I have just started my RCIA class and I really admire the priest. He is very wise and kind. For my first confession, I think I would prefer to go to a different parish for this reason because I don’t want to be embarrassed in front of this specific priest, who I’m sure would know who I was. I am the only 21-year-old in my RCIA. I have read in several places that it’s okay to go to a different priest to confess if it makes it easier on you, but wouldn’t that be the sin of pride?
I don’t think it’s prideful to take advantage of something the Church explicitly permits.
I think that you are reading too much into the idea of it being a “sin of pride”.
It’s more prideful to think that you don’t need confession than to confess at a parish that’s not your ‘home parish’. IMHO.
My state has a lot of snowbirds. They aren’t going to come home to make confession in the middle of a snowy winter. They leave the state for a reason in the winter. That doesn’t make them prideful. That makes them smart (considering last winter was a nightmare!)
Some people, by means of their employment, can’t make it to confession at their home parish, so they’ll go to another parish which is more convenient for them.
Others, just don’t want their priest to know their problems. They don’t mind telling a stranger who will never see them or know who they are.
I find value in having choices, even if I don’t take advantage of them myself. I know that other people find them useful.
Also, I don’t have a regular parish because we just moved to another area about an hour away from our old location. I wouldn’t have a problem going to any of the parishes in the area, if and when I felt the need to make confession.
We can’t just assume that everyone just stays in their town forever and never leaves - even for vacation.
I’m not questioning whether going to a different parish to confess is sinful. I am concerned that the reasoning behind it may be sinful.
Your question has been answered. No, your reasoning isn’t the pride of sin. Refer back to post #2. It is permitted.
I know my priest personally, I used to work for him. I go to another parish, another priest for confession, always face to face. Not for embarrassment, I feel I make a better confession, the priest is better able to advise me.
I think it’s way too early in the RCIA process to be stressing about your first confession! Give yourself a chance to get immersed in the Church first. One of the things you’ll learn is that everyone is embarrassed by their sins and worried about the priest’s possible reaction. The priest simply wants you to have an experience of God’s love and mercy. Hopefully by the time you’re ready for confession, you’ll be less worried about all of it.
No it would not. Wanting those that we know, even priests, to think well of us is not in itself sinful (though taken to extremes it can become so, or motivate actions that are). That said I doubt the priest will think worse of you if you do confess to him, but embarrassment isn’t always logical - even knowing this, it can be hard to approach a priest we know.
No, it’s not prideful. And as a convert, I can assure you your feelings are normal. Confession can be tough. It takes humility and swallowing our pride.
FYI, in many RCIA programs, for the First Confession, there is an entire event around it. They will have communal prayers, Scripture readings, and other things to get our minds right and allow us to fully appreciate what we are going to receive (God’s grace throught the Sacrament). Along with this, they will usually have extra priests visit so that they can have the confessions all done at one time. So you may have several different priests to select from for your First Confession.
Trust me on this, it gets easier each time. You being more and more to realize the confessional not as a witness stand for you to be accused and judged, but as a spiritual hospital to cure your soul from the wounds of sin. And the more frequently you go to Confession, the less stressful it is.
I forgot to mention as well, believe it or not, but the priest forgets what sins you confess almost by the time you have left the Confessional. They hear many confessions, and they have heard every sin in the book confessed. Several priests on this website have even admitted as much, and honestly, they are glad they don’t remember them. They take joy that the sin is forgiven by God, and forgotten by them.
Many on here have commented that it’s no sin in and of itself if you go to another priest for confession, and with this part I agree. As for pride however, I’m not so sure. Many people become mired in repetitive sin, sexual sins come to mind, and they skip around to different parishes to avoid having the same priest hearing their confessing the same sin over and over. Why else would one do this if pride weren’t involved in some form or another? We often struggle with humility and let our pride and egos get in the way. Saint Alphonsus Liguori had this to say about establishing a regular confessor;
If, then, you wish to save your Souls, obey your Confessor punctually. Be careful to have a ‘fixed’ Confessor, to whom you will ordinarily make your Confession; and avoid going about from one Confessor to another. Make choice of a learned Priest; and, in the beginning, make to him a General Confession, which, as we know from experience, is a great help to a true change of life. After having made choice of a Confessor, you should not leave him, without a ‘Just’ and ‘Manifest’ cause. ***
Sain Teresa of Avila said this about changing confessors
"Every time", says Saint Teresa, "that I resolved to leave my Confessor, I felt within me a reproof, more-painful than that, which I received from him" .
