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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Feel free to submit a new question or concern in the comment box below.  Various topics and questions are archived here for easy retrieval.  Please be courteous.  God bless you!

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NEW MESSAGES/HOMILIES   CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS   DEFENDING THE FAITH

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3,419 Responses

  1. Father, at my last confession when I prayed the act of contrition, I wasn’t sure of the words and said I loved God with my whole heart while wondering if I really meant it. The words should have been who is deserving of all my love. Did I lie and invalidate the confession? Nan

    FATHER JOE: Wording varies, what matters is contrition or sorrow.

  2. Is it a sin to bring snacks for kids into a movie theater.

    FATHER JOE: Is there a clear visible rule against it? We are compelled to follow just laws, but this sounds like a question of variable policy over etiquette more than a moral quandary.

  3. I am a Catholic who fell away in my late teens and have been civilly married and divorced twice. I am now 50 and live alone and have turned back to my faith and attend Mass regularly. Will I be allowed to receive the Sacraments? Particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Thank you in advance for your answer.

    FATHER JOE: Yes, go to confession tomorrow. Make this a great Easter!

  4. Hi,
    Can you pray the rosary completely by only praying one set of mysteries? Or in order to say you’ve prayed the rosary once, do you have to pray all four sets of mysteries? Thanks.

    FATHER JOE: If one prays a single series of mysteries you are regarded as having done your daily rosary. The complete rosary is signified by the Joyous, Sorrowful, Glorious, and now the Luminous mysteries. That is why certain consecrated religious wear enormous rosaries with all the appropriate decades.

  5. Dear Father,

    Yesterday, Holy Thursday, for a brief moment I thought that it was a holy day of obligation. I panicked because I knew that I would most likely not be able to attend church due to a family dinner. Then I realized it was not a holy day of obligation. I fear that I still committed a sin, because for the brief moment where I thought it was obligatory, I knew that I most likely was not going to go. There was still a slight “will” of not going. Please respond and let me know. Thank you so much and God Bless.

    FATHER JOE: You worry too much. There was no serious matter… thus no sin.

  6. Hello Father,
    This is a bit of a dumb question, but it came up in a conversation with a friend and I started wondering about it – would it be a sin to eat Sacramental bread as a snack?

    FATHER JOE: If it were consecrated it would be a mortal sin. Otherwise it is just unleavened bread.

  7. Dear Fr
    Thanks for your answer.Yesterday,my priest said “filial fear means If we revered someone, we try to be careful not to offend the person. That is the way we should be with God.”.Actually,i’ve done this many times but i still fall into same sin(masturbafion n pornography addiction) and sometimes i give up and feel sad because i’ve offend God.

  8. Hi, I am a romance writer and, though I keep my work non-explicit and I don’t write scenes beyond kissing, sometimes it’s stimulating for me to read my own kissing scenes, which can be very passionate. The way I write them is intended to inspire an emotional response, but that can often also translate into a physical one. Is it wrong for me to read over my work while knowing it will cause that response from me? I don’t desire it, it actually kind of frustrates me because I can’t get through reading those scenes without wondering if I’m doing something wrong. I’m not tempted into lustful thoughts or anything, but is it still a near occasion of sin for me? Is it sinful to share the story with others?

    FATHER JOE: It is not wrong to write such stories that reflect the human condition. You just have to be aware of the boundaries between worthwhile stories and exploitive literature.

  9. THE BEAUTIFUL HANDS OF A PRIEST
    We need them in life’s early morning,
    we need them again at its close;
    We feel their warm clasp of friendship,
    we seek them when tasting life’s woes.
    At the altar each day we behold them,
    and the hands of a king on his throne
    Are not equal to them in their
    greatness; their dignity stands all alone;
    And when we are tempted and wander
    to pathways of shame and sin,
    It’s the hand of a priest that will absolve
    us—-not once, but again and again;
    And when we are taking life’s partner,
    other hands may prepare us a feast,
    But the hand that will bless and unite
    us is the beautiful hand of a priest.
    God bless them and keep them all holy
    For the Host which their fingers caress;
    When can a poor sinner do better than
    to ask Him to guide thee and bless?
    When the hour of death comes upon us
    may our courage and strength be increased.
    By seeing raised over us in anointing the
    beautiful hands of a priest!

