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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

In the past week, I have been diagnosed with probable religious obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCDor religious scrupulosity. I started a medication, but it will take at least a few weeks to work. Because of this, I have had three Confessions in one week, each time trying to get more detailed.

My life is pure torture right now. In my last Confession, I wrote down my sins, which included:

"I have had impure thoughts and desires."

When I read it to the priest, though, I just said:

"I have had impure thoughts" and did not include "and desires."

Now I am very worried that my Confession wasn't valid because I may have purposefully left out a mortal sin. In my more logical thinking, I said "impure thoughts," so it should be forgiven as desires are thoughts or, at least, very similar.

  • Was I still forgiven for my sin of having impure thoughts?

I just want to be reassured, so that I don't have to redo the whole thing.

Thank you,


  { Seeing I have religious (OCD), was I still forgiven seeing I left this part out of my Confession? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Anonymous —

They are the same thing — when people say sexual thoughts they mean sexual desires.

In any case, even if they weren't, and even if you had forgotten a serious sin, your sins would be forgiven, and you would simply mention the forgotten sin the next time you go to Confession.

Accept the fact that you have this disorder, obey your physicians and confessors, and when these things pop up, remind yourself that they are symptoms of the disorder, interesting symptoms, not real concerns.

Mary Ann

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