Confession in countries without a priest


Hi, this may have already been asked but i have not found it yet.
After going to receive confession at the church tonight and waiting 40 min for the priest to turn up (which he didn’t and i left) i thought to myself what about the countries that don’t have priests?

How do these people receive “Absolution” through no fault of their own? And if they only know about the bible and Jesus ministry would confessing to Jesus directly suffice? since it is mentioned to confess to one another (this doesn’t just apply to priests) would this type of confession be recommended for these people?



Here’s a thread that I began that touched on this topic a little bit.

It doesn’t directly and immediately answer your question, but it does relate. It’s about cases where priests are alone without anyone to confess to. Saint Damien de Veuster had that problem on Moloka’i where for months at a time, there was no other priest there.

Frankly though I didn’t find much value in most of it and I don’t buy the overly legalistic interpretations sometimes given.


From what I’ve learned on CAF, there is the act of perfect contrition which Catholics may utilize without a priest. I think Protestants make use of this as a matter of course. I also understand that way back in Church history, there was public confession for grave crimes without the presence of a priest, so I suppose this might also be applied in the current situation.


If a person seeks for the heart of Christ in the Catholic Church but due to his circumstances he isn’t able to receive the sacraments before his death, even though he did the best he could to receive him. God in his infinite wisdom and mercy would forgiven him of all of his sins and bring him into unity with the God head in heaven. Its all up to God but I fully suspect that if someone seeks.

but they must go find a priest to get absolution.

if they have no opportunity to find a priest then as long as they seeked the truth with the heart God would have mercy on them.

I don’t think one to one confession would be recommended, it would be more like spiritual direction. Only a priest can act in Persona Christi and only someone who is in Persona Christi can be the minister of this grace.


Except that it only applies to Catholics. An act of perfect contrition is conditional upon a firm intent to get to Confession as soon as possible. As Protestants do not recognise the Sacrament of Confession they cannot make an act of perfect contrition.


Denmark is a 99% Protestant country.

My daughter lived outside Copenhagen for eighteen months. There was only one Catholic Church that she knew of which was in the downtown area of Copenhagen. I think she only attended mass there two or three times while she was there. She said that even the Protestants (her age) were unlikely to ever to to their services.


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