How Do You Overcome Scrupulosity? (The Inner Life with Patrick Conley)

Do you struggle with extreme fear about committing mortal sin? Do you have constant guilt that you have offended God? Don’t give up hope; there is healing that you can find.

In this podcast episode of The Inner Life, Patrick Conley discusses the topic of overcoming scrupulosity with guest Father Kris Stubna. Patrick shares a personal experience from his past where he encountered a confessor during a communal penance service who laughed at some of the things he confessed. This laughter made him realize that his meticulous examination of conscience had led him into scrupulosity, where he was confessing things that weren’t actual sins but rather temptations or unwelcome feelings.

Father Kris Stubna describes scrupulosity as an intense preoccupation with every aspect of one’s life, including thoughts and emotions, often leading individuals to question their worthiness and God’s love for them. Scrupulosity can drive people to frequent confession and undermine their understanding of God as a loving and merciful father.

The discussion also touches on how scrupulosity may be linked to mental health issues and how seeking help from mental health professionals alongside spiritual guidance can be beneficial. Father Stubna emphasizes the importance of letting go of past sins, understanding that God’s forgiveness is complete, and not doubting the efficacy of the sacraments.

The episode addresses a listener’s concern about her sister-in-law, who struggles with scrupulosity and feels unworthy of receiving the Eucharist even after confessing her sins. Father Stubna advises that listening to the wisdom of confessors and shepherds of the Church can help those dealing with scrupulosity. He shares the example of St. Alphonsus Liguori, who also battled scrupulosity, and the importance of sticking with one confessor for guidance.

Check out the whole episode!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.