I’m a recent convert, so I haven’t been to confession that many times and several times have left feeling like my sins were rationalized away rather than acknowledged and forgiven (I know God forgives me no matter how I’m feeling, so that’s not the problem). So I’m wondering if this is the way the sacrament goes or if it’s because I’m not being specific enough.
For example, before I converted, I was a Protestant missionary and taught some things that are incorrect theology (the rapture, OSAS, etc.). I’d always felt a bit uneasy about a lot of the things I taught that were strictly Protestant, but didn’t understand why until I started looking into Catholic theology. So I was recently reminded of several points of bad theology I’d taught when I witnessed an example of how following them can ruin the Christian witness and unity, so I wanted to confess teaching that theology. But I started my confession with a fairly general statement that I’m sorry for some of the things I taught as a Protestant and wasn’t asked for specifics. Rather, I was told that nothing I’d taught was wrong, just not complete. Do I need to be more specific to begin with? Should I jump in and say “actually, this, this and this are heresy and I taught them to x number of people as the truth?”
I feel like I’m not understanding how to participate in this Sacrament. Anyone have any suggestions? In my mind I’d like the priest to be very straight forward and say something like “Yes, what you did was wrong. Here’s what you can do. God forgives you.” That would make me feel like the sin was dealt with and I can move on with life. Instead I tend to get stuff like “You didn’t know any better. Don’t be hard on yourself. God forgives you.” This actually makes it harder for me to put the sin behind me. Am I getting this response because I’m not being very specific? Is it possible that I’m getting this sort of response because I’m female? Or is this the standard way Confession goes?
Thanks for any comments/suggestions!