10 Sins That Must Be Confessed Before Receiving the Holy Eucharist

 Fr. Hollowell: Should You Stop Receiving Holy Communion?


By Fr. John Hollowell:

No Holy Communion for you

Do you need to go to confession first?

You can’t receive the Eucharist if you’ve:

1) Missed a weekend or Holy Day Mass without a valid reason
2) Having sex outside of marriage, with yourself (masturbation) or someone else
3) desecrated the Eucharist
4) haven’t been to confession in a year
5) Use artificial birth control – condoms, pills, patches, IUD’s, etc
6) sponsor or help in any way with an abortion or any destruction of an embryo
7) Murder
8) Hate/Anger
9) Lust after someone
10) Pride, Greed, Sloth, Envy

etc. etc. The list is not exhaustive, and any sin that we have meditated on before hand, understood its gravity and still chosen to do it can be a deadly sin.

Blogger Note:   Numbers 8 through 10 would depend mostly upon the gravity of the sin.

C.C.C. 1857    For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”131

1 Corinthians 11:27  27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

Don’t step out of bounds…and by all means…if you do…get back in bounds through confession! Don’t desecrate the Eucharist and receive it as some sort of prize you’ve earned simply by showing up for Mass!


Slight editing.

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82 comments to 10 Sins That Must Be Confessed Before Receiving the Holy Eucharist

  • Joe

    Why does the Catholic Church make Holy Communion available on Fridays during Lent?

  • Dr Mike

    According to the list, nobody can receive Communion: Missed church – Sex outside of marriage – Masturbation – Hate – Anger – Lust – Pride – Greed – Sloth – Envy. Everyone has at least one of these on their list. The word “Communion” in the Bible is the Greek word for “Fellowship” [koinónia]. It is probably the very thing you need while you are furiously checking off your items on this list. Communion is spirit-to-Spirit fellowship with God, and it is the very thing people need when they look at the list and see themselves on it. Tell a sinner he can’t receive Communion? Why don’t you just kick him out of the church? And if you kick out all of the admitted sinners, the only ones left will be the liars!

  • KJ

    I hope you will now go to confession regularly. It is so good for your soul. Once you start going you will want to go more regularly. Many graces are given and you will go stronger! Don’t give up or ever feel bad about what you did not know. Many of us are “cradle Catholics.”
    Buy the “Chatechism of the Catholic Church” preferably the one revised by Pope John Paul II
    Liberia editrice vaticana
    You will learn much! There’s also a great website called “formed”
    Ask your parish or call around to others to see if they subscribe to get the passcode. It’s worth it.
    Blessings and Happy Easter

  • Christopher O. Cawaling

    I think we must aware on our dailly life and movements, those ten sins are really unpleasing to our King and God, believe that if we still have this sins we are unhappy or not in peace. It is a great sins mortal, if we die with those sins we will go to HELL, so if we recieve Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with sins we are also adding those sins we had. So in order for us to live without sins and peaceful life, we will need our Holy Mother, Mary, she will help us in our dailly life, so as to attend confession to ask forgiveness and do penance, there is none equal things in the comport and love of a Mother. So help me God…..Holy Face of Jesus, Have Mercy on us.

  • Anonymous

    The topic says, “4) haven’t been to confession in a year”.

    i thought confession is only required if you are in a state of mortal sin in order to receive The Holy Eucharist? ; outside of this i thought confession is technically optional. hence, i can still receive Communion even if it’s been years since i last been to confession as long as the sins i have committed are not mortal sins and only venial sins.

    i ask because in 2 days it will be a full year since i last been to confession but to my knowledge i have not committed any mortal sins since. so technically i should be okay to receive Communion, right?

    all i am concerned with is the official teaching(s) of the Catholic church as everything else is personal opinion on this matter.

    • My brother,

      Why would you cheat yourself out of receiving God’s grace?

      Hopefully this should help.


      2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

      2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

      The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83

      The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

      2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.85

      The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.86

      The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.87


      • Anonymous

        @ John Quinn ; So in other words… it appears i was mistaken and yearly confession (i.e. a bare minimum of once a year) is not optional, but we are obligated even if only venial sins are committed, correct?

        i just want to be certain is all. but the more i read that the more i think it’s true since the rest of what’s said there i am familiar with already and i know going to weekly Mass and holy days of obligation are not optional but we are obligated otherwise it’s a venial sin at the very least and potentially a mortal sin. i say potentially because, as i imagine you already know, the three things required for it to be a mortal sin can be difficult to determine whether someone truly crossed that line or not.

        it’s nice to see you quoted from ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ and i know that’s official church teachings. i found it here on the Vatican’s website… http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c3a3.htm

        but lets just say it takes me roughly another handful of weeks or so to get to confession… i would still be able to receive Communion in the meantime, correct? ; or should i refrain from Communion until i can get to confession since, technically, the next time i go to Mass it will be a little bit beyond a full year since it was Feb 6th 2016 the last time i went to confession and the next Mass would be Feb 11th 2017. but come to think of it, i think confession from 3:15-4pm and Mass is not long after at 4:30-5:30pm. so i might be able to just BARELY stick within the once a year confession rule, at least if that applies to receiving the Eucharist otherwise if you just count straight up it would be little over a year and then i might have slightly broke that rule.


        “Why would you cheat yourself out of receiving God’s grace?”

