So, I went to confession 2 days ago and I had a very odd experience. The father was very nice and we ended up talking for about 2 1/2 hours about various things and when it was time for confession I was like ok I’m ready and hes response was “Did you confess everything you came here to confess during our talk?” and I said yes but… and he interpreted me and said “Oh you want the real thing ok” as he started doing the sign of the cross… Implying that I had already confessed everything during our 2.5 hours talk… I guess… I honestly dont know what he was implying. He had sweatpants on the entire time and its the first time I had a confession where a priest didn’t put on his stole…I’m not sure if that matters but all the informality was a first for me. He rushed over my penance so quickly that I had to ask him to repeat it, because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Anyways, he is a nice man and like I said we talked for hours but he said a few things that raised some eyebrows…he made a rather rude remark about Emeritus Pope Benedict …basically saying he was a mistake and God corrected his mistake with Pope Francis…He also said that my friendship with another man was not a big deal so long as its out of love…I told him this man is pursing me and does not want me married he didn’t see a problem with this so long as “I dont jump his bones”…he also did not see a problem with self pleasure…He basically said I dont need to worry about any sins so long as everything I do comes from love and when on to tell me premarital sex is not always sin if its between to loving people…so at this point I was curious about his political leanings and proceeded to ask him what he thought of Pope Francis comments regarding Capitalism and trickle down theory…and he says we are not doing enough to help the poor and if it means enabling some “people who take advantage of welfare in order to help those in true need than so be it” I agree we are not doing enough and in my opinion I think that’s what Pope Francis was saying…not that wealth is bad but with wealth comes responsibility and those of us with more have not been doing enough to help those in need. Sadly we cant rely on the kindness of people anymore because of so much greed. I’m confused I have been feeling God softening my heart regarding a specific political position on welfare etc. so that I can be more sympathetic to the poor and those in need. I’ve been praying for a while now for God to open my heart to those who I sometimes look down on and or brush off as lazy and parasites etc. and God is working in me because the strong desire to protect what is mine from those who I consider lazy and abusing the system is dwindling and I feel more pity than judgement now. So that’s wonderful and all but I also still struggle with the fact that enabling this lifestyle helps no one…in fact it hurts the poor even more. So I’m very conflicted as to what is really the greater good. So now I’ve digressed but back to the priest…has anyone ever had an experience like this? Oh and he cussed one or two times and when we left he went back outside to smoke exactly where I found him as I walked in lol Anyways, I do like him… he took his time to listen to me and he was easy to talk to. I suspect his demeanor has to do a lot with the fact that he is Military priest and mostly deals with marines. So, I do not want to judge him, his personality is probably very well suited for marines and he may be doing great works. I dont know but it was definitely bizarre but I dont necessarily feel scandalized. I suppose I am formed enough in my faith to know better. Thoughts?
That is very weird. I do not think I could take a priest seriously who tells people that certain things that The Church considers Sin is not a sin. I know Priests will make mistakes sometimes. They are still human. So I would not hold that against them. But if a priest was encouraging people to ignore Church teachings, he could be the nicest guy in the world and I wont take that away from him. But I would not ask him for any advice or confess to him. As for the welfare thing, I am a bit conflicted on it too. I know some people really need it and I have nothing against those who are using it as a temporary solution to make ends meet. But I do kind of have a problem with those just using it but not trying to eventually get off it. I have had a friend who’s girlfriend was on welfare. They had a baby together and were shacking up. They even had a second baby a little under a year and a half later while the daddy was still unemployed and they just got MORE welfare when this happened. There is something wrong with that but what else can the system do? Let the kids starve because their daddy does not want to get a job and feed them himself? There will always be cases like that though. Maybe one day the welfare system will be better regulated.
If you had had the presence of mind, you could have pointed it out to him at that moment. Father, is it really okay to cuss? I would have been caught off guard, too.
Really, you could, and maybe even should, talk to the bishop.
I also had a priest like that in college. Our Catholic Church was affiliated with a college and was in an ultramodern style, but it sometimes seemed to go over the line in its informality.
We’d call the priest, father, and he’d correct us, wanting us to use his first name, instead.
We didn’t have any kneelers in our church, no holy water. I am trying to remember anyone, once, praying a rosary there or having the blessed sacrament. Confession was so rare that I don’t think there was even a set time for it, by appointment, only.
The nun did liturgical dance.
