Confession with long lineups

Dear CAF,

I once went to confession on a Sunday morning, I wasn’t in mortal sin, but I felt like it was a good opportunity for confession. There was a long line however. After I confessed my sins to the priest, the confessor got upset at the fact that I had “no real need to go to confession” and I was “inconsiderate because there was a long line up”.

Did I do anything wrong in this situation?

No, you did nothing wrong, unless the confessional had a sign saying “This Line for Mortal Sins Only”!

It is not wrong to make a devotional confession (no mortal sin). But it may be better when it is Sunday before Mass and there is a long line-- to get in line last or wait. And of course if one does confess then --one may do better to keep it very brief.

It is very good to confess venial sins (see the Catechism)

Yeah, the thing is that my confession may have prevented other people (who may have had a real need; or they were in mortal sin) from going to confession. I feel really bad for doing so and I feel really selfish.

It’s like:

I was in a poverty-stricken place, with many people starving and even dying of hunger, and there is a place where people hand out food (there is a limited supply) from a truck. I line up first, I’m not even dying of hunger, I’m a bit hungry, but not starving, and I get food, eat and am good! The thing with that is that there were people behind me in line who were literally starving, but because I got food before they did, they didn’t get any and eventually starved to death, because I got food that would have saved them!

It’s that bad and I was that selfish. :(:frowning:

Well you live and learn. The priest has a point but that shouldn’t discourage you from going to confession. Next time if there is a long line and you don’t have to go, go in the back and let the poor souls be renewed by the grace of God.

God bless

I wish we had more priests in each parish so that we could have confession more frequently than Saturday and Sunday right before mass. It seems like priests have become used to the decline of confession in a bad way, and have organized their schedule around Catholics not going to confession, which is a bad thing by itself, rather than to maintain access to confession for all parishioners while encouraging others to confess more frequently.

At the very least, it seems to me useful to begin confession of first Saturdays well before mass (rather than an hour or so) so that regular confessors can go at a certain time to allow for better planning and scheduling.

I think that if the Catechism states you can, it’s ok. But if you have venial sins to confess and you’re sure about it, you could get there as soon as they open. And I think I read somewhere that when you pray “Lord, have mercy” during the Mass, the venial sins are forgiven then, too. I think it’s really a huge blessing that y’all have long lines for confession! And if you keep praying, and asking, they will increase the hours to go. I’ve been going to my parish for about 20 years. They used to only have confession for about an hour before Mass on Saturdays. If you needed to go in between, you had to call and make an appointment. Then a few years ago, they changed the hours where you can go almost every day before Mass, praise God! A bunch of us have been praying for that for years! And the more it’s available, the more people come!

Venial sins are forgiven by receiving Holy Communion. When lines are long and time short, save the space for those who may have something serious to confess and who may not be able to go at any other time. In the Dioceases around me we don’t have that option because we do not have confessions before Mass at any time - except at one Church run by a certain well known Order and even they do not hear confessions before Mass on Sundays and Holy days.

I have always wondered about the apparant reluctance of certain Dioceases to promote Confession more widely. Certainly that is one of the most important obligations of a priest. But from the extremely limited time allowed at various places, one gets the idea that the " powers " think it is not needed more generously.


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