Can I be 100% sure I won't sin by listening to the priest on vow dispensio?.

On Wednesday I was on confesion and I asked my parish priest to dispense my vow. First, he said absolution of sins and dispension of vow while I was listing my sins. When he saw I was confused, he said it again, but when he said “I absolved you”, he hasn’t said "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, he said (or hadn’t said it) very quitely and I haven’t heard it well. I had a feeling that it is possible that he did it on purpouse and that he hadn’t said valid absolution. I repeated my confession at other priest, but only parish priest can dispense a vow. Today, after mass, I talked to him and told him what worries me (I hadn’t said that I was afraid of him purpously giving invalid confession, but I said that I was worried that he hasn’t said “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”). He said that I need to relax and stop panicking. I have 2 questions:

  1. If priest hasn’t said dispension of the vow validly on purpouse and if I have the oppurtunity ask him to do it again until he does it, athough I am going to feel very uncomfortable doing so, is there a possibility that I will sin?
  2. Vow is, by Canon law, automatically dispense by the lack of time. My vow ennds tommorow and I have no ability of fullfiling it. If it is not dispensed, do I have obligation to pray until I fullfil it and do I have to pray until the end of original period for fullfitmen of the vow?

Yes you can. Trust in the mercy of God and stop being scrupulous. I’ve been following your posts on this issue, and counsel you IMMEDIATELY to choose a regular confessor, never to shop around for a different confessor, and to obey his words as though they were coming from God’s mouth itself. That’s the only cure there is for scruples.

But it is possible for a priest to be opsesed by Devil or feel bad while making good confessions while not repenting for his own sins.

The priest’s disposition doesn’t matter. That’s Donatism, and it has been condemned by the Church. Quit making excuses, for the sake of your soul.

The priest in Confession is “in the Person of Christ”, whatever imperfections the man himself might have. To suggest he is possessed during the Sacrament is to wonder if Christ is, so you can put your mind at rest. Your priest in his sacramental duties is God’s superior for the people under his care.

God bless you and grant you peace.


You might want to read St. Faustina’s Diary, paragraph 1602 where Christ told her that He is present in the sacrament of reconciliation and acting through the priest. Since this is so, the condition of the individual priest is never the issue. When you are absolved by a validly ordained priest, you are absolved by Christ acting through the priest. I’m not even sure that I would quibble that the priest didn’t say the exact "right words. "

Yes, this is essential! You must stop “priest shopping,” and doubting everything any priest says.

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