    Author Unknown

  10. Hi Fr. Joe ,,,, what do you think of THIS?

    FATHER JOE: I do not believe it. I would not take the word of this dissenting priest.

  11. Thanks for answering my question. every times i tried to repent and make a perfect act of contrition,i still committed the same sin and i always thought that i would be in hell because of my habit.It is because i had an addiction and scruples in my life(every time i commit the same sin,automatically i thought i would be in hell if die).So,my question is how to have a filial fear and fear of the lord(because of love) and how to prevent scrupulous?

    FATHER JOE: Here is a good article: Scrupulosity And How To Overcome It.

  12. I am fasting for Lent. I have fasted Mondays through Saturdays and have not fast it on Sundays. I see that lent is over on Holy Thursday. Does that mean that I stopped fasting even though I have not fast it for a full 40 days?

    FATHER JOE: Good Friday is a mandated day of fast and abstinence.

  13. Hi. I have read that when a person is not yet able to receive the sacrament of confession, he can use the act of contrition. What are filial fear and perfect contrition and how does one make an act of contrition?

    FATHER JOE:

    The wording for a good act of contrition:

    “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.”

    Imperfect contrition is linked to a fear of punishment, i.e. the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. It is filial fear that stands behind perfect contrition. The person loves God so intensely that there is a sense of dread at causing offense. Each of us should be sorry for dishonor given to God “who is good and deserving of all [our] love.”

  14. Hi,
    On Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, are we allowed to do homework and study? Should we refrain from doing everyday things like that, because we should be thinking about Jesus?

    FATHER JOE: There is no prohibition about study. Some time should be allotted for family, prayer and worship.

  15. Dear Father Joseph

    May I ask the main motive the prophet Jonah flees to Tarshish?
    Is he trying flees from the presence of the Lord or
    he refues to bring God message to the great city of Ninevah because he knew that the northern ten-tribes will be destroyed by Assyrian years later (in 722BC).

    Thank you Father
    Melissa

    FATHER JOE:

    Why did Jonah run away? It cannot be ruled out that Jonah was fearful as to what the Assyrians would do to him. The task was daunting and dangerous. He would certainly be ridiculed. But he might also suffer injury and death. Of course, the prophet might not want to admit his fearfulness.

    It is worthy of note that Jonah tries to run away from God and from the mission before him. Tarshish is a world away from the Jewish tribes and Assyria. It is evident that he does not want to obey. Nevertheless, he cannot escape the call of his God.

    The Assyrians were not only idolaters but as a militant kingdom they had designs upon Israel. Quite frankly, the prophet hated them and wanted to leave them to the downfall of their own making. He could not fathom why God would want to save them. Instead of mercy, Jonah wanted to see them destroyed.

    When the people of Nineveh repented, look at both the response of God and that of Jonah 3:10-4:2: “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out. But this greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first toward Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, repenting of punishment.”

    (While we often imagine the sign of Jonah mentioned by Christ as the connection between “the big fish” and “the tomb”; there might be an entirely different sign implied as well.) Jonah was called to bring the mercy of God to his enemies. Jesus would bring his forgiving dispensation to the very sinners that would deny and crucify him. The message of Jonah went to a foreign people. The Gospel of Christ would embrace a new people, Jews and Gentiles alike. All who would repent and believe in the Lord might be spared.

  16. Hi Father,

    I’ve seen a few people who go up for communion; and they do not consume the Eucharist straight away, instead they take it to their seat; pray a while; or continue with the hymns and after all this then they consume the Eucharist. Is that okay?