        Good point. i can’t fault this as that’s good advice and obviously going to confession too often is better than not enough. i was just wondering if i am technically in the clear or not is all or is yearly confession (like once a year bare minimum), even if only venial sins are committed, is not optional.

        but like i mentioned above, given i am already familiar with the rest of what’s said there, chances are i was wrong in what i thought and that it’s not optional. but it seems this is something many are confused on and if someone ever brings this up then i know exactly where to lead them now 😉

        but with that said… i just ain’t much of a social person in general (i imagine i got some form of social anxiety) so it’s not as easy for me to get to confession is all which i think is why i tend to delay confession etc as much as possible.


        Thanks for your quick reply (and also the EWTN link) as i did not really expect a reply, especially not that quickly.

        but speaking of that EWTN link it even talks about it a bit…

        “This sacrament is so important in our sharing in the life of Christ, the Church has even mandated its practice. To prevent laxity, the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 required that “every faithful of either sex who has reached the age of discretion should at least once a year faithfully confess all his sins to his own priest. He should strive as far as possible to fulfill the penance imposed on him, and with reverence receive at least during Easter time the sacrament of the Eucharist.”

        p.s. it’s kinda funny how i happened to stumble into this just shy of a full year since my last confession and you answered. but as they say God works in mysterious ways and i have a feeling this was His way of sending me a message and He used you to do it as i can’t imagine your answer being much more clear than it is 😉

        • Thank you for the kind words. My only response would be is to fall in love with confession. Don’t be afraid to make an appointment. God pays very well for small sacrifices.

          God bless,
          John Quinn

          • Anonymous

            I just had to reply again as i had another “coincidence” a moment ago as i was just listening to some homily on my computer from a priest who used to be in my area and he actually brought up that confession is one of the seven precepts you basically mentioned.

            he said, and i typed it word for word from a section of the homily…

            “so here are some of the reasons people don’t go to confession anymore. one, their not aware of their own sin. two, no one every told them that they need to go to confession once a year. it’s one of the seven precepts of the church. we go to confession once a year to make sure that our soul is worthy to receive Christ in the Eucharist. three, it’s essential for spiritual growth. because we hold ourselves accountable to the Church and we regularly examine our lives and root out sin. if you and i cannot repent and turn away from sin there is no forgiveness and if there is no forgiveness there is no salvation for us. no repentance, no forgiveness. no forgiveness, no salvation.” etc etc

            to sum it up… ill be going to confession this Saturday at regular confession time it appears 😉

        • Victor m ramos

          Let’s just say don’t play jeopardy with your soul by just doing the minimum. People go all out for social activities But when it come to good catholic practices they only meet God half way so what can we expect on Judgement day!!!

  • Someguy

    I believe you will not be judged unless you know that you are sinning. If you do not know the law, you will be judged by conscience.

  • John

    God bless us all. Let us lean not to our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct our paths.

  • Martin Kinyua Gatimu

    Martin Gatimu · Works at African Capital LIMITED
    My comment is based on something that happened on february 19-2016;John the baptist was full of holy spirit.And the bible says in John 4:23-24English Standard Version (ESV)

    23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
    So i felt besieged while still in office and i knew the hour for prayers has come & i went to the store & locked myself in darknes.I got in sleep and there come a spiritual man;whenever i tried to do the sign of cross the man run away;but when i did i mean i bowed my head in reciting glory be to the father;son ……to the holy spirit ,he came and knelt before me;but i tried a sign of cross the man run away.My question ;who came up with this sign of cross & basing my question on this vision is there something wrong with this vision?

  • […] Note (Courageous Priest website):   Numbers 8 through 10 would depend mostly upon the gravity of the […]

  • SP

    And what if you’re married to a non-Catholic, one who does not believe in NFP? Most mainline Protestant religions do not tell the couple what to use and not use for contraception. So how do you reconcile your RC faith and keep your marriage intact?

  • […] Note (Courageous Priest website):   Numbers 8 through 10 would depend mostly upon the gravity of the […]

  • Mother of 6 and 2 in heaven

    I love the Catholic church but I have a difficult time with the double sided and vague view on marital relations and having large families. The church so easily throws out there that woman should just use NFP until they figure out how to generate more money for more children as if both those ideas work. What if NFP isn’t working because of irregular cycles, temps and fluids and pregnancy needs to be avoided due to mother’s health (doctor says not to have anymore or babies would have a very high chance of miscarriage or premature birth at best and mother’s body is not recovering after so many pregnancies with long term health problems) and financially not able to keep up with an already large family? Is a married couple then suppose to not be together until they win the lottery so they can afford a house with enough room and money for food, healthcare and education for all the children they already have? Is it a sin to live off of government programs and keep having children? What does Pope Francis say again… Don’t breed like rabbits and don’t test God. So what do you do to stop that if you have no way to prevent pregnancy? And what if the husband doesn’t buy the whole idea that any form of contraception is a sin because abstaining from sex for an extended period of time is impossible? Should the wife put strain on her marriage by rejecting her husband? I understand and agree that abortion and hormonal birth control are a sin because they actually kill an already created baby. I just don’t understand the harm of a faithful married couple using condoms or the pull out method to prevent pregnancy. Where is the church’s mercy or understanding for struggling Catholic families?

    • Professor

      These are all thoughts I have had. I think you and I share a worldly view of these issues. At times when I take on a view of this from a more God-like perspective, many of these concerns change shape. First, the trust in God alters ones view of similar predicaments. There are no easy answers as this world claims to offer. Our Pope is a good man, but I have a hard time understanding his vague forms of communicating fairly black and white doctrine. Pastoral shouldnt translate to sowing confusion. That aside, it sounds like you are doing what my wife and I do. Discuss together, share together and enter the battle together. I have come to the understanding that convenience and comfort are worldly promises. Struggle and suffering are the practical realities we Catholcis accept in order to follow in Christ’s footsteps….as he did.

