Does the Seal of the Confessional work "both ways"

I have heard this from a couple of sources (including a priest!) but when I try and research the truth of it I can find nothing in the documents of the Church about it.

Everyone knows that a priest is bound by the seal of the confessional - but is it true that the penitent is also so bound - forbidden to speak of what is said in the confessional?

The penitent is free to talk about what he said and what penance and advice the Priest gave him. If however, the penitent hears someone else confessing, he is not to disclose it.

All of us are bound by the 8th Commandment not to idly disclose anything that is said to us in confidence. If a priest tells you something confidentially in Confession (which I find hard to imagine, but I suppose it could happen), you would be bound by the 8th Commandment not to blab it all over the place.

Priests are also bound by the seal of the Confessional, meaning that they can’t even tell anyone whose business it might be (such as the police).

If you accidentally overhear someone else’s Confession, you are bound by the same seal as the priest. The best thing is simply to focus on other things and not to dwell on what you heard.

The priest may not even talk to you about your confession without your permission. A translator is also bound by the seal.

How about if the priest mentions something, but doesn’t say to whose Confession he’s referring?

Maybe you’ve heard Fr. Corapi’s “Bless me Father, I have no sins” story? The one where the guy’s mother made him go, and Fr. Corapi guessed that the non-penitent had been using birth control or some such… I don’t know, it could be fictional.

But I would think that the priest wouldn’t be allowed even to do that (provided it was a true story) because there’s always the chance someone would recognize someone they know from the story.

reminds me of the story of the retired pastor who was invited to give a blessing at a civic dinner and event. The prominent local politician who had arranged the invitation had known this priest a long time, in fact was a parishioner in the priest’s first parish. Politician came late and missed the blessing and the priest’s remark. Priest told some amusing anecdotes, including one about “the first confession I ever heard as a new priest” with some wild details, giving no names of course. Politician got there after the dinner, stood up to thank the priest for coming and said, “I have known Fr. Joe for 40 years, in fact, I was the first person who went to confession with him as a new priest at his first parish!”

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