He also brought it up to us that maybe we should take the creed out of the mass. We VOTED on this. This was years ago, and crazy me voted FOR taking the creed out of the mass! Now, even if all of us didn’t know any better, the priest needs to be the one to bring order, know the Catechism, Church policy when we might not. I mentioned this once on the forum, and one post said without the creed, it wouldn’t have even been a valid mass!
Anyway, no creed in mass. Then, he also started changing the readings about, as well He was all into equality of the sexes so made the reading about “The prodigal daughter” instead of the prodigal son.
He’d refer to “Mother or Father God”.
In the folk group, we dressed in shorts as did most of the people there. It was so formal and casual that it was way TOO casual.
We had a guy in our folk group, openly gay, who had a pink triangle on his guitar strap. I liked this guy, and he had to tell me, “Can’t you see this pink triangle? Don’t you know what it means?” He had to explain it to me that a pink triangle meant he was gay. He later ran for office and won. Nobody, not the parishioners nor the pastor said “boo” to him about openly wearing a pink triangle in the folk group at mass!
So, I learned the definition of a pink triangle in a Catholic Church, because it was being used there! We call this, “giving scandal”, teaching the innocent who don’t know, evil.
Once, the priest did a homily on why he thought priests should be allowed to marry, that we should also have intercommunion between certain other faiths. He said he didn’t think these changes would occur under that particular pope.
He was VERY popular and charismatic. Truth was, we all loved him. I knew a lot of this was wrong but didn’t have the heart to turn him in. None of us did.
I also went to confession, and it was similar to what you described, by appointment where one simply talked, one-on-one.
I haven’t ever seen a priest curse, but I did once heard about an Episcopalian minister who was very vulgar, crass, used lots of bad words to get his point across to come across as a “regular guy”, cool.
Really, I know this would be hard to do, but you probably should mention this to the bishop. A lot of times they don’t know what every individual priest is doing and can’t stop it if he doesn’t know.
If you don’t stop some of this, he will probably continue telling people of faith that masturbation is okay and all the rest. He could literally lead other people to hell! This is so not okay!
I’ve never actually taken that route, but I doubt trying to talk some sense into that priest would do one bit of good. I think he knows what he’s doing. So, if you can work up the courage, either write, or talk to, the bishop. He MUST be notified of this so that he can have the opportunity to correct it. You can even write it anonymously if it’d make you feel any better. Although, they probably wouldn’t take it seriously without a name, come to think of it.
Well, obviously this is not the priest to go to, when it comes to sexual sins. But I think he was trying not to scare you by trying to be informal, cool, hip, relevant, etc. Some priests of that vintage think everybody lives in fear of priests, Confession etc., probably because they had bad experiences when young.
Take what helped you as Jesus’ gift to you, and think kindly of the priest. Pray for him.
OTOH, do not follow the parts of his advice that you know are wrong.
And yeah, it’s nice to know for sure when a priest feels himself bound by the Seal and when he doesn’t, although he seemed to be indicating that he felt your whole conversation was under the Seal of Confession.
Hello Honey Bea. Thanks for being so honest about your Confession. I’m a convert and I go often; almost every week. I’ve gone to a lot of different priests through the years in different places, and every so often I get a strange Confession experience. If they try to sell me on the “new” age stuff or dismiss my sins as not sinful, I don’t go back to them. Once we had a visiting priest from some place in Mexico and he was really off, didn’t even bother with rubrics and fudged the absolution so badly, there was no sacramental absolution. I told him off right there in the Confessional and asked him if he could give me a definition of sacrilege! It can be very frustrating when that stuff happens. If you go long enough you stand a pretty good chance of having some off experiences. If you aren’t happy with what occurred do it again, but with someone else.
The suitable place for Confession is a Confessional unless of course you made an appointment and it was special. He still needs to show reverence and stick to the rubrics. But never fear, no matter how sinful the priest, as long as he sticks to the proper formula, there is a Sacrament.
If you want some serious help with Confession read the Diary of St. Faustina. She really struggled with some of her confessors and confessions and it is marvelous stuff. I find reading about the Saints struggles with Confession strengthening and encouraging because they just kept plugging away at it.
Two and a half hours? I hope there wasn’t a line waiting for confessions.
personally, to me he sounds like one of those hippy priests from the 70’ and 80’s when seminaries were not training priests to be orthodox. ironically, these priests are the same ones who today support Obama, abortion and contraception. what a coincidence. i wouldn’t go to him again and would even try to find a more reverent parish. there’s my 2 cents.