    • Carol

      The Lord our God will sustain u. My husband & I are both on disability, we have 11 children 26 – 5; we don’t have nor have we ever had a NEED that God himself did not supply! When God says enough, then its enough. I have a health condition where I was allowed to have a t implant to stop or slow my condition, but it also happens to stop pregnancy. Trust in HIM and he will never lead you astray. He loves you unconditionally and all He asks is that we have faith and trust,love in Him . That’s why it’s so important to align our will with His and to ask/pray for decernment.

    • Summer

      If NFP isn’t working for whatever reason, then you need to look into Pope Paul XI Institute. Dr. Thomas Hilgers started this wonderful place and they focus on Fertilty Care and helping women understand and work WITH their bodies. They teach the Creighton Model Fertility Care System and the doctors and nurses go over your charting and find any problems in your chart and then they do hormone therapy to get your cycles on perfect track. They can even tell by your charting if you have poly cystic ovaries, which hormones your are lacking and even if you are prone to miscarriage. It’s absolutely incredible. I myself have had every “female” problem you can imagine and my cycles were a wreck. After 11 years of suffering and searching for help from many doctors I found Pope Paul VI Institute. They find root problems that are causing your cycle and hormones to be out of whack. They had to do surgery to help me, but I was an extreme case. They can help no matter how large or small your issues. Ever since then my cycles have been on perfect track which is a miracle after 11 years of problems. I can see through my charting exactly what day I ovulate and which days are best whether trying to conceive or trying to avoid pregnancy. So my point is, no matter how irregular your cycle is, these people WILL help you. It is the answer to your questions. You can track your cycle exactly and you can effectively plan your family. Condoms do not allow you to give your whole self to your husband. God has intended for us to share our entire being with our spouse without barriers. Birth control is a terrible synthetic hormone that messes up your natural hormones not to mention most of them are abortifacients. Very damaging physically and spiritually. NFP and Pope Paul VI Institute IS the Catholic Church’s answer. It is an incredible gift and I wish this could be taught to young girls everywhere. I hope you’ll look into it and share it with family and friends. It’s wonderful for understanding and working with your body rather than fighting it which is what so many women sadly are doing.

    • Diane Duncan

      I love my Catholic Church too……….but I understand completely where Mother of 6 and 2 in Heaven is coming from. All of what she says is the way that I daresay a majority of devoutly prayerful, God-loving, people think as well. It’s not good for our Church to be making rules for the faithful to follow, when the rule makers are all Male, unmarried, and have no idea what strains are placed on families who try so hard to abide by rules. I totally disagree with the 10 things one must confess before receiving communion!!! To my knowledge, Jesus never excluded anyone from taking part in his teaching, or his love. Who made up the 10 things to confess? Another problem in the Church is the priest who refuses to baptize a baby because the parents aren’t active in the Church. Jesus and John the Baptist never refused baptism to anyone……why should our priests? I think that perhaps the hierarchy in our Church should have a word with themselves……and follow Pope Francis’ example to becoming a loving, understanding, comforting Church.

  • Leo Francis

    This is really a good way to inform catholics of what is confession and how they should go about in confessing their sins to priest. Some were thought in our school catechism but then as we grew up they were forgotten. So please stress on people going to confession frequently will help them spiritually and bring about peace within them within their families and they will receive the grace of God. So please my loving people if you are going to receive our lord in this state of sin as mentioned about the 10 sins. Please go for confession and you can see the relief and peace it will bring within you. remember the evil one will try to stop you from going to confession and also he will try his best to deceive you with all sorts of thoughts about confession. So please dont listen to him.
    so pray to our Mother Mary to help in confessing your sins. Praise God and I personally thank Fr. Hollowell. for his good advice.
    Yours in Christ Jesus
    Leo Francis.

  • Anna

    l raelly need to know if a couple who have done their traditional marriage but have not blessed their marriage in the catholic church receive the holy communion, even when they are baptised catholics and in a state of grace.Also making plans to bless their marriage in the church very soon.l am not always comfortable when am not able to receive the holy communion.please l need your urgent answer

    • Hello Anna,

      It sounds like you need to get your marriage blessed. Obeying your priest, will be rewarded greatly. What a blessing God has in store for your family. You can go to http://www.Catholic.com to find orthodox answers.

      God bless,

      John Quinn

    • Julie

      While I am not giving you permission to not go to Confession, I will tell you once I had the Convalidation on the schedule and went to Confession, my priest gave me permission to receive Communion again. It is worth it to fix what was not made properly, and even more worth it to go to Confession! I wish you God’s blessing in your plans 🙂

  • mary gormally

    Number 10 is too vague, or else excludes almost everyone from going to communion ever.
    Why specify artificial methods of contraception? What about withdrawal etc?

  • kathleen riney

    PLEASE, don’t flip out an answer like, “a good Confessor will help with that”! Because it’s going to take most RCs some time to find a “Confessor”, Period!

  • David Mortimer

    I believe if you receive with a contrite heart but have not been to confession it is still ok to receive but should try to get to confession as soon as one can . God knows are innermost thoughts .

