Monday, 6 March 2017

The Confessional. Part 88.

Theory and practice of the confessional by Caspar Erich Schieler, Richard Frederick Clarke

25. The Confession of Doubtful Sins.

There are three points of view from which a sin may be regarded as doubtful: —

1. With regard to the existence of the sinful action, as when a man doubts whether he really committed the action.

2. With regard to the quality of the sin, as when a man knows he has sinned, but doubts whether it is a mortal or a venial sin.

3. With regard to the confession of a sin, as when a man knows he sinned grievously but doubts whether he ever confessed his sin.

The doubt may be positive or negative. A negative doubt exists when no solid reason can be given either pro or con, but only insignificant arguments for both sides, so that no decision can be arrived at. A positive doubt exists where two contradictory propositions have each solid reasons in their support.

Armed with these premises we are now in a position to set forth the doctrine with regard to the confession of doubtful sins.