Confession heard outside of the church?

The church was locked during the whole time of confession today, and nobody had the keys to open it, so the priest was hearing confessions outside of the church away from the people waiting. Is this still valid? I’m fairly new to going to confession so I’m unsure of what rules there are and such.

Confession can be heard anywhere. How do you think chaplains hear the confessions of soldiers and sailors? There are church retreats out in the wilderness where priests hear confession. The confessional is just a tool to assist in the administration of the sacrament. It’s not a requirement.

Thank you. I know it was a pretty dumb question to ask, but like I said, I just started going back to church and I want to make sure that I’m doing everything right.

Did you really think they place they were held mattered?

Welcome back!! :hug3:

The place does matter.

Can. 964 §1 The proper place for hearing sacramental confessions is a church or oratory.
§2 As far as the confessional is concerned, norms are to be issued by the Episcopal Conference, with the proviso however that confessionals, which the faithful who so wish may freely use, are located in an open place, and fitted with a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor.
§3 Except for a just reason, confessions are not to be heard elsewhere than in a confessional.

Hopefully the locked church constitutes a just reason. Unfortunately those who prefer to confess anonymously were denied that right.

Confessions can be heard anywhere. I went to confession before the pope’s Mass in DC–there was a tent set up with rows of chairs facing each other and the priest and penitent just sat across from each other. Later priests were hearing confessions in any little nook or cranny. I love the pictures of the priests fanned out across St Peter’s square, maybe sitting on a curb and people are lined up to say confession right out there in the open. Old, old fashioned confessional were not enclosed, so even though the priest sat behind a screen, confessions weren’t really completely annonymous.

OP, your priest did the right thing not to cancel the confession time and you did the right thing to go anyway!

I agree with Sr Sally and others that confession can be heard anywhere. When I returned to the Church the priest heard my 40 years worth of Confession there and then at my dining room table. I had asked him for an interview about returning t the Church. He saw that the time was right for me to confess and he took his stole out of his bag and placed it around his neck and we began. I also received communion straight afterwards (he had been travelling between churches).

Of course there is a norm for places of Confession and yesterday I went to one of those at St Cecilia’s.

Some of the confessionals in Europe have gone high tech I saw one in (I’m sure it was)Notre Dame cathedral in Paris where you entered a darkened glass room (cube?) and you sat across a table from a priest and confessed your sins. Some of the traditional confessionals though were works of sculpture in many of the old cathedrals - in many of those only the box where the priest sat was enclosed.

Rove

Rove

The capuchins hear my confessions at the Mall Chapel. Our diocese has tried out an experiment that has worked out wonderfully. The diocese rents space at a local mall where there’s confessions at all mall hours, there’s mass 2x daily (except Sundays). On ash wednesday they gave out ashes once an hour and blessed throats on request on St Blase day as well as after each mass. Unfortunately the little catholic store next door went out of business because they also do blessings as well.:thumbsup:

St. John Bosco used to hear confessions under a tree, sitting on a tree stump. This was back in 1850s-1880s. I was the first penitent for a newly ordained Paulist priest and he heard my confession in the cafeteria (we were by ourselves). Unfortunately, he did not know the prayers of absolution so I had him repeat them after me. Afterwards, I told him that he needed to have cheat sheets in the confessional.

I can understand the canon, but, there are instances when you can’t get to a church, and, if the priest is there, like the Ethiopian eunuch told St. Philip, “what is there to stop us?”

The canon is to cover ordinary situations life in the 21st century is often not that ordinary. If God presents a penintent with a priest and he or she feels comfortable then WHY not? I remember in college we had a chaplain that liked to take long walks in the morning. One time when he was leading a campus retreat in the mountains on a lovely summer Sunday morning he happened upon a gentleman fishing and they started up a conversation. The priest asked the fisherman if he was going to go to church later that morning. The man told him he hadn’t been to confession in 30 years. The priest told him he was a priest (he was dressed quite casually in jeans and such because he was on retreat) and heard the man’s confession. It really made the chaplain’s day to start it that way. If we take the canon litterally at face value then Father would be in the wrong. The canon law also says that the ultimate law and rule of the canon is the law of love which supperseedes all canons, a priest friend told me that one time. This same guy told me he’s heard confessions in a restaurant, which I wouldn’t have been comfortable with suppose you hit on something hot and juicy when the waitress shows up?:eek: The purpose of the rule is to make sure the sacrements are celebrated decently and in the case of confession to protect the seal.The rules are there to keep order but, we don’t want to turn into pharisees either!

Hello everyone,
I find this thread very interesting, I work for a Nationwide chain of Funeral Homes here in the U.K. One time I was desperate for confession and I had to transport a Priest back to his church after a burial. I seized the moment and asked him to hear my confession, which he did, in the cemetery car park, in the Hearse!. The strange thing is a few days later one of my fellow workers said,"every time I get in this Hearse I can smell incense!, I have never told anyone about this, so I am wondering if this vehicle is now special in some way? lol.:rolleyes:
God Bless,
Mick.:thumbsup:

This thread is interesting in light of some news photos which appeared recently. These are from a Catholic church in Belarus, which held confession in the church’s garden as part of the annual Icon of the Mother of God festival in the village of Budslav. Notice how many priests were on hand:
news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090701/ids_photos_wl/r405866210.jpg/

And despite so many priests, a sizable line still formed:
news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090701/ids_photos_wl/r641308451.jpg/

There is, to my knowledge, no such right.

I welcome correction if I am mistaken.

tee

Well, so far this is the most unusual place I’ve heard of confession being heard. Albeit, I would think a hearse would certainly add a certain solemnity to the occasion. Especially in a cemetary. this would certainly remind one of one’s death and that it could come at any moment. I don’t imagine if there’s necessity, that anywhere would be an inappropriate palce for it actually.

This is helpful :rolleyes:

I’ve seen confession taking place in a few different churches without any aparatus to divide the priest from the confessor. I imagined that this was just the way it was done. But in any event, anonymity or not, God requires we confess.

Consider yourself corrected:

Can. 964 §1 The proper place for hearing sacramental confessions is a church or oratory.
§2 As far as the confessional is concerned, norms are to be issued by the Episcopal Conference, with the proviso however that confessionals, **which the faithful who so wish may freely use, are located in an open place, and fitted with a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor.
** §3 Except for a just reason, confessions are not to be heard elsewhere than in a confessional.

All time weirdest place I ever heard for one going to Confession…God Bless…

The key here is “just reason”, if you feel the need to have your confession heard on the street or airport, I wouldn’t quibble over whether it’s a just reason or not, I would go for it if I felt I had to…Peace…

I don’t know what you are talking aboout. My point, in response to the previous post, was about the penitent’s right to anonymity.

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