Confession heard by all


Did anyone see the Jeopardy Teen Tournament tonight-July 23? One of the contestants said his first confession was broadcast all over the church because the priest was wearing a microphone and forgot to turn it off. Talk about breaking the seal of confession.


Yes, I saw that tonight, poor kid.


I read somewhere that those hearing the confessional conversation would be bound by the seal under canon law. Can’t find the citation, however they would be bound by their personal honour.


Why didn’t somebody have the sense to rush over and stop the confession? Bang on the door and cause a disruption!


Sounds way too much like an urban legend to me.

  1. Fr. wears the mic outside of his vestments during mass.
  2. Confession is usually before mass.
  3. Confession is without vestments.
  4. Fr. did not notice that he was wearing the mic.
  5. Fr. could not hear his own voice before he entered the confessional.
  6. No one told Fr. that he was wearing the mic and that it was on.
  7. Neither Fr. nor the teen noticed the sound system blaring the words into the sanctuary.
  8. No one knocked on the door to advise of the sound system being on.

Sounds a lot like Lt. Drebin visiting the men’s room with his collar mic on.


@po18guy- I get what you are saying but I don’t think a 12 year old would put that on his bio card for Jeopardy knowing that Alex would choose that to talk about. Alex is always attracted to Catholic stories.

This was a first confession. It may have been the class approaching first communion, so the priest may have been speaking to the whole group before they broke up to go to individual priests. I’ve had heard weird stuff where kids were expected to confess in the corners of the church with all the adults sitting around or up near the alter where the acoustics are good. Even if someone banged on the door to the confessional a few sins may have been confessed by then.


People stand line behind him on Saturday hoping to overhear his confession. He is the world’s most interesting Catholic.



Could it have happened? Sure. But, the Sacraments are sacred. For this to have actually occurred, numerous mistakes would have to have been made in sequence.

Too many “never happens like that” factors in this story for me to believe it.


I believe it. We had a priest who didn’t turn off his microphone after Mass, went back in the vestry and started talking about his medical examination earlier in the week. It can happen.



Three decades of investigating people’s claims have inculcated a healthy skepticism into me.

But, numerous factors had to line up for the Titanic to sink, as well…


I did not see the episode, but I could image “Bless Me Father for I have sinned”, broadcast in innocent third grade voice throughout, and then someone politely knocking. Teen version of innocent third grader then misremember it being the entire confession!


I saw the show too… But why would a 12 year old make up a story like that?


I don’t think it’s far-fetched. It could have been one of those parish-wide reconciliation services when they bring in lots of priests and scatter them around the sanctuary after Mass. Completely plausible. That was one of two options given to me by my parish priest for my first confession when I entered the Church. Luckily, I talked him into letting me go to the shrine of my favorite Saint instead. I was sure that I would be very emotional, and didn’t want that to happen in front of the whole congregation.


"I confess to you, Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters that I have sinned…"

Of course our brothers and sisters are not in the confessional with us.

I am reminded of the public and televised confessions of our protestant brothers, Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart.

That kind of makes our very private and confidential Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation seem very mild.

What would you do if Father told you: "For your penance…go on national TV and tell the world what you did…???:eek:


I don’t know about that, but a priest once told me if I heard something in the confessional while someone else was in there to just keep it to myself.


What would you do if Father told you: "For your penance…go on national TV and tell the world what you did…???:eek:

I would say what network would want to lose revenue by having my face on. :stuck_out_tongue:

To quote Father Z: “I hate these deferred penances”. :mad:


Or the sacristan or someone could turn off the microphone system.


[quote=“Code of Canon Law”]Can. 983 §1 The sacramental seal is inviolable. Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion.

§2 An interpreter, if there is one, is also obliged to observe this secret, as are all others who in any way whatever have come to a knowledge of sins from a confession.



If it was his first confession, it shouldn’t have been too bad. When the kids from our parish went, they had music playing and many different confession stations for all us first timers, big and little. I’m not sure anything but mumbling would have been audible if one of the priests had a mic on. That being said, I’m sure glad my first confession wasn’t broadcast! was just this past April and I am in my early 40s!


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