Does the Seal of Confession bind the penitent?


#1

The Seal of Confession binds the confessor and all third parties as described in Canons 983 and 984. My question is whether this same binding applies to the penitent as well?

Can the penitent reveal what he/she as confessed or what advice or penance was given by the confessor to another, whether the other be the confessor, another priest, or a layman/woman?


#2

Here is a link to a previous thread which asked this question:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=92306

In short, the penitent is not bound by the seal of confession, though it is probably best to be prudent about sharing such information.

Here is another discussion of the subject:

wdtprs.com/blog/2010/05/quaeritur-does-the-seal-of-confession-apply-also-to-the-penitent/


#3

[quote="JMJ_coder, post:1, topic:339937"]
Can the penitent reveal what he/she as confessed or what advice or penance was given by the confessor to another, whether the other be the confessor, another priest, or a layman/woman?

[/quote]

Lay faithful are bound under penalty only concerning sins confessed by another penitent of which they somehow had or received knowledge, be it as translators, or in any other way (983, 984, 1388).

Interestingly, in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (for Oriental sui iuris Catholic Churches) there is an additional penalty for anyone who attempt in any way to receive information from a confession (733, 734, 1456).

I am unaware of any restriction on revealing your own sins, the given penance, or the given advice / spiritual direction. Fr. Z has some good advice, especially when he says:

it is probably better for the penitent not to speak too much about what occurs in the confessional under normal circumstances.


#4

[quote="JMJ_coder, post:1, topic:339937"]
The Seal of Confession binds the confessor and all third parties as described in Canons 983 and 984. My question is whether this same binding applies to the penitent as well?

Can the penitent reveal what he/she as confessed or what advice or penance was given by the confessor to another, whether the other be the confessor, another priest, or a layman/woman?

[/quote]

The seal binds others because they're not their sins to reveal. You can tell all and sundry your sins. There's no reason for you to keep secret any penance you've been given.

Whether it's prudent to do these things is another matter.


#5

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