Wondering if my confession is valid or not


I made a confession a while ago for some very severe mortal sins that I’d committed a long time ago. While I was confessing specific things, I also confessed to “committing pretty much every vice many times,” by which I basically meant the capital vices. I was nervous, mostly because of what I’d confessed before, and after I said that I elaborated by saying that I’d lied many times. Here’s what I’m wondering about. I then intended to say that I’d stolen small things many times over the course of my life, but instead I trailed off (I thought to myself that I’d “bring it up another time,” I guess because I hadn’t discerned the gravity of the sin) and didn’t bring it up. Would not specifically confessing to this invalidate the entire sacrament?

I have since taken the theft thing to confession as well, but I didn’t mention the situation with the previous confession. If it’s not valid, does this constitute sacrilage?


Stealing, as you put it, “small things”, unless it is part of a plan to perform one large crime of theft “piecemeal” (think of the Johnny Cash song “One Piece At A Time”, where the narrator brags of stealing an entire car from the factory in that fashion, putting the whole car together once he has all of the parts), is, in and of itself, only venially sinful.

If you were of the mind “I’m going to exclude these venial sins from confession”, knowing they were venial sins, you didn’t invalidate your confession. I would just mention this to your priest next time you go to confession, and don’t make more out of it than it is.

Let me be at pains, though, to say that venial sin is never “okay”. All sin is an offense against God, but not all matter is grave matter, nor are all sins mortal sins. We are never strictly obliged to confess venial sins (though it’s a good idea).

I don’t think the thought process was that deep. I was nervous, and my only thought was that it could be saved for another time. I’m not sure if I ever thought of it as being venial or mortal, although I probably would’ve assumed that it was a mortal sin. That being said, I very much had the intention of making a full confession, I just somehow skipped over it. It’s not like I wanted to hide it, I just skipped it in the moment.