  • Lindy

    I commend you for listing all these details about sin and confession. All too often these are not discussed often enough or clearly enough in detail in church or anywhere these days.
    I have been delighted that you bring these details to notice, some of which I myself was surprised about, and I have had to put my thinking cap on to go deeper and critically
    examine my past in a different way and more thoroughly. One problem is that, a priest who could spend enough time to go through and discuss many aspects of these worrying sins
    is difficult to find. I know priests are so overworked and especially if there is a long line of people waiting to confess. They have to be strong and rested to manage this wonderful
    God given gift of helping and saving others.
    I have found you can mention to 10 different priests at home, on pilgrimage or various churches you seek out, and they can have much varied comments on the same problem you ask about.
    Please continue to bring these important and urgent subjects to our notice.

  • Immanuel

    Mortal sin is to be washed away.But I am an erring soul, an easy prey to temptations.Less mortal sins.But silly sins abound.How can I get rid of this weakness?

    • David Mortimer

      Daily mass might help you.

    • Mary

      You are a human after all. But to eliminate the “silly” sins…… Which we all fall prey to, try selecting only ONE to concentrate on and avoid for 19 days. You’ll find yourself able to curb it when you are about to commit it. Remember, God knows your heart and will know you are trying not to sin.

  • Ignatius loyalo

    Good evenings
    Pl add me to your mail I’d

  • PMI

    The problem many of us have is justifying what we do (or fail to do). We rationalize, then we justify it. Yet in reality, no matter how much you rationalize and justify, sin is sin. You may coat quinine in sugar, it remains quinine at its base. At the end of the day, personal responsibility remains and each one remains personally responsible for what they do (or fail to do). If we make confession a part of our life and frequent it, it becomes easier to do it. Daily examination of conscience is the way to go. Blessings!

  • andi

    So, If I get mad in Church because the people behind me are trash talking so loudly that I can not pray before weekday Mass – and leave I have committed a Mortal Sin because I was angry?

    I am doomed.

  • JDizzle

    The problem with this list however is that the 8-10 delineation does not take into account the common ignorance factors and other factors that affect the gravity of “all” sins. As per the #2 for instance, the catechism mentions masturbation as a “grave disorder” and gives the pastoral advice that “one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.”


    ^Article 2352.
    On another note. The Church show’s this mercy to erring humanity recognizing the evil this sin is yet also knowing full well the danger and stumbling block it is for so many. If you are struggling with this sin and trying to get away from it, talk to your confessor. He will help you better than a mere across the board scrupulosity inducing list that has been dealt with at length by the catechism. On another note… If you indeed are brazen, careless, walking happily in the lusts and desires of your own heart you can than truly be sure confession will be necessary. There are so many pastoral scenarios that must be taken into account from time to time for at least “some” of the things listed herein. In the end I guess it is worthwhile to form a very close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He is your primary spiritual director and He shall guide you through a good confessor/spiritual director. Lord Jesus Christ, Have mercy on us sinners. Amen

  • charles otieno

    Hello to all, this debate is very healthy. However, i would like to remind ourselves of the existence of the Ten Commandments, and the definition and interpretation of each of the Ten. There are also Commandments of the Church. We should also remind ourselves of the fact that sins are classified into two categories, that is venial( lesser offenses), and mortal( deadly offenses)all these are well documented and published in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is also available online(also in Catholic online website). Catholics are advised to get themselves acquainted with this very important document rather than involve themselves in unnecessary baseless squabbles on a very grave matter of salvation.

  • EB

    I know I am a sinner. That being said, please pray for my wife. She has missed Mass on Sunday and Holy Days more often than not in the past several years. Sometimes it is because of work schedules (although she could get up earlier on Sunday to attend Mass before work), but most of the time it is simply because she said she is tired, which to my knowledge is not a valid reason for skipping Mass. Then when she does go to Mass, she receives Holy Communion. I have tried to speak to her about this, but it just causes an argument. So now I just keep my mouth shut to try to keep some peace in our home. She was a convert from the Presbyterian church, and I do not think her RCIA instructions was a rigorous and as it should have been. I have been praying for God and the Blessed Mother to open her eyes and heart to know that she is in a state of mortal sin and that she needs to know that she must go to Confession and then make sure that she goes to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day unless she is truly ill or for some other valid reason. Starting this week she will now have at least one weekend day off, so she will be able to attend Sunday Mass, but she still needs to know and understand that she must to go to Confession first and confess about missing Mass and then receiving Communion the few times that she does go to Mass. Please pray for her and our marriage and family. Thank you and God bless you!

    • Teresa

      EB…I so empathize with you on your situation with a loved one….many many of us are in this same position with our loved ones. It is hard to hang onto faith when one has prayed fervently for a relative for many years with still no ‘conversion of faith’ so to speak. It is truly hard to combat these ‘errors’ of Catholic teaching by some of our RCIA instructors and even some of our clergy. It’s like we are up against Goliath without even a sling shot. I once had a person in our Church that was involved with teaching RCIA (a respectable member and one of the ‘backbones’ of the Church by the way) make a passing remark that it was not a sin to miss Mass on Sunday! I was so shocked that I stood there mouth partially open but nothing would come out. This my dear friend, is what we are up against. ‘Leaders’ of our Parishes teaching and promoting falsehoods. Quite unbelievably devastating.

      I will pray for your wife and all of us in this terrible dilemma. I will pray, if you will do the same. Pray and fast for the clergy that they may be bold to teach the truth and not be blinded by Satan. We are quite literally up against the Father of Lies in our own precious Church.

