Was I validly absolved? My regular confessor is away for the whole summer, and today I went to confession to a priest I am not familiar with. There was no line at all and 45 minutes until Mass began but after about 2 minutes the priest cut me off, offered brief counsel, and without pausing, absolved me. I didn’t want to interrupt absolution but as soon as he finished I said, “I’m sorry Father, but I didn’t finish my confession…” And he responded, “You’ve said enough, don’t sweat the small stuff. Go on and have a great day.” I was completely flustered and didn’t realize until I was stepping out of the confessional that he never even asked for an act of contrition. I made my act of contrition on my own after leaving but… What just happened? I tried to make a good confession and did not intentionally omit anything. I even tried to finish in the moment! One sin left out might be mortal? I’m not sure. Can I be at peace? Was I validly absolved?
As long as the priest said “I absolve you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the HS” you are absolved.
If you still feel guilty about what you didn’t get to, bring it up at your next Confession.
But, you are in a state of grace. Be at peace.
If you have other mortal sins you didn’t get to confess just mention them in your next confession.
Yes, the absolution was valid and you are forgiven (not just of the sins that you confessed).
My regular priest does this to me every single time. He always cuts me off after about 10 seconds and doesn’t let me finish my list before absolving me. And it’s not just me…I believe he does it to everyone. It makes me very flustered.
He never even lets me say “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been…” He just jumps into “What are your sins, my child?” before I’ve barely shut the door and knelt down.
But, no matter, be at peace, you are absolved. Say your act of contrition and any penance afterwards and know that God knew your heart when you were in the confessional.
Yes, we do tend to run on when confessing. I would bet that absolutely no one states, “the sin of envy 4 times, of gluttony twice, of gossip too many times to count. For these sins and any which I may have forgotten, I beg the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness.”
Somewhere along the line, spiritual direction insinuated itself into the sacrament.
This is what I usually do in the box. Very seldom do I seek advice in the confessional
Sounds like you have scruples. Trust your Priest
I’m still learning and tend to give a sentence or two background. Not needed, I know.
However, context can moderate your culpability in some cases, so that much is good.
I’ve always had priests who discouraged the “laundry list” approach to confession.
Spiritual direction and confession are so closely connected that the Church addresses them in the same document. http://www.clerus.org/clerus/dati/2011-08/08-13/sussidio_per_confessori_en.pdf
Spiritual direction and confession have been linked for centuries. They are not one and the same, but often occur together and there is no teaching of the Church that indicates that this is not entirely appropriate.
Obviously, your mileage varied. And yes, they are often combined, but as difficult as it is to get Catholics into the confessional, waiting forever while the person in front of you confesses sinking the Titanic and receiving spiritual direction “may not be” the best experience for those in line.
We tend to put things, even God, in boxes. Confession may be done by appointment. Spiritual direction can be accomplishes by qualified laypersons.
I frequently go to Confession by appointment, as I have difficulty getting there during the regularly scheduled confession time. But this is not the only option. I have never had the experience of missing out on confession because of a long line when I have not been easily able to made my confession later. Perhaps if this were a regular occurrence in my life, I would feel differently about the subject.
Having said that, I look to the teaching of great saints and doctors of the Church on how to make a good confession.
I’m pretty sure that no Guide for Confessors has ever said that the best approach to the sacrament from the priest’s point of view is “move the line along”.
Quite the contrary: If you spend some time reading the teaching of some of the great saints on this subject, you will find detailed instructions on how to help the penitent grow in the spiritual life.
Here’s an example from the patron saint of confessors, St. Alphonsus Ligouri. https://www.scribd.com/doc/235687056/St-Alphonsus-Liguori-Guide-for-Confessors Partiularly interesting is Chapter 9 (beginning on page 111), “The Guidance of Devout Souls”.
In his Guide for Confessors, he frequently references the thought of another great saint known to promote the practice of spiritual direction within the Sacrament of Confession, St. Francis de Sales. Read Introduction to the Devout Life, particularly the chapter of confession. Here are some quotes:
Do not be satisfied with mentioning the bare fact of your venial sins, but accuse yourself of the motive cause which led to them. For instance, do not be content with saying that you told an untruth which injured no one; but say whether it was out of vanity, in order to win praise or avoid blame, out of heedlessness, or from obstinacy.
