Any Protestants Ever Went to Catholic Confession?


Any Protestants ever went to confession, while still Protestant? And going as part of getting ready to turn Catholic doesn’t count. :wink:

If so, why did you go? Care to share the experience?

SHOOT! Just realized I posted this in the wrong thread. Meant to post in non-Catholic religions and it won’t let me move it.
Sorry mods. :o


Dealt with…:slight_smile:


I went once, without telling the priest I wasn’t Catholic. I had just got back from Europe and had not been to an Anglican confession (I don’t have a lot of excuse for this, since I had been to a conference in Cambridge–but the conference had kept me pretty busy and I had not been there over a weekend). I was in New Jersey visiting my fiancee and did not know any Episcopal priests in the area who would be likely to do confessions (the next year, by which time I was married and living in NJ, I went into New York). There was a Catholic church just down the road so I barged in on Easter Saturday morning (!) and asked to see a priest. The priest took me into a corner of the church, heard my confession, and told me to say an act of contrition. I started to stumble through it, since I know what it involves but don’t have a formula memorized. The priest thought I was a very poorly catechized Catholic, I think, and said “Just say, ‘Jesus forgive me.’” And basically that was it!

Two years after this, I nearly “sneaked” confession again, but this time I went to another local church where they actually had confessional booths. I saw the long line of Catholics (I think this was Good Friday) standing around the church and couldn’t face standing there with them knowing that I was fake. Anyway, going to confession under false pretences seemed like a pretty silly idea anyway. So I haven’t tried it since, though of course in danger of death I know it would be OK.



:smiley: Edwin, that was pretty funny. Not laughing AT you…laughing WITH you of course (even if I am the only one laughing)

I wouldn’t go to confession under false pretenses. I just know that I’ve seen Catholics on this board suggest to some Protestants to go to confession at least just to see what it was like and/or to get some priestly advice. Of course a Protestant couldn’t receive absolution, so where’s the fun in that?

To be perfectly frank, I like the idea of confession…in a way. I think it would be awfully humiliating of course, but something about it seems good and right to me. :shrug:

I very nearly almost entertained the idea of “sneaking” into confession as Catholic poser myself. But I think in that instance I would feel like a dirty liar instead of nice and clean, which is the way many Catholics describe feeling after doing confession.


Here I go again:eek: What is the difference between catholics and protostanfs??:confused: :confused:


Well, my argument was that it was an emergency (though I could have found an Episcopalian if I’d tried hard enough), and I didn’t tell him I was a Catholic! But two years later, as I said, I just couldn’t do it again.

Now I have a priest who is happy to hear confessions, back in the high-church Midwest. (My original parish was in the fairly low-church South, but the priest was from the Midwest “biretta belt.”)



Havent been to confession. But one time when I went with my Catholic friend to her church I did take communion.

Apparentely she was wrong to tell me it was ok, I didnt find this out to recently btw as she didnt know either.


Rather a lot of difference between them - Catholics are in union with and under the authority of the Pope, who is the Bishop of Rome. We see him as the successor of St Peter who was the first Bishop of Rome.

Protestants (those Christians who are neither Catholic nor Orthodox) don’t consider themselves to be especially bound by his authority, they have various other hierarchical structures (depending upon which branch of Protestantism they belong to) instead.

For that matter the Orthodox have their own structures as well, but they acknowledge to a much greater degree the authority of Rome.

Mind if I ask what faith you subscribe to?


Before I turned Catholic? No, I figured they would automatically know that I wasn’t Catholic and tell me to get out. I just worked to find an Episcopal or Anglican priest who would hear my confession.


Well, my argument was that it was an emergency (though I could have found an Episcopalian if I’d tried hard enough), and I didn’t tell him I was a Catholic! But two years later, as I said, I just couldn’t do it again.

Ah I see. Isn’t it true too that a Protestant can do a confession to a Catholic priest if the situation is dire…like deathbed or something? And even receive absolution?


Actually quite true. But be prepared to answer a question like, “Do you believe in the Catholic faith?”



A participant in these forums, who is TRYING to come into the Church but still has a way to go with canonical problems and family obstructions, went but told the priest he was not yet Catholic. The priest was very understanding and agreed to receive this man’s confession without pronouncing absolution. He prayed for the man, with the man, and gave him a blessing. The experience was very fruitful for the man.

Even without the “technicalities”, confession is good for ya! But who here doesn’t already know that?


I believe it is allowable in Canon Law, if the penitent is in danger of death. I’ll look it up, I have software called Welcome to the Catholic Church which has Code of Canon Law.


I went to confession before I became Catholic and it was before I dedcided to become Catholic. I wasn’t planning at the time to convert. The preist did give me penance to perform and absolution. Yes he knew I wasn’t Catholic. Within two weeks my heart totally changed and I signed up for RCIA. Just yesterday I heard a priest on EWTN say that he is allowed to hear the confession of any Baptised Christian and give abosolution. I was told in RCIA that this isn’t allowed, but I would like to see evidence contrary to my case. For I truly felt that something miraculous happen.:shrug: Grace Happens.:rolleyes:


I was given permission by a Catholic priest to receive the Eucharist many years ago. Totally illegal. I attribute my eventual conversion partly to graces received during that period of illicit behavior.

(Burn this message after you read it. I wouldn’t want people to think I endorse violating canon law.) You’re right: Grace Happens.


A priest I know told me that 45 years ago when he was at his parents’ home recovering from an illness, a non-catholic neighbor knocked on the door and asked for confession. My friend heard the confession – which was that he had murdered somebody! He gave him absolution. The next day the guy turned himself in. He converted to the faith while serving his prison sentence.


why can’t a Catholic priest give anyone absolution? Jesus forgave everyone who asked didn’t he? is that official? I honestly don’t know but it seems to me a priest can give absolution to anyone for the sins they ask it for. Otherwise there could be no ecumenicalism…if Catholics considered everyone else unabsolvable sinners…???


It has to do with stuff like “firm purpose of amendment.” A person who does not believe the teachings of the Church is outside one of the conditions of true repentance: faith in Christ on His terms, in His Church.


That’s interesting. It makes sense, but I’ve never heard a priest put it that way. This is another example of the way priests (and sometimes other Catholics) make Catholic teachings seem more unfair than they are by their desire not to sound harsh. (Giving lack of belief in the Real Presence as the main reason why Protestants can’t receive Communion is another example, but the most glaring one I’ve encountered is telling divorced people that they can’t receive communion because divorce is “brokenness” and brokenness doesn’t go with the sacrament of the Eucharist, which leads celibate divorced people to think they have been kicked out of the Church.)



Yeah. As a Convert, I had to cover the ground between what the Church acutally teaches and the way it comes out of people’s mouths. Took me decades.

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