Expert Answer Forum
confession QUESTION from Frances June 18, 1999 Recently I went to confession and had an incident that has never happened in my 20 years of Catholicism. I confessed impure thoughts, words and action. I had on two separate occasions looked at material that was not pure. One incident occured in my office with only women present which had to do with an article printed in a Good Housekeeping Magazine. I not only showed the article but made remarks regarding it. Thus the action of impurity. The Priest stopped me during my confession to ask details of the action. He even asked me if anything had happended between myself and anyone else! I explained the magazine, but did not explain the other the other incident of looking at something impure. I am uncertain if I should go back to confession over this or not as I felt I could not make my confession clear to this Priest. What do you think?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on June 22, 1999 Dear Frances:
If you honestly forgot to mention a sin, then from what I understand that sin is still absolved when the priest granted you absolution.
If you deliberately withheld confessing the sin, on the other hand, then you are still culpable for that sin and need to confess it.
If you are unsure what you should do, then it is better to be safe than sorry and go ahead and confess the sin you didn't mention.
You should discuss this with a priest to be sure that what I have said here is accurate.
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