Difficulty with confession

Prayers for you and for all who were harmed.

Have you reached out to your Diocese office? Every Diocese in the US has an office that specifically helps those who were harmed.

I googled a random Diocese, you can find yours online:


Here is the list for all of the US


These people are waiting to help you in your journey.


Please @kindnessmatters also follow up on this advice.

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I’m so sorry this happened to you. It is a real problem in the church, which is not being dealt with effectively. There might be online groups of people who have been victims of abuse who might have suggestions for you. The only thing I can think of is that you’re not really confessing to a priest, but to Jesus. If you’re confessing behind the screen, can you pretend that it’s actually Jesus on the other side? He knows what happened and His grief is even greater than yours.

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I’ve responded a few times already to this and the advice is not relevant.

Our diocese has an office for anyone who has been a victim of any abuse. They deal not only with that trauma but any impact the abuse may have had later in life, even problems that don’t show up for decades. I think the offices in many other dioceses are similar. This could be a resource or you could just drive to a church and in the anonymity of confession tell the priest what you have shared here.

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There used to be a head-wall-bang emoji in CAF but sadly no more… I wanted to post it to express my frustration at what happened to you. Confession can be difficult enough for some people at the best of times without the priest making it worse… all I can say is I’m truly sorry you had the experience you did.

This should not have happened - I’m guessing (hoping) the priest was from a non-English speaking country and so didn’t understand the euphemism. Priests aren’t supposed to refrain from asking questions about sexual sins unless it’s really necessary and even then they’re supposed to keep it to a minimum for kind of obvious reasons. People use euphemisms all the time in the confessional - there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it or nothing vague about the words you used. At any rate, I’m sorry again for all you’ve been though; the one question I would ask is whether you received absolution from that priest?


Father, just checking but I assume you meant priests are supposed to refrain from asking questions about sexual sins ?

I think it is ok if the confession is impossible to understand but I had just told him my history and that it was best impossible for me to say what Zi did. When he continued on it felt voyeuristic and weird because he didn’t need more detail.

Absolution was given because he didn’t know I sidestepped the follow up question. Not a great confession and given I had to take anxiety meds just to go, that upsets me.

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Yes! Apologies for the awkward typo!


Hard one for me to answer because I want to give a good answer without causing you any ill.

“Impure thoughts and actions” could mean different things for different people. For some, entertaining lust in their minds. For others, porn. For others, prostitutes. So a tiny bit more clarification is needed. Me confessing that would lead to a follow up question of “what does that mean?”

Priests I know would generally be good with “I lived with my boyfriend for many years and engaged in fornication during that time.” That’s enough to know the sin and that the number is high and no further clarification needed. Or, “I had sex outside of marriage twice.” Or, “I’ve been viewing porn many times over the past two weeks.”

Personally, I’d suggest doing what I did with some sins. Go to a parish you will never likely go to again. Say it simply and plainly without detail, and that should be good.

As far as this statement: “The behaviours of this priest were known yet he was never corrected in any way. He died and his funeral was a sickenibg circus of undeserved tribute.” I know it’s trope, and I’m not sure if it does you any good, but what mattered was his personal judgement before God that we didn’t see. Justice was meted out in accordance with His will. The good news is that at the general judgement, we’ll learn the why of things.


I would think that most of us, when we’re judged by God, will pretty much know the why of the judgment. Unless we have total amnesia when we go before Him.

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