  • John C. Leach

    Hi Father John,

    Going to confession once a year has never been required by the Church. What is required is that you receive the Eucharist at least once a year. Of course your can’t receive in the state of mortal sin and not going to confession as far as I know is not a mortal sin. Receiving the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin, is a sacrilege and you become personally guilty of the Crucifixion. The Church does ask that we try to go to confession at least once a month. Please let me know where I can find this information as I do teach an adult confirmation class and a Bible study class.

    God be with you always,


  • Camille Harman

    Thank you for educating people about this. When I came back to the Church as a revert in Jan. 2013 and started attending a progressive Catholic Church in the neighborhood I told the priest all of my current problems like being married outside the Church to an astrologer who won’t let me raise my kid Catholic. He dismissed all of these concerns. So did other priests. I finally wrote to the bishop and was sent to a priest who gave me the bad news, that in my state I could not receive the sacraments. I started attending the Latin Mass, where there is a long line for Confession every time before Mass. I am happy to watch and wait until one day I can receive again.

  • Martina Pellicciotta

    Mass is about the Eucharist ~ receiving Christ. If we, as fallible human beings are truly expected to be in such a state of “purity”, then it is only practical and right, for priests to be available right before mass for us. As a matter of fact, now I’m feeling angry that priests are NOT normally available before mass, so does this mean I can’t receive Communion tomorrow morning at 7:30? Now that I’m “angry”? Honestly ~ I find it hard to believe that my Lord and God does not want me to….

    • Dave

      I agree that more churches and priests should offer confession before Mass. And no, your anger in this case isn’t mortally sinful; what makes anger mortally sinful is what you choose to do with it. Merely being angry that too many priests don’t hear confessions before Mass is at most venially sinful. However, if your anger led to things like slander, calumny, violence, or murder (all of which are mortal sins), then it would be mortally sinful.

    • Professor

      Agreed. I really enjoy those parishes that offer confession before masses.

  • For the person who said that NFP has to be listed along with artificial birth control, this is not accurate. NFP does not try to handcuff God. ABC does.

    The difference is quite simple. When a couple uses artificial means of birth control, said couple is seeking the physical satisfaction of the marital act on its terms, not God’s terms. God’s terms are built into natural law. If a woman ovulates and has intercourse, she will most likely get pregnant. When you use ABC you are interfering with the natural law: ovulation + sexual intercourse => pregnancy. Pregnancy is not an evil to blocked.

    On the other side of this is NFP. The couple that uses NFP is not trying to satisfy its sexual needs on its terms. The couple is using God’s terms. If a woman is not ovulating, she can’t get pregnant. There is no violation of natural law; therefore, there is no violation of God’s terms.

    no ovulation + sexual intercourse => 0 pregnancy

    ovulation + no intercourse => 0 pregnancy

    There is not interference with the natural law that God created.

    It is important to know that NFP is not to be used forever. It can be used when there is a justifiable reason to postpone the next pregnancy. That reason can be in existence for a long time, such as someone with mental illness. Sometimes the reason is short-term, such as economic problems.

    The best thing to do is to take a course on NFP from a good Catholic source such as your local pro-life ministry in your diocese.

    God builds his terms into natural law.

  • Virginia Paiva

    No wonder there are so many empty pews. Catholics are so improperly instructed, it’s a wonder there are any of us left. Lord Jesus, Have mercy on your church.

  • Don

    Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the necessary FIRST step to salvation. Jesus told us many things or works that we must do. The most important is to eat His flesh and drink His blood to gain everlasting life. He died for our sins once and for all, through the power of the Holy Spirit he rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and gives us His Body and Blood to eat through His TIMELESS sacrifice in order for US to give to our Father the perfect sacrificial offering that only Jesus could have given us. So two things that we must do: 1) eat His body and drink His blood 2) We must offer His sacrifice that Jesus gave to us as our offering to God our Father. You can’t do that with a symbol! I find the ability to complete that covenant with God through the faith explained and carried on in the Church that Jesus started through Peter 2000 years ago, the Catholic Church. Our Church and any Church of our Lord should be calling you to a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior. Our Church does that, it may seem difficult but so much easier with the gifts Jesus gave to all of us which we call the Sacraments. Learn all that you can about His church, you’re being denied the fullness of Christ’s love for you if you don’t.

  • Dave

    I was raised in the Catholic Church, baptized, confirmed. When I read the bible on my own, I started to see the bondage that the Catholic Church imposes. Christ came to free sinners from the bondage of religion. Read Galatians and tell me how Paul felt about traditions of man! The act of communion is a memorial to Jesus Christ, not a resacrificing of his physical body. The “unworthy” receiving is taking it in the idea that you are gaining grace, or you are not sincere in your faith to Christ. In Hebrews it states that Christ was the perfect sacrifice, once for all, and that it is vanity for ministers daily doing sacrifice. The church places the fear of hell on all who do not follow their lists, etc, but the church has no power to condemn to hell. All have sinned. If this “list” were true, all would be condemned to hell. We do need to confess our sins, but we can now, through Christ, go boldly to the throne as he is our mediator to the father. Most Catholics will not accept the simplicity of gods plan for salvation, and rather continually weigh their sins against an ever changing requirement. Never assured of their salvation. Our most righteous deeds are compared to menstrual rags by Jesus…NO MAN CAN EARN HIS SALVATION! It is a gift of god, not of works. A gift that is earned is no longer a gift! Read your bible and believe what it says! I agree that all these things are sins, but of we have true faith in Jesus he will not impute them to our eternal souls. I pray that all men would come to know the love and the simplicity of Christ, and trust in him and not man.

