Confession dilemma/regular confessor


#1

[FONT=“Comic Sans MS”]First off, I have scruples, and yes, I have a regular confessor. Here’s the problem though. A few days ago I posted on the moral theology board about how I had taken an oath many years ago in order to join a fraternal organization (not the masons). As far as I know, Catholics are not forbidden to join this particular organization. Years later I was baptized, and by then I had forgotten all about the oath. I continued to be a member of the organization for several years but haven’t been a member for 3-4 years. I was shocked a few days ago when I found the words to the oath I had taken online, and I posted the words on CAF in order to get advice. I thought I might still be bound to the oath because it used the words “bound for all time” and it did sound “masonic-like”. Part of the oath includes the promise not to reveal anything that happens in the lodge. Well, I revealed the words of the oath online, even though I thought I might be mortally sinning by doing so. I just wanted some advice on what to do. So then I made an act of contrition and told God I would go to confession later this week because I thought I had broken the oath that I was still bound to. THEN I found out that any ties to the oath I might have had were washed away at baptism. So then there is not reason to go to confession because I did not break the oath. EXCEPT for the fact that I THOUGHT I might have been mortally sinning by revealing the words of the oath (and the name of the organization), and I’ve read that if we think something is a mortal sin and we do it anyway, then it becomes a mortal sin because of intention. As I said, I have a regular confessor, but he’s in another diocese, and I can’t go to confession to him until Tuesday morning. But I told God I would go this week, thinking that I would need a dispensation for the oath from my own pastor. But then I had the unfortunate experience of dreaming about my pastor last night and then when I was waking up, I was still enjoying romantic feelings for him. I realized what I was thinking and said “NO” and stopped. It was venial sin at most. But I always confess venial sins too. How can I confess that I was having romantic thoughts for a priest (and he’s the ONLY priest for miles around.)? I’ve already confessed a similar sin to him in the past, and I feel like he has been more distant to me since then. (although it could be my imagination). If I wait until Tuesday, then I can confess EVERYTHING and then ask my confessor if my pastor needs to dispense me of the oath. Then I can just go to my pastor for a dispensation if my confessor deems it necessary (which I kind of doubt he will). Am I sinning if I wait until Tuesday to go to confession with my regular confessor because I told God I would go to confession later this week (as in Friday or Saturday)? Should I refrain from communion this weekend? [/FONT]


#2

First, calm down. This is your scrupulosity.

Second, you are going to go to Confession. Just let it rest at that. Perhaps you could ask your regular confessor if you should only see him for Confession? I think a confessor could tell you that would be best, and you would be obeying him by doing so, which is good. That's just my opinion. Maybe you could make an appointment with your confessor tomorrow? If not, wait until Tuesday or go tomorrow.

Third, I don't know what to say about your feelings for your priest. I do know that priests encounter all sorts of things in Confession, and I doubt many would be shocked by what you told them. Remember, though, that feelings are not always sinful. If I feel annoyed by someone, I'm not sinning. There's a line where consent comes into play. Before then, it's not sinful. It's just life.


#3

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:329768"]
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"] But then I had the unfortunate experience of dreaming about my pastor last night and then when I was waking up, I was still enjoying romantic feelings for him. I realized what I was thinking and said "NO" and stopped. It was venial sin at most. But I always confess venial sins too. How can I confess that I was having romantic thoughts for a priest (and he's the ONLY priest for miles around.)? I've already confessed a similar sin to him in the past, and I feel like he has been more distant to me since then. (although it could be my imagination). [/FONT]

[/quote]

Trust that you should discuss all of this with your regular confessor.

Think for a minute, set aside the scrupulous mind, and think.... You had a dream. Dreams are not sinful. You woke up and felt the emotions or thoughts connected to the dream.

You could have been frightened in your dream .... you might have woken up frightened. You could have been enjoying your favorite food..... you might have woken up wanting to eat your favorite food.

You had a dream which caused you to feel romantic..... you woke up feeling romantic.

You did not sin.

Please, please discuss this whole thing with your regular confessor.


#4

This all sounds venial to me. I would go to communion and then to my regular confessor since that is what you are supposed to do when you have scruples. Obedience is important. Venial sins are forgiven when you say the Act of Contrition.

I do not think you need to be so specific when you confess. Say you entertained impure thoughts/feelings for a man and leave it at that. It doesn't really matter if it was the pastor, a married man, or a single man. In fact, if you dismissed it quickly, it isn't even a venial sin. You can't control what thoughts come into your head.

I know this is difficult. God bless you.


#5

You're overthinking things. You did not sin.

IF I were a priest and were your confessor I would tell you not even to bother confessing any of this because it just feeds the scrupulosity. But I'm not, so I won't.


#6

Veronica97, when I read your post, I wondered if a song would help to calm your restless spirit. The song that sprang to mind is "I Have Loved You," written by Fr. Jan Michael Joncas. This song reminds me of God's unconditional love and the blessings he gives to us. Please listen reflectively, or sing it for yourself.

You can find the sheet music with lyrics here:
I Have Loved You (sheet music)
If you are not quite familiar with the tune, you could get it from this:
I Have Loved You (midi file)
If you would like to hear it sung, try this YouTube video, a nice arrangement:
I Have Loved You (youtube)

May the Lord bring you peace and blessings.


#7

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