What I have noticed is that there are hundreds of questions about confession on this board, and many of them are from posters who are asking very specific, seemingly technical questions about the sacrament.
Many people provide thoughtful, sensitive and rational answers to the questions. What I can’t help but notice, is that on occasion, some people provide some rigid, strongly worded ’ this is the absolute and only way it is…’ answers.
I’ve seen examples where the person offers no foundation to back up their rigid response and in some cases, the person is just plain wrong, if even a basic search is conducted on the Internet…the answer is found.
The biggest problem that I see, is that these people asking the question may very well be suffering from OCD or from being scrupulous. Having the poster see 15 or more answers, where there are several responses that are contradictory…I fail to see how that can be helpful. All I see happening is the original poster will be filled with more anxiety, more fear and more stress…over a very technical question regarding the salvation of his / her soul!
I think that confession is being overcomplicated and I myself have trouble believing that concentrating on the technical side and the rules is what people should be doing.
It is supposed to be about being sorry and approaching God for forgiveness, confessing your sins, making a real effort to change your life, receiving absolution, doing penance and then moving on.
It seems easy to get caught up in the details, technicalities, nuances of language, words chosen in articulation of ones confession, ones mindset, what the priest said or did, or didn’t do etc…
Did God our Father intend for our salvation to be lost over a technical error we made, or what a mortal priest said or did incorrectly while we were asking for God to forgive us?
I personally cannot see how these questions and answers offer insight, rather they seem more likely to add anxiety, fear and stress.
I cannot be the only one who does not find the questions or answers helpful to people who may be scrupulous or OCD.