    • Zeb

      Dave, you have some serious misconceptions about what the Catholic Church believes and teaches, as well as what the Bible has to say on the subjects you discuss. The Church and the Eucharist are not “traditions of man,” they are divine traditions that, like all divine revelation, are entrusted to man. And the Eucharist is NOT a “resacrificing” of Jesus as you claim it to be, but a true re-presentation of the SAME sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary. One sacrifice, re-presented in His memory, throughout all ages. Just like he asked us to do.

      And where, precisely, did you get the idea that the Church claims to have the power to condemn to Hell? Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to educate yourself about the true Church teaching on that Christ is Lord of eternal life. (i.e.: “679: Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world.”). Also, what precisely is the “ever changing requirement” that you mention? The Catholic Church only asks us to do what Jesus himself asked: To love God with all your soul, self, and being; and to love your neighbor as yourself.

      And that, my friend in Christ, is where you go seriously awry in your beliefs. Your “simple” vision of salvation only addresses the first half of the Great Commandment, and apparently dispenses with the second. You would do well to consult James 2:14-26, it might help you to a more sophisticated understanding of God’s plan for us and the role of works in that plan. If you truly believe that the Catholic Church teaches that we “earn” our salvation, I would again direct you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as the Joint Declaration on Justification that the Vatican issued along with the Lutheran World Federation (and which many other protestant ecllesial communities have endorsed).

      I will pray for you to keep an open heart to examine these sources, hold your beliefs up to the mirror of new knowledge, and have the ability to get past your misconceptions that derived from your obviously flawed catechesis while growing up Catholic. I also will pray that you have the humility to perhaps admit that to “read the bible [sic] on [your] own” is perhaps not the most sound way to study God’s divine plan, that perhaps seeking the help of great minds– such as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, St. John Paul II, and many others who have helped form Church doctrine over the ages– may guide you to a deeper and fuller understanding of God’s revelation. Read some of their works, with an open mind and an open heart. God’s plan is not complicated, but oversimplifying it has helped many fall into the hands of the Great Deceiver. Don’t be one of them! God bless you, and peace be with you, brother.

        • Zeb

          About what exactly are you saying he is right? Nothing at all of what he says about the teachings of the Church is correct, and while his other points have been debated for centuries, his (and presumably your) take on things are not really supported by scripture when it is read carefully and as a whole, and not parsed into select verses where the evidence is designed to fit the thesis and not vice versa. Tearing the teachings of Christ or bits from the Epistles out of their context is a dangerous game– and one with eternal consequences– but one that protestants must necessarily play in order to support their positions (i.e. justification by faith alone). Jon, I pray too for you to find the strength of character to examine your own understandings against a deeper and more openhearted reading of sacred scripture. God bless you and keep you!

        • Professor

          No Jon, I don’t think he is. In fact, he seems to have targeted a lot of ‘low hanging fruit’ that has been easily addressed. Read any pamphlet on Catholic apologetics. But what is worse, he seems to have fallen victim to Satans more insidious plot – that of convincing people we do not need the Church and can interpret these things for ourselves. That is the precondition for eisegesis. Putting meaning into the Scriptures as opposed to discerning God’s message from it.

      • Rashida

        Fr, with this inexhaustible list of sins,it means we need to confess our sins daily. But sometimes, can we confess without going to a priest? Confession is only twice a week in most churches here?

      • Robert Helfman

        There is a problem when defending Catholic teaching like this in that it is, when the research is done and the facts presented, profoundly dishonest on a purely academic level, even before one considers the relative religious worth of the idea.
        For example, St. Augustine had some very progressive ideas (compared with the present) on the Eucharist, St. Thomas rejected the idea of the Immaculate Conception, John Paul II regarded St. Thomas More as a great statesman-an idea, while having political ramifications does not prove worthy of acceptance when regarding the historical record. I will leave off further discussion of JP II as his legacy is a mixed blessing and any serious discussion of the subject would be too time intensive.
        Pope Francis has referred to the Mass as the Last Supper, which it is. Any elaboration requiring a priesthood that has a superior ontological status among the faithful is borrowed from the ancient Levitical priesthood where priests had special dispensation to preside over the ritual sacrifice. Jesus offered Himself on Calvary as the Lamb of God and became our sacrifice, once for all. There is now no more sacrifice for sin-we have as memorial called the Eucharist. However, in the Catholic tradition there is the Real Presence, which is still present even should the arcane theological concepts surrounding it confuse it for the pure in heart and provide ample opportunity for the clergy to lord it over the “faithful”, so called with their having an almost magical power to change the substance of matter into something else-a form of religious alchemy borrowed from the philosophers of ancient Greece.
        Were there not something profoundly wrong with the Church the scandals that have tarnished her image would not have occurred, not remained hidden but never happened in the first place. What is wrong with the Church is what is wrong with humanity-sin-and in the case of the Church, her sins are all the more serious because she commits them in Christ’s name.
        Many of the ideas expressed herein about confession are typical of religious cults-shame-based religious rituals, threats of punishment (in this case, divine punishment, which is more heinous) requirements that demand performance of religious rituals with sanctions for non-compliance, etc. and etc.
        It is only the grace of God that has kept the Church going throughout history and will see her through to the end of time-not because she is sinless (some of the greatest offenses against human rights in the history of civilization have been committed in the name of God and Church) but because God is merciful and seeks that salvation of men-let me say, men and women.
        Here is where the zealots miss it. Yes, the Church is sometimes a whore, but even one of the Prophets was asked top marry a whore just as Israel was unfaithful to Yahweh. The Lord shows his compassion on patience in the book of Jonah and elsewhere in Isaiah his everlasting faithfulness. In the Gospels we have the fulfillment of the Prophets and many an epistle giving witness to the power of the covenant between the Lord and the People of God.
        It is unfortunate that the legalism of the Church can ruin the Gospel for many let alone preside over the soul murder that victims of abuse have experienced. What boggles the mind is the way people in this institution still conspire against their own salvation in working to preserve the legalistic religious code that was the reason for the death of our Lord, making the cross for them of none effect.
        The religious and spiritual pride expressed in this fear-based theology is worthy of condemnation. I won’t go so far as to condemn those so persuaded to hell-that appears to be their province. I will say that the Church is a cult that Vatican II was intended to allow to learn to be guided by the Holy Spirit, which means a future that is not predicted by what went before but instead inspired by the Holy Spirit and the renewal of the institutional church with the transformation of the people. This implies risk and faith in God. What is not of faith, is sin, in St. Paul’s words-and the religiosity (apart from being a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Systems Manual of mental health professionals) expressed in the legalisms and redundant certainties of the Latin church have little to do with faith. In that sense, one could, in good conscience, say they are sinful.
        The pride of the Church is its greatest enemy. And while I predict the Lord will not abandon the Church, she will learn that hard way that the Word of God is not just for Catholics but for the whole world, and “the last shal be first, and the first shall be last”.

