Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Pat Brown wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been to Confession where I have confessed immoral acts and thoughts and have been truly sorry for these sins.

  • Since Jesus knows what I am confessing, will I still be forgiven even though I haven't told the priest exactly what I did?

God Bless,

Pat Brown

  { Since Jesus knows anyway, will I still be forgiven though I didn't tell the priest exactly what I did? }

Bob replied:

Dear Pat,

Thanks for the question.

If you mean to say that you said to the priest in Confession,

"I had immoral thoughts and did some immoral acts.",

but didn't say what they were, you may need to clarify what you said a bit at your next Confession.

It is OK to say something like impure thoughts without going into all the detail about those thoughts, but you don't want to hide the nature of the thoughts all together.

It is not enough to say immoral thoughts, because that could range from anywhere from:

  • doing something mean to somebody
  • to planning a murder.

    There is a big difference in between those actions.

So, without using too much detail explain the categories of your sins.

For example,

"I had sexual thoughts and didn't dismiss them", or I did impure acts with myself, or masturbated", or whatever.

You don't need to describe the details (Jesus knows all that) but our Lord does want you to name the offense so that the priest (in Jesus' name) can explicitly forgive it and may give you good counsel on avoiding the sin in the future, not to mention a proper penance.

A good Confession is honest, not graphic so don't withhold information because of the embarrassment.

The priests have heard it all before.


Bob Kirby

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.