    FATHER JOE: No, it is not okay. It is a serious violation of the proscribed ritual. You should tell your pastor. The communicant who takes communion in the hand must consume it while facing the priest, deacon or other minister.

  17. Dear Fr Joe,
    When reading the readings at Mass do we read the sentences in red before the reading itself?
    Thanks for your blog.
    God bless you father.

    FATHER JOE: We do not all have the same lectionary books so I do not know what you mean by words in red. What words?

  18. Hi Father,
    My spiritual director recommended using centering prayer as an option for connecting with God. I haven’t tried it yet because I have read on different websites that it is pagan, and therefore, dangerous.

    What should I do? Can I still trust my spiritual director?

    Thank you, Father.

    FATHER JOE:

    I would hesitate to say anything that might damage your relationship with your spiritual director. Admittedly there are many critics of so-called “centering prayer.” A number of those who are critical might be likened to poor painters who use overly sweeping brush strokes. The good is condemned with the bad. The problem is one of definition. What does one mean by centering prayer?

    The Holy See is rightly concerned about the intrusion of Oriental forms of prayer and meditation that conflict with how we approach God as Christians. There is also the worry that certain centering exercises are like navel gazing, they might draw us into ourselves (a spiritual narcissism) but not outward to the transcendent mystery that calls us into relationship. I am not a fan of Fr. M. Basil Pennington and feel that some of his ideas about “centering” prayer were targeted by the Holy See a number of years ago. But, of course, that would not negate the value of many of his other writings and reflections.

    My experience of “centering prayer” is really in terms of preparation or as a disposition for true prayer and meditation. First, we must seek absolution from sin. The person in mortal sin is spiritually dead and ours is the God of the living, not the dead. Even venial sin should be healed by proper contrition and amendment of life. Otherwise, we are like a man trying to see without his glasses or to hear without his hearing aid. Imagine that we are bowls or cups. We have to spill out that which is not God so that there is room in us as vessels for the divine presence. Second, if we are to hear the voice of God then we must escape the noise, worries and busy-ness of the world around us. This is where such an effort might assist us to find an interior silence. We can be so full of ourselves that we fail to make room for God. We must be intensely centered upon the divine presence. Almighty God is always the object of Christian prayer. Meditation and ultimately contemplation brings us into a special communion with God that words would be hard-pressed to describe. It is only in Jesus Christ that God can be identified with his creation; however, the divine presence and power sustains all that exists. As children of God, God has given us grace so that we might be transformed into the likeness of Christ. This starts as with a seed planted at the very depths of our being. The “center” or purpose or meaning of all things is found in the Lord. This truth is enunciated at the very beginning of the Decalogue. We are made for God. We belong to him. The Lord Jesus plants his heart and mind into his faithful disciples. We read the Scriptures and the reflections of others and our stories enter into or join the stories of others. Indeed, we find ourselves within the great story of salvation.

    Eastern and New Age meditation might share “passivity” in efforts at contemplation, but Christian prayer will always insist that there is no “negation” or “nothingness.” The Christian kerygma has content and a supreme object that takes the initiative in communing with us. Here is where we find the famous visions of the saints, like the crucifixion drawing of St. John of the Cross or the tossing aside of the Summa by St. Thomas Aquinas as just “so much straw.” We seek to understand God as best as finite creatures can; but ultimately, the infinite God who reveals himself to us is still veiled in mystery. Further, there is a difference with Christianity as to what a religion like Buddhism believes in regards to “losing oneself.” We are not an indistinguishable drop of water that falls into the ocean. We surrender ourselves to God so as to find ourselves— to become more truly what we have been called to be. Our destiny is neither cyclical nor doomed to absorption and forgetfulness. Rather, the story of salvation is linear— we are summoned to rebirth in Christ and to everlasting life. The meaning of life is that we are to know, to love, to serve and to find happiness in God forever. All Christian prayer must reflect this high calling to live with the Lord as children in the royal household of God.