    • Ray

      But Dave – remember Jesus said I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law. Secondly you also remember the story of the person who went to Jesus saying – what shall i do to inherit eternal life . Jesus reminded him first of the Ten Commandments . Your commentthat Jesus came to free us from the bondage – yes bondage of our sinful lives by Him who is pure being crucified . Isaiah is it 53 which says – He was bruised for our sins . There is no freedom without chains , in the name of freedom you see the first world countries asking for legalisation of gay marriages , legalising the sale of marijuana and abortion and what not . If you love God = you will love His law , if you love His son , our Lord Jesus = you will have to love your neighbour . The two great Commandments but nowhere did it mention that they came to replace the Ten Commandments .

  • William Mahrt

    No. 4 is not quite correct. One is obliged to go to confession once a year only if he has any mortal sins.

    Concerning those who say that they can simply confess their sins to God, why then did Christ commission the apostles (and the church) to forgive or retain sins?

  • Linda

    Through Jesus Christ we are saved…. if we take Jesus as our Savior and believe…. we are forgiven from sin. It means we get up and try again… Jesus wants a personal relationship with us, we are human beings and are bound to sin and failure. Is receiving Communion changing my life or relationship with Jesus.? It is a symbol, it is all symbolism…. My sin is between me and Christ, not some guy/priest who claims he is righteous. I don t a man to stand between me and my Lord. This is where the Catholic church fails, and why many members have fallen away…. besides all the sex abuse. They abuse kids and pass out the Communion, and put on their fancy robes of hypocrisy, like nothing has ever happened…

    • Kevin


      You’re probably in the wrong group. True Catholics want to know what they need to do or not do in regards to salvation. Bashing Catholic practices certainly won’t help you to succeed in convincing people to leave their Faith especially in a predominantly Catholic venue.

    • PMI

      Please read through your post and see how much anger and hate is spewing. There must be a reason for it, but it does not justify your demeaning the Catholic teaching of the True Presence of the LORD Jesus in the consecrated host (Holy Eucharist). How about you allow those who wish to understand their faith better be taught? May Peace be with you.

    • Victor m ramos

      Linda who are we to judge the priest. Just do as the Catholic Church command and leave the rest to God. Thanks!

  • kaye

    Thank you for posting this. I am guilty of Nos. 1, 3, 8, 9 and 10 but definitely,I had been asking God’s forgiveness directly and removed my anger, pride, envy etc. before receiving the holy communion. What I did was to receive the holy communion with the layco (priest’s assistant in giving the holy bread) instead with the priest. I wonder if that makes any difference. Also, I am this person whose anger is not permanent, whose pride is fluctuating, whose envy is not permanent…well I will say that my negative feelings are not permanent and after few hours, I am lovable and inlove again. I am only most guilty of the No. 1 because I have an amnesia during Sundays (sorry)but I prayed at home. Will that be the same as committing Murder, sexual sins and the like stuff? That article seems to confuse me.

    • Dave

      No, Kaye, it wouldn’t make any difference whether one receives Holy Communion from a priest, deacon, or extraordinary minister; it’s still sacrilegious if someone in the state of mortal sin receives Holy Communion. The feelings of pride and anger aren’t in and of themselves mortally sinful; the sin lies in what you choose to do with said feelings. And what do you mean you “have an amnesia during Sundays”? Are you saying you tend to forget when it’s Sunday? Honestly forgetting to attend Mass on Sunday probably wouldn’t be a mortal sin, but I doubt if that would still be the case if you made it a habit of forgetting. And yes, missing Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation when you could easily have gone is a mortal sin.

  • Bill Johnson

    Well I guess you are missing my point. I will try again: This list is not a match. Some sins listed are the gravest. Missing Mass is perhaps a mortal sin but you cannot make that determination on its face. You can however with Murder, Abortion, Desecration of the Eucharist. To publish this list from 1 to 10 is, in effect, to make them equal and they are not.