Do not spare yourself in telling whatever is necessary to explain the nature of your fault, as, for instance, the reason why you lost your temper, or why you encouraged another in wrong-doing.
Thus, someone whom I dislike says a chance word in joke, I take it ill, and put myself in a passion. If one I like had said a stronger thing I should not have taken it amiss; so in confession, I ought to say that I lost my temper with a person, not because of the words spoken so much as because I disliked the speaker; and if in order to explain yourself clearly it is necessary to particularize the words, it is well to do so; because accusing one’s self thus simply one discovers not merely one’s actual sins, but one’s bad habits, inclinations and ways, and the other roots of sin, by which means one’s spiritual Father acquires a fuller knowledge of the heart he is dealing with, and knows better what remedies to apply. …
I’m not saying this is the only approach to receiving valid absolution, but it is hard to make the argument, given the voices of these saints, that it is wrong to look for appropriate spiritual advice in the confessional and to give sufficient information for the priest to be able to give good advice.
Struggling, I wanted to personally say I have had this happen to me as well, I had maybe started into my confession got one minute into it, and boom got cut off, and was then told that I needed to hurry up because others were waiting… The irony is at the end of the priests counseling he says, is there anything else … I even have a pamphlet on reconciliation and it states to not dwell on past regrets… which i mean is true, it is nice not to… But if we have priests that have this mind set of their time is precisious , and don’t waste my time or others with your small stuff or regrets then how do those priests expect me or anyone else to come to them with bigger problems or sins ? What isnt taken into consideration is perhaps that even regrets or the small stuff needs to be said by the one confession, because that person realises at the very least what he or she has done was wrong, and it is weighing on his or her conscience in a negative form. Even if it isn’t a legitamite sin, what or who is it hurting for the priest to sit there and at the very least pretend he is actually listening.
Then when the person is done speaking, to reassure that person, that they do not need to sweat the small stuff or sweat past regrets and that they are forgiven, and to continue on with absolution etc, but not to lecture the person that he or she is really wasting valuble time from others. When ones problems are reduced to nothing, that is a problem and causes unneeded stress. The person has already been worried or stressed out about having to confess said issues, to only then be cut off in the confessional. Or at least not respected enough to be given the impression that they are being heard.
I am at the point now where I personally am just going to reconciliation once a year now, I am tired of being cut off , and I am tired of my regular confessor having this look of disgust on his face be it from his own personal problems or from having to sit there and listen to me. An I am not going confessor shopping to find one some where in town that has a better personality, If a priest is that worried that he can’t get to everyone in a certain amount of time, then he needs to buckle up and make the time available, either before or after mass if he is actually that concerned. Were you validly absolved struggling, yes. If a priest goes through the process of confession and gives absolution you are absolved of your sins in that time frame, even if you forgot to mention something because one has made the intent to go to confession to confess all their sins so it is all wrapped in there. If one were to go, and omitt a sin willingly , and never even intended to mention said sin in the first place, then that sin wouldnt be forgiven.
Hopefully priests will put on a better poker face in the confessional and stop cutting people off.
If you’re absolutely sure that one son you omitted was mortal, then you must seek a re-confession.
which isn’t true, if one forgets to mention any sin, while confessing, it is still forgiven, willingly and intentionally omitting a mortal sin, is the problem. chomp chomp. or you can just let God figure it out when it comes time, If God can’t forgive someone who forgot to mention something in the confessional, then we are all done for. CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP
Yes. Trust the priest
We have the opposite problem at our parish. There are signs displayed where people sit waiting for their turn in the confessional line that make penitents aware that the priests will allow as much time per individual as needed for confessions, so we’re all encouraged to be patient, as he’ll extend the same courtesy to us when it comes our turn. Trouble is, I have been cut off from receiving the sacrament on more than one occasion because the priest came out of the confessional to tell us all still waiting (after over an hour of waiting my turn!!) that because he is saying Mass soon, he has to stop hearing confessions, we’ll all have to come back another time! Very, very frustrating!! I go to another parish for confessions now because of this problem.
There’s got to be some sort of “middle” ground.
This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.