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Confession
Question from Donato on 6/24/2014:

Why can't we seek out a priest at any time we feel desperate to confess and ask forgiveness? Why do we have to wait for Saturday only, and then at a particular time only? If a person should die before then, would God forgive him if he repented in his heart?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 6/25/2014:

Donato--

Look at it from the priest's point of view: Without some parameters guiding the process, he would constantly be receiving calls from people feeling "desperate to confess and ask forgiveness." He would burn out within a year and be of no use in the confessional to anyone.

That said, practically every parish allows Catholics to call and make an appointment for confession outside of the scheduled confession times. If the person is gravely ill or in immediate danger of death, a priest will visit him any time, day or night, for the last rites (which include confession).

And, yes, a person who is impeded from confession through no fault of his own, but dies repentant, can be forgiven. Should he recover, he will naturally seek out a priest to hear his confession.

Recommended reading:

I Confess by Michelle Arnold

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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