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WhoDo_I_ListenTo wrote:

Hi, guys —

I received two different things in Confession and I'm scared that if I pick the one that I like better, I will invalidate my most recent Confession.

I asked a priest at my Newman center in Confession if I could watch a certain show. I told him how I avoided the sinful content and that, at worst, it would make my OCD spike up. This priest wasn't my normal confessor, nor was he assigned to the Newman Center but he knew me better than the more recent priest and we have talked every so often over the last year and a half. . . mostly in Confession. He told me it was fine. I have grown to really trust the priests at my Newman Center to give good advice.

Then I started worrying if some thoughts were OCD or real sin so I mentioned it in Confession. This different priest, who I've only confessed to twice before, told me I shouldn't watch it and that it was at least a near occasion of sin.

  • Who should I listen to?

In Confession, I wanted to listen and was planning on listening to the first priest so now I'm worried I invalidated the Confession. I would contact my Confessor but I won't see him much anymore since I graduated. Alternatively, I could continue watching until I can ask the priest at my home parish since he also knows me fairly well.

Sorry, it's just hard sorting through things when you get different opinions.


  { Which Confessor should I follow if they had different views and would both Confessions be valid? }

Mike replied:

Dear WhoDo_I_ListenTo,

You said:
I received two different things in Confession and . . .

I'm assuming you mean you received two different penances.

I would bring the questions and concerns you have asked us, to the next priest that hears your Confession.

That said, there is no way any Confession can be invalidated because the penitent has not performed the required penance given to him by the Confessor.

When you run into conflicting issues dealing with any aspect of a previous Confession, talk about that issue in the next Confession. Remember, in the sacrament of Confession, the Lord is speaking through the priest, so be at peace!

There should be no worry or concern by anyone who has left the Confession after hearing these words of absolution:

I absolve you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

I hope this helps,


WhoDo_I_ListenTo replied:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply!

It wasn't penances, but two different opinions/pieces of advice. I guess that's less important.

Anyway I am still listening to a priest, one who knows me better. I will mention it to the next priest I confess to, especially since I know who it will be with and the priest knows me pretty well.

Thanks again. I appreciate your help!


Mike replied:

Dear WhoDo_I_ListenTo,

Opinions and advice are different.

If you have had two different Confessors at two different Confessions and both times you brought up the same concern yet both Confessors had different views, share the views of the previous Confessor with with the latter Confessor and let the latter Confessor decide.

The only time one can invalidate the sacrament of Confession is if one willfully omits a mortal sin. If you just forget to mention a mortal sin, don't worry . . . just mention it next time you go to Confession and . . . if someone has invalidated the sacrament of Confession, they just have to mention this issue the next time they go to Confession.

There is no sin that cannot be forgiven in Confession.

The only unforgivable sin is when we play God and say: My sin cannot be forgiven.


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