Confession and Values Dissonance


It is customary to confess to a priest your recent (hopefully minor) sins to make avoiding said sin easier in the future. But what if the priest holds ideals very different from yours?

I have not attended confession in a long time because I strongly suspect this would happen if I did. I am not perfect, and sin on a regular basis just like everyone else, but I am not going to repent for something I did not do wrong.


I personally try to go to confession once a month. Often, my sins are what I guess are the smaller variety: like anger or engaging in gossip, I understand your reticence if you feel your priest is disappointed in any confession that doesn’t include at least one mass murder, but the truth is that it isn’t for the priest to judge. Many great saints confessed weekly and I hardly believe their confessions contained many large sins. Don’t let this priest hold the sacrament of penance hostage for you–as you know how wonderfully freeing one feels right after confession. All of us–unless we are perfect–can think of something we did wrong at least monthly. It can be as simple as anger or uncharitable thoughts on. Go to confession–it is your right and Jesus welcomes you!


Buy a book that will clearly define sins for you and examine yourself and see where you aren’t Christlike in your doings and omissions and get to it. You’ll only gain goodness for yourself and a better life. You will not be losing anything by trying to live better. It is your choice though. No one can be forced to confess. God needs you to want to live His Way or it won’t work. Pray for the willingness to be willing.



I understand your trepidation, but you are the definer of mortal sin you commit within this criteria:

A. Grave / serious matter (church defined)
B. Fill knowledge / sufficient reflection (self defined)
C. Full consent of your will (self defined)

If you have a sin that doesn’t meet all three criteria, you can discuss this with a priest.

Perhaps you could make an appointment with your priest to have a longer period of time with him to confess in a “discussion format” setting.

Feel free to PM me. I’ll be your cheering squad! :slight_smile:


I am not sure what you mean about the priest having different values than you. Do you mean he dismisses what you confess as insignificant, or is he expecting some mortal sin to be confessed every time you go to confession?

Please go to confession despite your feelings about the priest. If you think this particular priest is just too indifferent or something check out the confession times at another local parish if you can. The only time I stopped going to a particular priest for confession is when one yelled at me and was more interested in how many people were in line then listening to my confession.

Maybe this priest needs to hear from you what your specific concerns about him are. He might not like it, but you could tell him what you think and why as it could do him good. No need to be rude or disrespectful, but letting him know that he is apparently not letting you express yourself or unburden yourself well is something he should care about.

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