I am currently going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in order to join the Catholic Church. Do I need to confess the sins I committed before becoming Catholic?

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Though your question is a good one, this is probably not the best place to ask it, since it's quite personal and more of a pastoral care question than a question about the beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I would suggest finding someone local whom you can trust to ask this question of. I understand that it might be awkward to go to the priest, but perhaps a Catholic friend may be able to help. Feb 20, 2016 at 21:13
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    This is a good question, I suggest making it more general rather than personel, the "Does a Catholic attending RCIA have to confess sins done prior to becoming Catholic." You can even include abortion in the question just don't make it personel.
    – Marc
    Feb 21, 2016 at 3:00
  • I think the question as phrased is generic enough; yes, it uses the first person but there's nothing that is particular to an individual situation to make it a) off-topic -- in the sense of requiring particular advice we are not equipped to give nor b) to make it complicated enough to require referring to an expert (a priest or Catholic friend)
    – eques
    Jan 14, 2023 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Do I need to confess the sins I committed before becoming Catholic?

The Catholic Church requires that one go to confession for any mortal (serious) sin one has committed after baptism. If the one entering the Church has never been baptized, there is no need to go to confession since the sacrament of baptism cleans the soul of all sin, regardless of its gravity. One could still do so in order to be more at peace with oneself. Some call this last a confession by devotion.

See: Baptism (Wikipedia)

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    For a non-baptized adult receiving baptism at the Easter Vigil (or at any other moment), if he wishes to receive sacramental confession, it would, of course, have to be after the baptism. Feb 22, 2016 at 13:26

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