    Publishing this list is irresponsible and devalues, discounts and lessens the seriousness of Abortion. It is a tactic used quite often by Pro-Death (Abortion) proponents who call themselves Catholic.

    Comparing Abortion to missing Mass or the use of a condom is dead wrong.

    • Hello Bill,

      Thank you for your comments and your support for pro-life issues. I do agree with you that even among grave sins, some are more serious than others. Even the bible says that some sins cry out to heaven for vengeance. I think some of the confusion is the fact that it is a numerical list. Perhaps a bulletted list would have been better. However, one cannot assume the list is equal just because they are numbered, especially when Father qualifies the list as “not exhaustive.”

      This list in no way devalues the seriousness of abortion. According to the Church, missing Mass and the use of a condom are in fact gravely sinful. Assuming all the conditions are met the end result is the same, hell. So, the comparing of abortion, missing Mass and condom use in this context is valid. Assuming no other sins, then it is a safe to say the one committing abortion would be in lower level of Hell. Again, thank for the support of the pro-life cause.

      The purpose of the article was clearly about salvation and what can keep you out of heaven. If the focus of this article was pro-life then your point would be valid. Sadly, it comes across as being judgmental against a very strong pro-life priest.

      God bless,

      John Quinn

  • Di

    Mortal Sin is Mortal Sin……all sin is displeasing to GOD.
    “All the harm that comes to the world comes from its not knowing the truths of Scripture in clarity and truth… Alas, daughter, how few there are who truthfully love me!… Do you know what it is to love Me truthfully? It is to understand that everything that is displeasing to me is a lie.”
    ~Our Lord to St. Teresa

  • Joe

    # 6) sponsor or help in any way with an abortion or any destruction of an embryo.

    You cannot confess abortion until such time as you had the excommunication lifted. There are two steps involved here.

    “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” [CIC, can. 1398] “by the very commission of the offense,” [CIC, can. 1314] and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. [Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324] The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” (C.C.C. # 2272)

    “A person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.” [Code of Canon Law 1398]

    • Diane


      I recently heard a Priest speak on the abortion issue and “automatic excommunication.” From what I understand, because there are so many abortions these days, every Priest has now been given the right to absolve them and they are no longer excommunicated. They do not have to go through the Bishop to get back in good standing in the Church. The Parish Priest has that power given to Him to take care of this grave offense.

    • Being formally culpable of abortion does excommunicate the patient, the doctor, nurse, technician and anyone else who directly supports the abortion.

      Having said this, an excommunicated person can go to confession. In the USA, the bishops have given the confessors the authority to lift the excommunication and grant the absolution.

      In places where the confessor cannot lift the excommunication, th person must confess to the bishop. That is not the case in the USA. The USCCB agreed on this many years ago and it has not been changed.

  • Bill Johnson

    This list is troublesome. To publish such a list is to equate all of the sins as equal. This is a foolhardy exercise. There is no doctrinal, historical or theological substance to equating active participation in abortion or murder with missing Mass on Sunday. No, sorry this is misleading and full of error.

    Whomever wrote and posted this is misleading the faithful.

    • Di

      Sorry he is not misguiding the faithful,people who do not know their Catholic faith are misguiding the faithful.
      An official of the French Army asked St. Bernadette once whether she feared an invasion of the Prussians. She responded,
      “I only fear bad Catholics.”
      He responded, “Don’t you fear anything else?”—“NO…., nothing.”

    • lisag

      Not going to mass is like murder. It is a slow purposeful murdering of your faith. To refuse to join in with the Sacrifice of the mass, of Jesus’ offering to Our Father, is killing the relationship between God and yourself. Is this not the most important relationship that anyone has. Murder and abortion can be forgiven, but rejection of God cannot.

    • Deb W

      I’m sorry, Bill, but what is your true issue with this list? Apparently you are looking for a ranking of sins almost like a shopping list! Why does a list of actions that leads us away from God, a list of actions that no matter their gravity still offends God, should be wrong or inappropriate to post? If it helps even one soul to see the error of their way and bring them closer or back towards God, then it’s worth of being posted is more than all the riches in this world. Why would that offend you?
      Oh, by the way, the person that posted this list is a good and holy priest who is well educated and knowledgeable. I pray that God has mercy on us and sends us more priests dedicated to bringing Catholics and souls back to the church and to God!

  • Ellen Nisi

    But the Catechism itself admits that – in the case of masturbation, for example – circumstantial factors such as age, psychological weakness, sudden onset of overwhelming temptation, ancillary intentions, inadvertence, etc., can diminish personal culpability so that these actions, while always objectively immoral, are not necessarily always mortal sins! This would apply to almost all other situations, too. And it of course also points out that if one is unable to go to confession but instead makes an act of perfect contrition with the intention of confessing as soon as possible, one may receive holy communion. I suspect you’re wishing the Church were more strict than she really is…

    • Lydia

      You can not receive Holy Communion under mortal sin even if you make an act of perfect contrition. The reason for that is we don’t really know if our acts of contrition are actually perfect. You should definitely make acts of contrition and pray for the grace of perfect contrition, however, you must refrain from receiving Holy Communion until you go to confession.

  • There is a difference between growing angry and feeling anger. Sometimes, anger is appropriate and right, righteous. But we are never to wallow in anger, or feed it and cause it to grow. When we do, it becomes a deadly sin.

  • tg

    #8 – so if you’re angry at politicians and church leaders for the mess they create – you can’t go to Holy Communion?

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