I would have some concern based on what you have said. He should not be so dismissive of Church teachings, and certainly I would question the need to cuss. He may easy to talk too, but if you are seeking strong spiritual direction I would consider going to someone else. I also have a concern that you needed to have him repeat your penance because of the speed at which he gave it in the first place.
As another person said, Priests are human, and this man may be struggling with the teachings of the Church, some private issues or simply tired. Once our Parish had a visiting Priest hearing confessions, and when I went the man was so tired that he came across as totally disinterested in what I was saying. I left thinking that he actually never heard a word I said.
Your experience is bizzare, and warrants some caution.
Sounds like it was information overload…purpose was confession but veered off into other areas, it would be difficult at best to decide which was which from your post.
The attire of priest won’t negate the confessional validity…requirement for valid confession doesn’t include proper attire or setting. Nor will personal opinions expressed by priest during ancillary conversation at time of confession.
“One should Never attack a priest, even when he’s in error, rather one should pray and do penance that I’ll grant him My grace again. He alone fully represents Me, even when he doesn’t live after my example!” (Page 29, Mutter Vogel’s Worldwide Love, St. Grignion Publishing House, Altoting, south Germany 29.6.1929
When a priest falls we should extend him a helping hand thru prayer and not thru attacks! I myself will be his judge, no one bu:blessyou:t I! Whoever voices judgement over a priest has voiced it over me; child, never let a priest be attackef, take up his defence." (Feast of Christ the King 1937) "Child, never judge your confessor, rather pray much for him and offer every Thursday, thru the hands of My blessed Mother, Holy Communion for him. (18.6.1939) “Never again accept an out of the way word about a priest, and speak no unkind word about them even if it were true! Every priest is My vicar and My heart will be sickened and insulted because of it! If you hear a judgement against a priest, pray a Hail Mary. (28.6.1939)
If you see a priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily, then say nothing about him, rather tell it to Me alone! I stand beside him on the altar! Oh pray much for my priests that they’ll love purity, above all that they’ll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with pure hands and heart. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when its celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the same!” (28.2.1938)
Our Lord’s revelations to Mutter Vogel
Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for them.
St. John Vianny, patron saint of priests, pray for them.
Quite bizarre experience. What stands out is that the priest at first was not going to do the actual sacrament and seemed to downplay the importance of the “real thing.” Needless to say, I wouldn’t go to confession with that priest again, if possible.
As for the rest of your post on your changing attitudes toward the poor, that is the most interesting part. I think there is a difference between seeing Jesus in everyone, and understanding that certain policies do not encourage good behavior or help the poor. You are right to not merely view the poor as stereotypically lazy - we do not know their situation. A appreciate you openness with what you think God is calling you to do, and it causes me to reflect too - thanks!
That sounds like a different experience; did you go with the intent to go to confession? Or was it something else, like an informational meeting?
I am a little concerned with the length and the informality of your visit with the priest, especially as I recall a previous posting of yours:
"I’m attracted to my priest" and the follow ups. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=835315
Please take care, especially with your husband away at work and having other marital issues.
Look for a Priest who “loves the truth” and is “faithful to the Magisterium” to go to Confession to.
Nobody has to “judge” a Priest’s soul or “attack” a Priest. But actions (or omissions) must be taken into account of what you see occurring around you. To even complain about it directly to God in prayer implies some judgment of the actions around you.
CCC 1466 The confessor is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ.71 He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior, experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord’s mercy.
Correcting someone, including a Priest, is not an attack. They are human and warrant respectable input and correction like everyone else. They can be wrong and need to know when they offended someone, confused someone. I have great respect for the Priests that I have known in my lifetime. However, there is not one of them that I would refuse to challenge if they were out of line morally, physically, spiritually or mentally. They are sinners just like the rest of us, and it does them no good to be superficially glorified. True love of a Priest is Holy and that includes letting them know when they are wrong or out of line.
If this is the same priest as in that previous thread, Honeybea, I would stay very far away from him. The conversation you described could be his way of paving the way for something more. If he doesn’t think premarital sex is wrong – presumably because it “doesn’t harm anyone” – then why would he think it’s wrong for a priest to have sex with a consenting adult?
Men do not often spend over two hours talking to married women about the married woman’s sexual temptations. When they do, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be a little worried about their intentions.