Confession Secrets

Can a priest tell another priest about someones confession when he goes to confession if it is part of his sin? (meaning somehow what he heard caused him to sin)

i cannot imagine how hearing anyone confession could cause you to sin… but assuming it did. somehow… i would expect it to be like

“i heard a confession about drinking, and was tempted to drink”

but i am guessing. i expect most priests dont remember the confessions much. too many, too fast… and mostly the same old sins over and over

Okay, this would be a really bad scenario, but let’s say an attractive woman told a priest, in the confessional, that she’d had lustful thougths about him. This causes said priest to begin to see the woman in a new light, which causes him to sin against chastity…

BAD BAD SCENE, but possible, I suppose. Given that, I would think that the priest could simply tell, in HIS confession, that he sinned against chastity, without ever betraying the woman who had confessed to him.

Yeah, I can’t see a situation where it would be necessary for a priest to break the seal in order to make his own confession.

These links might help:

no he cannot reveal any part of a confession is this a trick question or one with an agenda?

Given that the rule in Confession is to discuss one’s own sins, and not those of another, I don’t see how it would ever happen.

For example, you would never say, “My father was an alcoholic so I have a bad habit of avoiding difficult subjects in my marriage” - rather, you would just say, “I have contributed to a lack of communication in my marriage because of my fear of confrontation,” without mentioning anything about your father.

The only circumstance I can imagine (and I Am Not A Canon Lawyer, nor have personal knowledge of any such cases), would be the reconciliation of a priest who has incurred excommunication according to Canon 1378. This, it seems to me, must necessarily admit of the content of the confession of a penitent. Perhaps there is a loophole: As the absolution would have been invalid (according to Canon 977), perhaps the Seal does not apply? :confused:


I think in this case he would only have to state that he sinned as per Canon977. He would not have to give any other details as the canon is pretty clear.

Yes, I meant only that the content of the penitent’s confession would be known, at least implicitly and in part. But no other details (specifics of the sin in question, kind and number of any other sins confessed, nor even the identity of the penitent) should need be revealed.


I actually don’t see how that would apply. If a priest were to confess that he heard a sacramental confession, or gave absolution whenhe did not have the faculties to do so should not in any way reveal what was said to that priest in the confessional. Yes, there are some cases, where it might be implied (such as abortion) but aren’t there other sins that a priest would have to have special permission from the bishop to absolve? One might suspect abortion, but it wouldn’t necessarily mean that outright…I don’t think.

Actually in this case, yes, what was confessed would be revealed, in a sense. The canon refers to a priest hearing the confession and absolving the person he had a “relationship” with. So, if the priest were to confess that he did this he would be revealing that the woman (or man) he had a relationship with made a confession to him and that he absolved them.

But as I stated before he could just say he broke that canon and not reveal anything else. But the priest he confessed to would know what was meant.

I see your point…I think I misread the canon…was thinking it was simply a matter of the priest absolving when he did not have the faculties to do so. (which he wouldn’t, but my interpretation was much more broad)

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