Catholics/Was my confession valid?


I went to confession and I made an appointment because it was going to take a while. I told the priest it would be a while to confess my sins and he said something like he does not have time and I guess because I made the appointment like 1 hour before the office takes their lunch time. So I told him it doesn't have to be all today and I could confess whatever I could. And I didn't finish, I still had more sins to confess so I will confess next time.
However, even though I tried my best and I sincerely wanted to confess all my sins I knew that I wouldn't be able to. I am struggling with my scrupulosity which my confessor knows about already,and I am going over my head if I made a valid confession. I think I have since I was sincere, I wasn't trying to hide anything and I would have confessed all of my sins if I had had the time.

Yes you confession was valid.

Stop worrying about it.

God didn't give us the gift of Confession so people can sit and brood over whether their Confession was valid.  In other words--the Sacrament was meant to free you and reveal God's love.  God does not intend for people to worry about the validity of their confessions.  

As long as you have an intent to confess all sins you are conscious of at the time, especially Mortal Sins, that is all that is necessary.  If through no fault of your own you were not able to finish--because the priest had to leave, etc, you are covered.  

A priest should not make an appointment for Confession then not let the person finish.  If it were me and I had to go quickly I would have said "Tell me the sins you want to tell me.  We can do spiritual direction later if you wish, because right now I don't have time for spiritual direction."

Keep in mind however--confession is not spiritual direction.  They are related, but nonetheless distinct. When going to Confession you confess your sins.  If there is time, spiritual direction can be part of it.  However, if you want spiritual direction to be part of the confession it is helpful to make an appointment.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Father Dave Bechtel


I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.


I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

©2017 All rights reserved.