Confession


#1

Just a couple questions about Confession.

Does the Seal of Confession include things that the priest says to you? So would he be able to mention any of the things he said to you inside the confessional, outside of it? I mean that he could mention it to you, not anyone else.

I’ve heard that priests forget your sins after you leave the confessional. If that’s true, then what would be the point of having a regular confessor? Isn’t it so that he knows you and your sins, and can better help you on your faith journey? Or am I completely wrong about that?

Thanks in advance!


#2

The priest is not allowed to discuss anything about what was mentioned in the confessional with anyone including the penitent. However, the penitent could use the priest as a spiritual director and discuss sins outside confession and then the priest has the moral freedom to share the information in a discussion.

Priest may receive the gift of forgetting what they usually hear in confession and who made the confession. However, they are human beings and if they are hearing frequent confessions about habitual sins from the same penitent, then the recollection of previous confessions could be a gift for the sinner because the priest can be properly directed him toward a holier life. A priest is still not allowed to bring up what was discussed in previous confessions even if it is in regard to the same habitual sin.


#3

My spiritual director (my priest) is also the one that hear's my confessions.
I do not combine spiritual direction with confession; I go to confession at the regularly scheduled time on Saturday afternoon and then go to spiritual direction during the week.

My priest has brought up my sins from my recent confession during our spiritual direction sessions. He does this to make a point about my path, give me direction, etc. I expect this.

So, no, my priest doesn't forget my sins; but he only uses them to help me on the path to holiness. I am certain he doesn't talk to anyone else about them, as that would definitely be breaking the seal of confession.


#4

[quote="anonymous_in_fl, post:3, topic:297660"]
.............My priest has brought up my sins from my recent confession during our spiritual direction sessions. He does this to make a point about my path, give me direction, etc. I expect this.............

[/quote]

The priest is not allowed to bring up sins from a confession during a spiritual direction. You are allowed to bring the sins up and then the priest can discuss them afterwards.
If you go through spiritual direction and you mention your sins as part of the direction, then you can ask for absolution. I think that at that point the seal does not cover what you mentioned before you asked for absolution, it will cover only what you mentioned after you showed the intent of going through a sacramental confession. The sins that were discussed during spiritual direction and before you showed the intent for a sacramental confession can be brought up by your priest in your next meeting.


#5

[quote="Cristiano, post:4, topic:297660"]
The priest is not allowed to bring up sins from a confession during a spiritual direction. You are allowed to bring the sins up and then the priest can discuss them afterwards.
If you go through spiritual direction and you mention your sins as part of the direction, then you can ask for absolution. I think that at that point the seal does not cover what you mentioned before you asked for absolution, it will cover only what you mentioned after you showed the intent of going through a sacramental confession. The sins that were discussed during spiritual direction and before you showed the intent for a sacramental confession can be brought up by your priest in your next meeting.

[/quote]

I agree with this. My spiritual director is also my confessor and he is a moral theologian as well. He told me that any time I want to discuss something with him that was brought up in confession I have to bring it up first, including repeating what is was that he said to me in confession. Only then will he discuss it with me.


#6

The seal applies to the confessor and to translators, but not to the penitent (cf. catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0059.html).


#7

Thanks for the replies :slight_smile:


#8

Is 43:25 "I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins."

Jer 31:34 "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Heb 8:12 "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

If God will not remember our sins, then the priest, acting in persona Christi, would also not remember them, at least in a sacramental sense. That is, even if the priest through his human imperfection* does remember our sins, he may only act as though he does *not remember them, in the same way that God does not remember them.

Thus the Seal of the Confessional.


#9

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