Confession problems

[FONT=“Verdana”]Over the course of a few years I’ve experienced a few issues regarding people potentially hearing what happens in Confession, I’m wondering if anybody else has experienced that and wondering what people think.

The most significant single situation was on one occasion, the priest got excited about something I’d said. He began to not exactly shout, but certainly raised his voice to the extent I was concerned people outside the confessional could hear what was going on. Also, on several occasions, I’ve been to confession in churches (including my parish church) where the benches where people wait for confession go to within 6 feet of the confessional door. People waiting for confession are in the habit of waiting right at the end of the bench, next to the door. When I’ve done this, you can definitely hear voices, not necessarilty what is being said, but you can sometimes hear who’s talking and somethimes even hear the words of absolution. This is especially the case in my parish church, where the confessional door isn’t exactly soundproof.

Has anybody else ever experienced this? Has it affected which church you use for going to confession? Has anybody experienced this and actually commented on it to e.g. the pastor?[/FONT]

I have had concerns about being overheard also. I have just lowered my voice. When the priest started talking louder, did he say anything…indicative of your sins?

The confessional in our church is just outside the small daily chapel. Knowing that voices can be heard coming from the confessional, our priest has installed a small stereo and plays Victorian Chant while you wait… The Chant is just loud enough to cover the voices coming from the confessional. >> Good idea !!

There was a time when a visiting priest, who didn’t know about the music, was hearing confessions… Those waiting in the chapel, departed and waited outside the chapel door in the main church.

Possibly. I also have another concern regarding this priest in confession, but it’s not the subject of this topic, and I don’t really want to get off-thread with it, unless other forum readers are interested.

Well fortunately in our parish the confessinoal is quite removed (even inconvenient) to the waiting area.
I would suggest that if you have concerns over this that you look elsewhere for confession. I don’t think I would want a confessor who “raises his voice” about anything I’ve said…


Our confessional is at the back of the church, and it used to bother me that people would be there - nearly an hour before Mass starts - camped out in those back pews. One day, I noticed they were no longer there, so I asked the priest if he had said something to them. (He said, “no”, but who knows?) He did volunteer that the keeps the blowers to the heating and cooling unit kicked on while he is hearing confessions and that you “can’t hear a thing” on the other side of the door.

Sure enough, one afternoon, we were waiting in line across the aisle for the confessional, and the A/C unit kicked off. You could hear voices from inside. When it was my turn, he asked me to wait a moment while he fiddled with the thermostat to make it come back on. “Gladly”, I replied.

I think there are too many confessors out there - good ones - to go on a regular basis to one who raises his voice and has other isssues. (An emergency, maybe, but not as my regular confessor…)

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