There is a church where I attend Confession that only has one “traditional” confessional room, that is, a room which includes a kneeler and a screen.
When there are many people attending Confession, a second priest will hold confession in the sacristy. The sacristy does not afford the opportunity for a kneeler or a screen; the penitent must go face-to-face, which is fine for those who choose to do so. However, the chair that the penitent sits in is right in front of the door. It is positioned in such a way that the door cannot be closed. And while the line of people waiting cannot hear the penitent confess, they can see the penitent.
I find this to be very uncomfortable – both as a person waiting in line, trying to avert my eyes and as the person receiving the Sacrament feeling that everyone is watching me confess. Often times, people stand in line additional minutes to wait for the closed door confessional.
Are there any norms that guide the Church in terms of the confessional room?