  19. Father I may sound silly but I thought of something. Please give me an answer.
    I have a question about homosexuals entering the priesthood. I heard that If a homosexual conceals his sexual orientation from the seminary or authorities, according to the Vatican Document it’s a grave deception. Which I understand that it’s the first condition that states that it’s a mortal sin perhaps. If a homosexual who can control his sexual orientation by not indulging in sex isn’t that enough, what if he’s a religious and pious man but has some fears and anxieties. Does it mean that he’s going to hell if he dies? Is it so serious. Now in our Indian culture going for priesthood is a big decision and anyone coming or being sent back is a big shame, if there’s a homosexual who can control and abstain from sex and is pious and devoted to the Lord, because of the fear of prejudice which is obvious, rejection from the seminary and the society and bad name or perhaps scandal conceals his orientation even when asked. The Church States that it’s a grave matter. The person knows the situation and gravity of sin but conceals his orientation due to the fear of rejection
    ..bad name or perhaps scandal. Doesn’t that exempt him from the condition of Deliberate Consent. Because if he could he would have otherwise not joined the Priesthood though he has felt the calling but after telling everyone about his decision how can he turn back. What if he turns out to be one of the Catholic Saints or one of the best priest’s. I am not saying that the person is exempted from sin, in such a case he is definitely guilty of vineal sin. But please tell me,isn’t he guilty of Vineal and NOT mortal sin?
    Thank you.

    FATHER JOE:

    There are serious differences of opinion about the current policy. Many would contend that as a candidate for Holy Orders it is enough for a man (homosexual or heterosexual) to remain faithful and celibate.

    Under Pope Benedict XVI the matter was revisited and the mind of the Holy Father was that the exclusion should be absolute. I cannot say that the policy is everywhere in force; but, at least on paper, the verdict is that homosexual men are not suitable candidates for the priesthood. Much is made of the psychology of men and how they relate to their flocks.

    The Church would not speak of the disorientation as a sin. Rather, the weight or moral gravity for sin is attributed to misbehavior.

    If a man remains virginal throughout his life, and if he avoids affectations associated with the homosexual community, would the issue ever even come up? I recall a friend in seminary who told his bishop about his disorientation and was immediately expelled from the seminary. Until he told me, I had no idea that he was “gay” and he always acted as a perfect gentleman. He wept because while he was chaste a number of the men who were not, and failed to be honest with their bishops, were moving forward toward ordination. It seemed terribly unjust. Dissenters would achieve their goal and a faithful son of the Church would not. Admittedly, the subject of homosexuals was never on my radar, and after my friend’s admission, I talked with my spiritual director and did reading upon the subject. Throughout most of my formation I just assumed that most if not all seminarians were heterosexuals like me. I did not want inherited prejudices to destroy my friendship with a good friend and one of the finest Christian men that I knew.

  20. Dear Father Joe: Does God has any emotion?

    Thank you.
    Melissa

    FATHER JOE: Jesus in his humanity, yes. But God as God, no.

  21. Reverend Father, I know that the Church permits icons of Jesus and Mother Mary.

    Speaking about the image of Jesus, worshiping the image of Jesus as God in and of itself is idolatry. But when we generally pray or try to worship God and connect to him in prayer. We call to our mind the images of Jesus. That is not a vision that we are experiencing. It’s the same image that we are forbidden to worship as God.
    We call to our mind the images of Jesus in prayer and worship it as God. Is that OK. I asked many Catholics and they said that they recollect one or the other image of Our Lord and worship it in the mind. Because no one had seen Jesus. So what we have been doing from small age we continue. I wanted to know is that image worship. Or is it the correct way to worship. If it’s image worship then how come we can worship God without any figure in mind?

    FATHER JOE:

    Not only icons, but other types of depictions or images as well are permitted within Catholic liturgies and devotion.

