Ask a Priest


Jun 18, 2017

Hi Father.let say there is someone who has struggled with addiction of pornography in his whole life and is doing everything possible to overcome his addiction. He has been going to confession and has been praying daily for grace. One night he is very depressed and down and watch pornography that he had forgotten about in the house. He tries to fight the urge but gives in. Immediately afterwards he feels sorry and deep remorse. The next morning is Sunday and he tries to go to confession but cannot get to the priest in time. Should he go to Communion? Thanks n God bless

Asked at 02:37 am on June 18th 2017

Hi Christopher, for starters, it’s great that person has been doing all he can to overcome his addiction, including praying regularly and going to confession.

In the case you mention, what I have always advised is for the person to make an act of contrition. We have to leave it to God to know whether that contrition is perfect, which would take away the sin. But even a less than perfect act of contrition helps to bring me back to God’s grace. The Church has always taught that we must go to confession after a serious sin before receiving the Eucharist, and this goes back to the very earliest days of the Church – see St Paul, ‘So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27).

So the best thing would be to join the line at Mass of those receiving the Eucharist, and cross your hands on either shoulder, which most priests recognize as asking for a blessing. At the same time you can make a spiritual communion, asking Jesus to come into your soul. Not receiving the Eucharist bodily at that time shows Jesus great respect and love, but we should only receive after we have been absolved in confession from our serious sins. Very best, Fr Brendan

Replied at 10:39 pm on June 22nd 2017