What if he has serious sin to confess but has no access to a priest in Iraq?


Full Question

I know a Catholic serving in Iraq. He goes to Mass whenever possible in his remote location. There has been no priest available to hear confessions for a couple of weeks. If he has serious sin to confess and wants to confess but can't due to circumstances beyond his control, what would happen to him if he dies? He prays fervently and constantly asks for God's forgiveness and guidance, but is that enough?

Answer

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).


Catholic Answers Staff