If my husband dies before he is able to confess and receive absolution, will God forgive him?


Full Question

My husband is a faithful Catholic serving in Iraq right now and goes to Mass whenever it is available. He has felt a strong desire to go to confession, but there has been no priest available for a couple of weeks. If he were to die, what would happen to him? He prays fervently and is constantly asking for God’s forgiveness and guidance, but is that enough? How can he be held responsible if he has no access to confession?

Answer

Your husband may be assured that his sins are forgiven when he makes an act of perfect contrition with the resolution to go to confession as soon as possible. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again." When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible. (CCC 1451-1452)


Jim Blackburn