Church teaching is that Baptism removes original sin AND all ACTUAL sins committed before Baptism. So no matter what sins you committed before Baptism, they are all wiped away -- all of them.
As for sins you have forgotten, when the priest absolves you in the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation) ALL your sins are forgiven, even those that you have forgotten.
If at a later date you happen to remember a mortal sin, then you can bring it to confession at that time, but technically it has already been forgiven.
Now, if you DELIBERATELY and consciously refuse to confess a mortal sin in Confession, then you have made a bad confession and those sins are not forgiven.
Confess all your mortal sins in the Sacrament of Confession no matter how embarassing. God loves you.
A story is told about a holy nun who died. Everyone in the convent believed this nun was holy and certainly in heaven. One day God allowed the old nun to appear in an apparition to the Abbess. The old nun pleaded to the Abbess to be sure to tell the sisters to confess ALL mortal sins. The old nun then explained that despite everyone thinking she was a holy nun, she had been to embarassed to confess one particular sin. As a result, she was now in hell.
Confess ALL mortal sins that you are aware of and remember that were committed after Baptism.
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