I’ve been going to the same confessor for the last 15 years, and avoid skipping from one priest to another. Is it difficult sometimes? Occasionally. But I see the benefits that come from humbling oneself and staying the course.
My wife and I are very active in our parish and well known to all the priests there.
I go to a different parish every couple of weeks and have my confession heard there. Works great for me! If it makes it easier to partake in this glorious sacrament, go for it. The important thing is going.
You may go to any priest you so desire, so worry not about the sin of pride and be at peace.
Hope RCIA is going well for you!~
Relax please, Easter are like eight months away so there is really no need to worry about this until at least February or so.
Also remember that the RCIA are meant to be an inquiry process that will enable you to make a well informed decision about wether or not you want to actually become Catholic, witch I really pray that you choose to do:)
So as the vice poster I quoted said, keep focusing on learning about our beautiful faith and study the catechism and just enjoy your faith journey and be sure, the confession issue your worrying about will be sorted out later:)
Yours in Jesus and Mary
Why can’t you confess anonymously? There is also a lot of merit to finding one confessor that you visit weekly. It is ok to shop around to find one that really speaks to and helps you improve.
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I think at the base of this, you are perhaps crossing over the need to be registered in the parish in which you live, with a requirement that you attend all sacraments at that parish?
There is no such rule, to my knowledge. Marriage, yes, it is recorded in the parish in which you live at the time; baptisms likewise. But beyond that, you may attend the sacraments which are available to you in any parish. There is much to be said of attending Mass in the geographic parish, as we are members of a community. But the rule is not so strict.
Having asked that, there are points for going elsewhere which are extremely valid; picking a confessor and sticking with them is good for your spiritual growth, and that is not dictated by where you live.
And just an aside - one should confess one’s sins in the confessional, and leave spiritual direction to outside the confessional.
I can see where the OP is coming from. I’m impressed with your level of knowledge and understanding early in your RCIA process. Good Luck. That said, I had a regular confessor and once went to a neighboring parish to confess a particularly embarassing sin. I first confessed the sin of pride that brought me there rather than to my regular confessor then I confessed the sin. For me there was certainly pride involved in that case–whether it was mortally sinful I don’t know. Still, OP you got lots of good advice and if you are in doubt about your pride at the time, go ahead and confess that too.
To the OP:
I would like to add that you should be careful not to develop scruples as it kills the joy of being catholic.
Something are mortally sinful, but you do have to remember that it has to fulfill all of the three requirements in order for it to be such a sin.
In your case I simply can’t see the severity in it, I mean its our right to confess to whoever we like and for it to be anonymous.
Is it prideful to confess to a priest that don’t know you?
Perhaps it could be, but one has to keep in mind that regardless of to who you confess the priest is in persona Christi and Christ is the one who absolute you at the end of your confession.
The most important is THAT you confess, to whom is merely a matter of preferance and not so important.
My advice is to get used to confess to your parish priest as it will be the most convenient in the long run anyway and remember that as you get more used to confessing the easier it becomes for you to cherish the sacrament.
Yours in Jesus and Mary
It could be, as many things can give one reason to “feel” pride. I don’t believe it’s anywhere near excessive in this case, though.
If you feel you sinned gravely against the sin of pride (technically it’s a capital sin, which means a source of sin), confess it so you don’t worry about it later. Just a suggestion, though: make it easy on the priest and don’t get into a discussion about what makes sins mortal or not. Just confess what you felt you did wrong.
Here’s more about capital sin from the Baltimore Catechism.
The Church has given you the right to go to confession to any priest you wish; It is not sinful to exercise that right.