How Do I Go to Confession?

Dear Fr. Phil

I am a 28 year old lady who was born and brought up as a Catholic. My parents are devout and very strict Catholics. I have had my moments when I have questioned the churches teaching but believe me when I say I truly believe inspite of my questions.

I am in love with a loving and caring man and we do plan on getting married next year. However, at present we both live (separately) and work very far from home and it is not possible for us to go back right now to get married.

Last year I got pregnant and knew my parents would disown me (not financialy because I mainly support them) but family is very important to me and I could not do without their love. I decided to have an abortion. My fiance supported me in this decision. I have to make one thing clear - I know I commited a sin. I do not blame my fiance. I still love him very much. I will marry him and hopefully if god blesses us have many children.

I somehow can not bring myself to face a priest and tell him even in confession about this great sin. I only pray to God that he will forgive me this. I needed to talk to a priest. That is why I have written this email. Even here I can not bring myself to tell my name. I am so scared but I do not know how to do what I know I have to - go for confession.

I am truly sorry. Thank you for being there.


You and your fiance are very much in my prayers. I know no better words than those the Holy Father addressed to the woman has had an abortion:

"I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life."

Please do take the pope's advice and go to confession as soon as you can. Also he indicates some additional steps which the priest may help you with. When you go to confession, you might consider whether you wish to remain behind the screen or go face to face. It's OK to be anonymous, but I can assure that most priests are highly compassionate to people in your circumstances.

I know from women in my parish who have undergone an abortion that it is a long process accepting that forgiveness. Satan is the "accuser of the brethren." (Rev. 12:10) He keeps hissing at us "you are lost now, no one has ever done what you did, if they find out they will despise you." It goes on and on. Notice the strategy. Before we sin he tells us it's no big deal, everybody does it. Afterwards he keeps saying it is a big deal--and you are all alone. The devil is a spirit so he doesn't get tired of endless repitition, but we sure do. This is a spiritual warfare and without Jesus and his church we would be lost. And, as the pope states, Jesus has a plan to use you (and your fiance) in a powerful way.

My prayers for you and your fiance. If he is Catholic, he should go to confession as well. You both might consider a Rachel weekend.

Let me know how it goes.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

P.S. If you wish to contact a priest more "specialized" in this area, please let me know. I may be able to give you a few leads.


Response (from E) "Having been in her shoes, as you know, I would like to encourage her..."