Entitled to Confession? Someone was angrily shouting in Church, before Mass


#1

Hi everyone. Not sure if this very long post should go here, in Liturgy and Sacraments, or perhaps somewhere in Catholic Living. I witnessed an altercation today, just before Mass. It's weighing on my heart & I don't shock easy. Some elderly & handicapped folks, who often sit at the back of our Church, were very upset by this. Turning to you for some answers.

First- some background. Our Pastor came from another country, learned English & has accomplished so much. In just a few years, he's managed to sell the original church building, construct a new, much larger one, start all sorts of ministries.. the list goes on & on. So many Catholics have come Home! Still, he's only 1 person & can only do so much. Our local population skyrocketed. It's estimated that in our Diocese, there are nearly 2,500 Catholics per Priest. 3 retired Priests volunteer to assist, but the work load for Father must be tremendous. Even so, he remains ever cheerful & compassionate.

Now for today- Normal hours for Reconciliation are 3-3:30 PM Saturdays, with evening hours added during Advent & Lent. Reconciliation is followed by 4 PM Mass. After that, there's Divine Mercy in the Chapel. There are Saturday weddings, too. Today, 2 priests were hearing Confession. For privacy, I'll call our Pastor Father A & the visiting Priest Father B.

Father A couldn't stay the entire time. About 10 minutes before Reconciliation was to end, he was called out on an emergency. Those of us waiting by his room were asked to go to the other Confessional, which had about 5 people waiting. By 3:30, when Reconciliation ends, there were about 15 people waiting. Reconciliation was technically over, but by 3:45, dear Father B was still hearing Confessions. He was scheduled for Mass in 15 minutes.

At 3:50, I was in a back pew, silently praying the Rosary. A disgruntled man entered the Church with his wife & 2-3 year old child. He stood outside Father B's Confessional door, near the Font. An elderly volunteer did his best to explain that Reconciliation was over @ 3:30. When questioned more, he explained Father B was hearing the Confessions of those who had arrived by 3:30 & was covering for Father A, but also had to say Mass in 10 mintues. He advised the man to make an appointment for Confession at any time, tried to console him etc, but the guy grew louder & more frustrated. He began shouting at this older fellow, there in Church:

"... Don't care **what* time it is! This is Lent & that Priest pointing to Confessional is going to stay in there until my wife's Confession is heard! If she can't have hers, I refuse mine! I'm staying right here & he will hear my wife's Confession! If he refuses now, well he'd better do it after Mass. By not letting her in, he is denying my wife her absolution & today's Communion! We are owed & entitled to this! I have a right.. "*

Father B wasn't refusing anything. He had remained in the Confessional since 3 PM. One lady sitting nearby is the elderly sister of a deceased Priest. She was just so upset, her face was all red. I patted her hand, motioned to my Rosary. She nodded, then took out hers, silently praying for the man.

I just felt.. so bad.. for Father B, for whoever was in Confession with him, for Father A (who will probably get an earful), for the parishioners who were upset & for this yelling man, his wife & child.

After finishing the Rosary, I went for a quick trip to the ladies' room. In my path, standing in the hall outside the doors, was the man with his arms crossed in front of him. I was thinking maybe a warm smile & hello might help soothe him. So, I softly smiled, nodding in greeting & said, "Hi." He gave me such a hateful look.

Father B did say 4 PM Mass. Don't know what happened after that- if the man & his wife's Confessions were heard. He had complained that Lenten Confessions should begin earlier. But there are other things going on before 3 (weddings, etc.) & even if Reconciliation were scheduled earlier, this fellow would still have arrived late.

Thanks for reading all this & if you can, help me out.

Was it stupid to smile & greet the guy? He was in my path. Should I have ignored him? Do you think my greeting made him feel worse, rather than better?

More importantly, if the man complains, which is likely, will Father A or Father B get in some kind of trouble? Were he & his wife, as he said,* entitled* to Confession (& absolution) by Father B today, no matter the date or time?


#2

I think what you did was very kind and that you did the right thing :)

It's upsetting that this man got so angry! :(


#3

You did the right thing. I suspect a mental illness. At any rate, the man (and all involved) need our prayers.


