25 May 2015 Uncategorized No comments

No to nuclear weapons, yes to nuclear technology – the Holy See's stance

In an effort to abolish the production of nuclear weapons worldwide, the Holy See is pushing an agreement – with a deadline – between nations, which zeros-in on…

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16 Jun 2016 Americas Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Cafod to keep Tina Beattie as adviser despite views on abortion

Aid agency Cafod is to keep Catholic academic Tina Beattie as a theological adviser, resisting pressure to sever links over her views on abortion. Tina Beatt…

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10 Sep 2015 Articles No comments



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30 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Were any of the Gospels written in Christ's own language?

Full Question Were any of the Gospels written in Aramaic, since Christ and the apostles spoke that language? Was Hebrew only spoken by the priests in the T…

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23 Feb 2016 News Vatican No comments

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi retires as head of Vatican's communication infrastructure

73-year-old Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi who has served as head of the Vatican's communication infrastructure since 1991 as its program director and since 20…

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02 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Why was our child denied anointing of the sick?

Full Question When our three-year old son was hospitalized with a serious medical condition, we sought the anointing of the sick for him. We were told that…

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08 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Vienna’s cardinal cautions against panic in face of refugee crisis

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna traveled to Nickelsdorf, a small Austrian town on the Hungarian border, after 71 migrants were discovered dead in a truck…

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30 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Woman executed despite Pope’s last minute appeal

Kelly Gissendaner was killed by lethal injection yesterday A woman has been executed in the US state of Georgia, despite pleas from Pope Francis for a commut…

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15 Oct 2015 Middle East News No comments

Parish priest discusses Christian life in Gaza

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has published an interview with Father Mario de Silva, the priest of Gaza’s only parish. “There are about 3000 Christians…

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What is the requirement regarding yearly confession?

Full Question

I have heard two different things regarding the requirement for yearly confession. One person said that we need to go to confession once a year only if we have committed a mortal sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that one must confess serious sins at least once a year (CCC 1457). One can commit a serious sin without it being a mortal sin. So what is exactly is the requirement?


The Catechism of the Catholic Church statement, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year” (CCC 1457), includes a footnote reference to the Code of Canon Law: “After having reached the age of discretion, each member of the faithful is obliged to confess faithfully his or her grave sins at least once a year” (CIC 989). “Grave sins” here means “mortal sins” so, accordingly, “serious sins” in the Catechism are to be understood as mortal. Keep in mind that for a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met: grave matter, full knowledge, and complete consent (cf. CCC 1857). A sin of grave matter which lacks either of the other conditions is not a mortal sin. In such a case the matter is grave but the sin is not. TheCatechism explains, “One commits venial sin . . . when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent” (CCC 1862).


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Where does the bible define the three parameters for a mortal sin?

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