Are you supposed to tell the priest why you did something?


Are you supposed to tell the priest why you did something?

Which one is better?

  1. I was rebellious and disobedient to my boss.
  2. I was rebellious and disobedient to my boss because he is a liar and a thief.

How is this not making excuses for sin?
At what point do we have to stand up to corrupt people and bring justice?
Can’t we be disobedient and rebellious to liars and thieves?


Two …


Was your boss asking you to do something morally wrong or sinful? If so, there is no sin in disobeying him, and it doesn’t need confessed.

However, if your boss asked you to do something that is within his responsibilities and rights as your boss to ask of you ,and you were rebellious and disobedient just because you think (or know) he is a liar and a thief, then #1 is the choice. You are bound to obey those in authority over you unless they ask you to do something morally wrong or sinful or unjust. And your boss has authority over you even if he is a liar and a thief. And remember–you are the one choosing to work where you do. Nobody is forcing you to keep working under a boss you dislike so much.


To the OP, your confession is yours to tell. There is no “supposed to.” If you have something to confess, just confess what you have done or failed to do, including the circumstances surrounding it if you feel it is pertinent. Let the priest sort out what is extraneous information, what is an excuse, etc.

Telling the priest the additional information in statement #2 is much more enlightening about your behavior than statement #1. It may be that the fact that your boss is a liar and a thief lessens your culpability. The questions you ask are exactly what you need to be discussing with your confessor. Are there instances when behavior normally considered sinful is not sinful if it is required to fight an injustice, or does the end never justify the means? So it is important that you tell him the additional information.


I agree with CB Catholic on what they said.

You are to confess your sins In kind(of sin) and number(how many times you committed that sin.)
You aren’t there to confess someone else’s sins, just your own. If the Priest has any questions for you, he will ask them.

So, from your examples given, number 1.


Confess your sins not your Boss’s. Thats between him and God. If your priest wants more info give him only what he asks for.



I once made a confession and justified my actions in a way similar to your example no.2 The priest told me not to bring another person into my confession, and to focus on my sins. Lesson learned :slight_smile: There is a way to explain why we did something, and I suggest you leave it to the priest to ask you about it if he thinks it is relavant.


I don’t believe that the OP would be confessing the boss’s sins. The OP would be explaining the circumstance in which he was brought to be rebellious and disobedient.

For you to advise the OP to not mention the boss would be like a confession in which someone shot and killed a man, without explaining that the man approached making menancing words and gestures. It changes the picture completely.

The OP is not confessing the boss’s sins, He would be describing the circumstances in which the OP found himself which precipitated his action of sin. If the priest found this information to be an excuse, then that is exactly what the OP needs to know. On the other hand, if the priest found this to be a mitigating circumstance, the OP needs to know this as well.

This is the kind of thing the priest needs to know that will help him give spiritual guidance to the person confessing, to avoid this sin in the future.


There's the why and then there's the why you really did it (ie: the root cause of your sin). If you know the root cause of your sin, then mention that (briefly) in your confession to help your priest know what your real problems are. It also gives you a starting point for rooting out that sin so you quite doing it.


Yeah…i definitely have to tell him what was going on, because I really do not know what I am doing.


A book of spiritual direction says that the best way to confess would be what I will call “Option C”: I did such and such out of … pride … lust … sloth … or whatever capital sin it is that provoked the actual sin. That way, your confessor – and you! – both learn what dispositions are causing you the most problems. If you are constantly invoking anger, sloth or some other vice as the cause, you may go, gee, I need to work on that.


If you think that what you did was a sin then 1 is the right step

Our priest once told us that when we come to confession we are NOT to confess the sins of other people but only confess our own sins.

It would not be a sin if you refused to do an evil act required of you by your boss.


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