Confession dilemma

I’ve been going regularly to confession at a local parish; I’m not a parishioner at that church but at another place. I very much like the anonymity.

However, I recently went to confession and the priest saw me! I was kind of horrified. I know this doesn’t affect the sacrament, and so forth, but jeez, I just wish that hadn’t happened.

I suppose I should find another place for confession.

I wouldn’t worry if he saw me. I have gone to face-to-face confession many times (although I prefer the confessionals). The sacrament is not invalid, and the priest will not remember you, especially if you don’t belong to that parish.

I wouldn’t fret. Most priest I know wipe their memory after confession, so even if he did remember you, he wouldn’t remember your sins.

Why? What in the world could you have been up to that is so awful that it would cause you to flee to another parish for confession?

There is nothing so bad that it cannot be forgiven by Christ’s gift of the Cross, that is if you are truely sorry for your sins and you make every possible effort to stop the behavior.

The Priest does not remember your sins. He is simply acting as the agent of Christ on Earth. In the sacrament you are talking directly to Jesus, so it really doesn’t matter which priest you go to, there is only one Jesus and he is present at all valid confessions.


It’s ok if the priest sees you. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve never been to confession behind a screen. I’ve always gone face to face, ever since my first reconciliation. I go to the same priest everytime. In fact, he’s our chaplain at our Newman Center, so I may go to confession before Mass one evening and the next morning be drinking coffee in the lounge with him and other students. Props on the going to confession! I read in a book by Scott Hanh that the more you don’t want to/feel like going to confession, the more you need to.

If you trust the priest, stay with him. Mentoring is always better with a priest you trust. I go face-to-face with a priest I know because the more they know you, the more they know about you, the more they can help you grow. But even if you’re not comfortable face-to-face, if you trust him and he mentors well, stay with him.

Why should you run off to another parish. What you are experiencing is a issue of pride. The priest saw you…maybe it humbled you a bit…that’s a good thing.

i face the priest every time. it causes me to sin less! :slight_smile:

Don’t worry about it.

I was in the confessional Friday morning face-to-face with my pastor. Saturday,we were wrapping up loose ends for an altar server outing. Today I had to stop by the office to drop off something, and he was there. Not even awkward. Even if he DOES remember what I told him, we’re done talking about it.

I figure if God knows what I did - and He does, what’s the big deal if a priest knows?

As an Easterner, I’m used to face-to-face confessions.

I tend to use the screen. It’s a lot easier for me sometimes, even though the priests know me. However, I wound up meeting my best friend (my parochial vicar) through the confessional. I had been going to confession for him for awhile, behind the screen. It happened that we both exited at the same time and we smiled at each other. We talked for a bit and he invited me to help him decorate the church for Christmas. That was all it took and we became fast friends. He is now my best friend and one of the people I trust the most. I am happy that God allowed us to meet.

First of all, Captain America, you are to be commended for going to confession! Listen, Jesus is the Divine Physician. People tell their doctors many things face to face that they don’t even reveal to their Priest, someone who can absolve sin in the name of God!

It was a bit scary for me the first time the priest saw me, until I realized one thing. Surely, you speak to Jesus in the safety and privacy of your own heart, and you can’t physically see him. But he can always see you! The priest in the confessional is the visible form of Christ’s forgiveness. :slight_smile:

It’s not neccessairly an issue of pride. I need to use the screen so I can focus on what I am saying and also on what is being said. I am very much the type of person who would be focusing on the other person if I did it face to face. A weakness on my part; yes, but not an issue of pride.


That is valid, but you seem upset that he saw you, not that you went behind the screen. You were even considering going to another parish because he saw you. One of my dearest friends is my confessor. He know everything wrong I ever did in my life and still likes me, and we have great conversations outside the confessional and I have been on pilgrimage with him…continue to go behind the screen if you like, but don’t let the fact that the priest saw you get you upset.

If he didn’t know you before, why/how would he recognize you in the future? If he is a good confessor, stick with him, and remember that the seal of the confessional is so strong that he cant speak of anything you said with anyone outside of the confessional including you.

I can see why you are confused. You have me mixed up with the original poster. My confessor knows its me and is able to see me as I leave his office. I have no problem having a friendly conversation with my confessor. For me it truly is a “visual” problem.

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