Can mortal sins be forgiven without confessing?

By March 16, 2015 7 Comments

Full Question

Can mortal sins be forgiven without actually going to confession?


Sacramental confession is normatively required for the forgiveness of mortal sins; it is not absolutely required. What this means is that, in extraordinary circumstances, mortal sins can be forgiven outside of sacramental confession. If a Catholic is dying and cannot go to sacramental confession, his mortal sins may be forgiven if he repents with true contrition (i.e., sorrow for sin) and has at least the implicit intention to go to sacramental confession if the opportunity is made available.


  • Suzi says:

    Gaining God’s approval is not too difficult and can be between God and the person asking for forgiveness, not through Sacramental confession, which is a man made idea not God’s!
    According to the Bible, all humans are sinners. We inherited the tendency to sin from the first man, Adam. Thus, we sometimes do bad things and may later regret what we did. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, paid for our sins by dying for us. His ransom sacrifice made forgiveness possible. It is a gift from God.—Read Romans 3:23, 24.
    Some people have committed gross sins and wonder whether God can forgive them. Happily, the Word of God says: “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) God willingly forgives even serious sins if we have a proper, repentant attitude.—Read Isaiah 1:18.
    What must we do to be forgiven?
    If we want God to forgive us, we need to learn about him—to understand his ways, his advice, and his requirements. (John 17:3) God generously forgives those who repent of their misconduct and try to change.—Read Acts 3:19.
    Gaining God’s approval is not too difficult for us. He understands our weaknesses. He is merciful and kind. Does not his loving-kindness make you want to learn more about how to please him?—Read Psalm 103:13, 14.

  • BC says:

    When they mean “cannot go to sacramental confession”. In what circumstances? Will too scared to confess to a priest is one of them? A Priest once said, once you say “.I am not worthy but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’ is good enough. Please advise? Because I confess every month? But this is allowed, then why do I have to go to a priest?

  • Lea Leger says:

    You are wrong. Jesus said to the apostles at Pentecost, Recieve the Holy Spirit, if you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them, if you held them bound they are held bound (John 20 v 21-33) This expression of confession of sins to a priest to receive the sign of God’s healing and forgiveness is called by the church the Sacrament of Penance or reconciliation. Jesus intended this power to be exercised not only the apostles but also by their successor for the good of sinners.

  • Mark Bratek says:

    You forget to mention all sins regardless of severity will be forgiven by participating in Divine Mercy Sunday.

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