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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:35 pm 
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Mortal sins must be confessed in kind (what sort of thing you did) and number (how often; note that this doesn't have to be a precise figure, and it doesn't matter if you're off by a bit). Not so, AFAIK, for venial sins.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:53 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Mortal sins must be confessed in kind (what sort of thing you did) and number (how often; note that this doesn't have to be a precise figure, and it doesn't matter if you're off by a bit). Not so, AFAIK, for venial sins.

Well, you don't have to confess venial sins at all, so I guess it would follow that they need not be confessed in number.

The older examinations of conscience I have say to avoid such terms as "many times." That is, an approximate number is fine, but you should distinguish between (say) 20 times and 100 times.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:56 pm 
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I think that's reasonable enough. The idea is to give the confessor a good handle on how serious the problem is.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:03 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think that's reasonable enough. The idea is to give the confessor a good handle on how serious the problem is.

Of course, if one is going to confession so infrequently that he needs to distinguish between 20 times and 100 times, that might be indicative of a larger problem. . . . I remember when I was in RCIA that the lady who ran the "inquiry nights" said that the Church taught that one should only go to confession twice a year. Then one of the parish priests visited our class and someone asked him how often one should go. His reply was that once every two weeks was fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Confession 101
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:12 am 
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tAnGo wrote:
The Priest Responds
After you have made your confession, the priest may do any number of things. He may go straight to the "Advice and Penance" (below). Given the confession stated above, a brief talk may ensue, like this:
Are you married?
Yes, father
Are you unable to perform the marriage act?
Well... my wife and I got into an argument...
I see. So would you also like to confess to getting angry?
Yes, father. I was angry with my wife on two occasions
Did you act upon this anger in any other ways? Did you strike your wife?
No, father
What is the 9th commandment?
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife"
In what way did you break this commandment?
There is a woman I work with who dressed very immodestly one day, and it caused me to have feelings of lust.
Did you act on these feelings?
No, father

Oh, and one more thing -- in general isn't it better to just confess the sin instead of the commandment you broke? If I were going to confession, I would confess to "breaking the 6th Commandment" if I were embarrassed and wanted to hide something. That is surely not a healthy attitude to have towards the Sacrament.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:17 am 
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There's no need to make confession more difficult. What tAnGo said is sufficient. If you want to do more, fine, but it's not at all obligatory.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:24 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
There's no need to make confession more difficult. What tAnGo said is sufficient. If you want to do more, fine, but it's not at all obligatory.

I'm not trying to make it more difficult; I have never heard that one can go to confession and run down a list of the commandments one broke and the number of times that one broke them.

Fr. John Trigilio wrote:
"Number, Kind & Species", we were told in the seminary. It is necessary that you and I orally confess ALL mortal sins since our last confession AND the circumstances which would make them worse or perhaps lessen our culpability. Hence, confessing fornication would be in order but if it were with a minor (young adult), that would make it even worse and that extra information should also be confessed. Confessing that you stole something valuable would be required but if what you stole was the gold ciborium from the tabernacle of a Church, that extra information is necessary as you have also committed sacrilege. Likewise, a chronic problem normally reduces SOME though not ALL culpability, therefore, the frequency of the sin must be known by the confessor. Ergo, to ask penitents to merely confess "selfishness" rather than specifically confessing that "I stole money from my mother's purse on several occasions" would be INACCURATE and WRONG. Number and circumstance can decrease responsibility OR intensify and aggravate the evil already done.


Ref: http://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/COMMUNAL.TXT

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:29 am 
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I have not yet taken the class in penance, so I somewhat defer to Fr. Trigilio, but I nevertheless point out that his statement is not necessarily in conflict with mine. If a confessor needs to know more, he can ask.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:35 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
If a confessor needs to know more, he can ask.

Of course, but why would one want to make him ask?

Is that why everyone in front of me in line for confession takes so long? :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:24 pm 
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Can a Catholic thats been away from the Church,been divorced,and married a divorced woman go to confession? I know I cant take the Eucharist,so I was wondering about confession?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:34 am 
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You bet you can, chuckster. Make an appointment with a priest (for it may take longer than normal time for confession will permit), make your confession, and your sins will be forgiven.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Thank you sir!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Man, that was some serious lag-time between question, answer, and thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:04 pm 
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I'm not sure Wilco98 is correct. In order for one's confession to be valid one must have a firm purpose of amendment. "I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin" as we say in the Act of Contrition. Someone who is living in an irregular marriage can't really say this. I would defer to a priest, but I am fairly certain that those who are living in irregular marriages cannot go to confession either.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:33 pm 
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Fr. Z. has some handy tips here.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:30 pm 
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dcs wrote:
I'm not sure Wilco98 is correct. In order for one's confession to be valid one must have a firm purpose of amendment. "I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin" as we say in the Act of Contrition. Someone who is living in an irregular marriage can't really say this. I would defer to a priest, but I am fairly certain that those who are living in irregular marriages cannot go to confession either.


I am obviously not an authority on this but this was my understanding as well. Outside of marrying a divorced woman, this describes my father perfectly and I know he has not received any of the sacraments in 23 or 24 years.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:57 pm 
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I would recommend that a person in such a situation at least talk it over with a priest in the confessional. Advice from people on a message board should not be considered definitive when dealing with eternal salvation.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Anyone got a pep talk for one's first confession? I got a few months but imagining saying some of my sins is still striking some fear in me? I know I am going to do it because I'm looking at it either telling th priest everything or facing the fires of hell. I know that is not the virtuous way to look at it but I guess it helps when you have unneccessary fear to remember some real fear.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:59 am 
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The priest has heard it all before. The priest is not there to judge you (that is for Another) but to give you absolution.

Jesus wants to forgive your sins. Remember, He is there in that Confessional waiting to give you His Mercy. No sin you have committed is greater than His Mercy.

There is one sin I had to confess, that I must admit, just having to to say it aloud to another person has been a great detriment to committing it again. I never want to have to confess it again! :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:04 am 
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Remember that the priest goes to confession too. He's probably going to treat you how he would like to be treated.

And FWIW, I am told that priests really don't remember what they were told in confession--they all run together before long.

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