In other words, is a priest allowed to bring up things he has knowledge of (or believes he does) during your Confession? I had an incident recently where my priest, after I finished going through my sins, asked, “Is that all?” I’d been asked this in a general way before, but this seemed more pointed. I said that it was, to the best of my recollection. He got a little agitated and asked again if that was all. I told him it was. He took a deep breath, became visibly upset (red-faced, angry expression), then raised his voice and asked again. I said, “Unless you know something I don’t, I’m pretty sure that’s all.” It had only been a couple weeks since my previous Confession so I was fairly certain I’d covered everything. However, my priest didn’t agree. He stamped his foot, put his hands on his knees, raised his voice even louder and asked, “Are you sure you’re not forgetting something?!?” I told him I was really sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. He gave me a stare, shook his head then went on with my absolution.
Afterward, just as I was about to get up and leave the confessional, he asked me about the incident he thought I should confess. There had been a high-profile Mass a couple weeks earlier (the bishop was there) and, according to him, my daughters were supposed to serve. The other two servers had canceled at the last minute (both with good reasons), but since his secretary had spoken to me directly and I had personally told her that I’d bring the girls and stay for the Mass, he blamed me for them being stuck without any servers. He felt that my lying and irresponsibility were not only things I should confess, but were potential reasons to not let my daughters be altar servers anymore. Normally I would have agreed with him. The only problem was that it was the first I’d heard of it.
Since arguing in the confessional wasn’t doing any good, I left, let him cool off for a couple days, then called his secretary to find out what happened. She normally has nothing to do with the Mass or server schedules, but the person who normally handles it and their backup were both out. She had looked at the schedule, saw that two slots were filled, then saw a note listing the other servers. My daughters’ names were circled and had the date of the Mass written next to them, along with a scribble that the secretary hadn’t recognized as a question mark at the time. She thought it meant my girls had been asked and had agreed to serve. She ran into me at the store a couple days later and asked if she’d be seeing me and the girls at Mass that weekend. She goes to the same Mass we do so we see her every weekend. I replied, “You bet.” She took that to mean I was going to be at the special Mass with my girls and passed that on to our priest. I took it to mean she’d given me a friendly greeting and I gave her a typical response. I didn’t even remember the encounter until calling her.
The bottom line is that it was sloppy handling of a situation by the secretary and a big misunderstanding. However, even if the secretary had been right about everything, is the priest allowed to bring up outside knowledge during my Confession?