Is it true that Catholics have to go to confession at least once a year?
Paragraph #1457 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” The obligation to confess applies only to serious sin; if one practices one’s faith sincerely, receives the sacraments, prays daily, strives to be holy, and is unaware of any serious sin, one would not be obligated to go to confession. Paragraph #1458 goes on, however, to encourage people to confess venial sin and to view the sacrament as another tool in the struggle to grow in faith through the formation of conscience. Like any exercise, when we get out of the habit, it is more difficult to return to the practice. Athletes understand how important daily practice is. It is the same for those who do physical therapy to recover from an injury. In the same way, the regular practice of one’s faith makes it easier to develop a deeper relationship with God. Examining one’s conscience and honestly looking at oneself daily, helps a person understand the need for celebrating the sacrament of penance, even more than once a year.