    One might be consumed by the image of the crucifix. Many are similarly moved by depictions of the sorrowful Mother. Indeed, the proper depiction of the Divine Mercy image is an integral part of the devotion revealed by God to Sister Faustina. We would not worship a thing of plaster or stone or wood or plastic or canvas and paint. It is precisely what it depicts that moves the soul. The phantasm presented to the mind is not isolated or detached from the sacred which it signifies. While not the same as the real presence of the Eucharist, there is a genuine signification made manifest. We gaze upon the Cross or the wounded Sacred Heart of Jesus and are made aware of the terrible price Christ paid in propitiation for all the world’s sins. Thus I would contend that it is misleading to say that idolatry would necessarily be committed by the worship of the Lord when facing a fashioned image of Jesus or the Cross. There is a level of remembrance here that transports the soul to the pivotal moment of salvation history. Something of the veil is lifted between this world and the next. Indeed, on Good Friday the congregation comes forward to honor and to kiss a cross or crucifix. It is often called the worship or adoration of the Cross.

    I suspect I know what you want to say but you miss the mark. An overly rigorist prohibition would go against the grain of Catholic piety and tradition. The demarcation between Judaism and Catholic Christianity is over the meaning and identity of Jesus Christ. The incarnation changes the economy of images that is reflected in the original version of the Decalogue and the commandment against idolatry. The original prohibition would also include the visible Christ who comes among us in his human nature. That is why Caiaphas tears his cloak during the interrogation of Christ. He cannot accept that the Son of God stands before him. He shouts that “the Lord your God is one” and condemns Jesus to face his fate at the hands of the Romans. (Similarly, that is why the Jews along with Christians refused to worship Caesar as divine. While wrong about Jesus, about this the Jews and their leadership were correct.) Jesus is truly a divine person who enters the human family. A human continence now reveals something of the face of God. Similarly, in the transfer of idioms, we can speak of the crucifixion as God dying on the Cross. God as a perfect Spirit cannot die; but such remains a mysterious truth of Christ’s incarnation. Something of the creature can now convey something of the Creator. By extension, this would also include inspirational vistas of nature, statues, paintings, and even modern media like film or video.

    The adoration of the Eucharistic host would be similar to the worship rendered to Christ in his earthly life by a few of the more enlightened. The sacrament contains the real presence of Jesus— his substance, albeit behind the accidents or appearances of bread. There can be no idolatry in this regard. When it comes to the adoration of the Cross (crucifix), we must remember that the cross is the sacred sign of faith in which believers are marked. More than any other symbol, it immediately expresses the price of our redemption. Idolatry or sin in its regard would be either to subtract it of faith-meaning or to reduce it to a talisman of superstition. Thus, the pop star who relegates the crucifix to costume jewelry, the foolish person who treats it as a good luck charm or the occultist who employs it as an element in satanic worship denigrates its true meaning and purpose.

    If you doubt what I say or if I am unclear, here are some citations from the Church’s universal catechism:

    [2112] The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of ‘idols, of silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.’ These empty idols make their worshippers empty: ‘Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.’ God, however, is the ‘living God’ who gives life and intervenes in history.

    [2113] Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, ‘You cannot serve God and mammon.’ Many martyrs died for not adoring ‘the Beast’ refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.

    [2114] Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who ‘transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.’

    [2129] The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: ‘Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure….’ It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. ‘He is the all,’ but at the same time ‘he is greater than all his works.’ He is ‘the author of beauty.’

    [2130] Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.

    [2131] Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787 AD) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons – of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new ‘economy’ of images.

    [2132] The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, ‘the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,’ and ‘whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.’ The honor paid to sacred images is a ‘respectful veneration,’ not the adoration due to God alone:

    Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.

  22. Hi,
    When you say “I am sorry for my sins” in the Act of Contrition in confession, does it mean you have to be sorry for all your venial sins, or just the ones you’re confessing? What if you’re sorry for only some venial sins?

    FATHER JOE: You cannot “pick-and choose” the sins for which you are sorry. You are either contrite, or you are not. All sin, venial or mortal, is an offense to almighty God.

  23. Dear Fr. Joe, Just a follow-up on the Rosary beads saga. I returned them this morning to the gift store. The lady took a close look and was as surprised as I was. She immediately removed all that type of beads from the shelf and said she would contact the buyer to inform them of this defect. She also replaced my beads with a better replacement.

    I hope other Catholic gift stores have not received defective Rosary beads. It is very easy to miss small details like this.

    I have learned from my own experience that praying the Rosary is absolutely vital to my faith and my avoiding sin. If I fall away from the Rosary, I am wide open to spiritual attack.

    Thank God, I now have a beautiful set of Rosary beads and I can get back to praying the daily Rosary with the help of these beads.

    Hail Mary, full of grace! Help me to never again stray from the daily prayers of the Holy Rosary.

  24. Dear Fr. Joe, I have two questions.

    (1) I bought new Rosary beads today, as I need to get back into the practice of daily Rosary prayers. This particular Rosary looked OK in the church gift store. But when I got home, I looked more closely at the writing above the figure of Jesus. I must have assumed it was INRI written vertically, but it looks more like 1XX1 or perhaps 1XXI. It definitely does not say INRI.

    I am planning to return this to the gift store and hopefully I will get a refund so I can get a better one. What concerns me is that I have read about New Age or even Satanic Rosary beads. I would say it is meant to have INRI but it is way off, at least in the N and the R.

    My question is have you heard about this happening before, and do you suspect this Rosary is intentionally made wrongly, with some kind of bad intention in the choice of lettering?

    FATHER JOE: I suspect it is just a defect in manufacturing.

    (2) I had a strange confession today. It was not very long, and I had a few sins written down on a 3×5 card so I would not forget. But I blanked out during my confession, in other words I was not aware enough at one point of what I was confessing, and so when I left the confessional I could not remember whether I had confessed everything. I believe this never happened to me before. This is why I write things down, so I won’t get nervous and forget something.

    It was quite busy and the priest was hurrying me along so other people could confess. But I should have been able to get through it with no problem.

    Because it’s so busy and there is going to be a very long line of people wanting to confess, I don’t want to go back and re-confess unless it’s truly necessary. If I go back and say my last confession was yesterday, I suppose the priest will be annoyed with me, given how busy it is.

    It’s strange that I may or may not have confessed at least one particular sin, so I’m not sure how to handle it correctly. Would your advice be to go ahead and go to confession again, and just say honestly that I blanked out during part of my previous confession?

    Perhaps this is related to the common question, what do you do when you just totally forget a sin. This is different from writing it down and then going into some kind of mental fog.

    What I have read to the question about forgetting are the two following answers. Which one is correct? They can’t both be correct! I wish someone could give a definitive answer once and for all.

    Answer #1: If you honestly forget, but intended to make a good confession, then your forgotten sin is forgiven, so do not worry about it any more.

    Answer #2: same as Answer #1, except that some people say that it is forgiven, but even so you should mention it in your next confession. This makes absolutely no sense to me. If it’s truly a forgiven sin, there is no need to confess it any more, is there? I really think it’s confusing when people say it’s forgiven, but you should “mention it” anyway! And is this a firm requirement, or just a suggestion?

    Thank you.

    FATHER JOE: Forgotten sins are forgiven if a sincere effort is made at confession. Mortal sins left unconfessed, even though absolved through confession or through general absolution, are to be confessed the next time you go to the sacrament. This allows for counsel and possibly for greater penance for the sake of temporal punishment.

  25. Hello Father! Is it a sin to watch shows that have a lot of sexual innuendos? (I’m thinking in particular of The Office)? I really like the show because of its humor. Also, one night while watching it I had an inappropriate sexual thought- would that make my watching the show a mortal sin? I think I only had the thought because of my scrupulosity- I didn’t bring on the thought- it was intrusive, but would it still be a mortal sin since I was watching that show and something sexual they said brought that thought that popped into my head?

    FATHER JOE: I have never seen the show. Innuendo in itself is not sinful, unless it is vulgar and detrimental to real persons.

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