#4

NO! You did not do anything wrong!

I hope this man also confessed his sinful outburst when he did go to confession!:(

Also, neither priest should not be in any trouble.


#5

Well, BriarRose, you're way nicer than I am. I think I might have made some other kind of face - one involving rolling eyes! :rolleyes: You did the best thing possible, and the man continued to act like an *******. (censored myself there) Maybe he was a little grumpy because he'd been fasting all day. Yeah, that's it, I'm sure.

Betsy


#6

[quote="BriarRose, post:1, topic:187770"]
Hi everyone. Not sure if this very long post should go here, in Liturgy and Sacraments, or perhaps somewhere in Catholic Living. I witnessed an altercation today, just before Mass. It's weighing on my heart & I don't shock easy. Some elderly & handicapped folks, who often sit at the back of our Church, were very upset by this. Turning to you for some answers.

First- some background. Our Pastor came from another country, learned English & has accomplished so much. In just a few years, he's managed to sell the original church building, construct a new, much larger one, start all sorts of ministries.. the list goes on & on. So many Catholics have come Home! Still, he's only 1 person & can only do so much. Our local population skyrocketed. It's estimated that in our Diocese, there are nearly 2,500 Catholics per Priest. 3 retired Priests volunteer to assist, but the work load for Father must be tremendous. Even so, he remains ever cheerful & compassionate.

Now for today- Normal hours for Reconciliation are 3-3:30 PM Saturdays, with evening hours added during Advent & Lent. Reconciliation is followed by 4 PM Mass. After that, there's Divine Mercy in the Chapel. There are Saturday weddings, too. Today, 2 priests were hearing Confession. For privacy, I'll call our Pastor Father A & the visiting Priest Father B.

Father A couldn't stay the entire time. About 10 minutes before Reconciliation was to end, he was called out on an emergency. Those of us waiting by his room were asked to go to the other Confessional, which had about 5 people waiting. By 3:30, when Reconciliation ends, there were about 15 people waiting. Reconciliation was technically over, but by 3:45, dear Father B was still hearing Confessions. He was scheduled for Mass in 15 minutes.

At 3:50, I was in a back pew, silently praying the Rosary. A disgruntled man entered the Church with his wife & 2-3 year old child. He stood outside Father B's Confessional door, near the Font. An elderly volunteer did his best to explain that Reconciliation was over @ 3:30. When questioned more, he explained Father B was hearing the Confessions of those who had arrived by 3:30 & was covering for Father A, but also had to say Mass in 10 mintues. He advised the man to make an appointment for Confession at any time, tried to console him etc, but the guy grew louder & more frustrated. He began shouting at this older fellow, there in Church:

"... Don't care **what** time it is! This is Lent & that Priest pointing to Confessional is going to stay in there until my wife's Confession is heard! If she can't have hers, I refuse mine! I'm staying right here & he will hear my wife's Confession! If he refuses now, well he'd better do it after Mass. By not letting her in, he is denying my wife her absolution & today's Communion! We are owed & entitled to this! I have a right.. "

Father B wasn't refusing anything. He had remained in the Confessional since 3 PM. One lady sitting nearby is the elderly sister of a deceased Priest. She was just so upset, her face was all red. I patted her hand, motioned to my Rosary. She nodded, then took out hers, silently praying for the man.

I just felt.. so bad.. for Father B, for whoever was in Confession with him, for Father A (who will probably get an earful), for the parishioners who were upset & for this yelling man, his wife & child.

After finishing the Rosary, I went for a quick trip to the ladies' room. In my path, standing in the hall outside the doors, was the man with his arms crossed in front of him. I was thinking maybe a warm smile & hello might help soothe him. So, I softly smiled, nodding in greeting & said, "Hi." He gave me such a hateful look.

Father B did say 4 PM Mass. Don't know what happened after that- if the man & his wife's Confessions were heard. He had complained that Lenten Confessions should begin earlier. But there are other things going on before 3 (weddings, etc.) & even if Reconciliation were scheduled earlier, this fellow would still have arrived late.

Thanks for reading all this & if you can, help me out.

Was it stupid to smile & greet the guy? He was in my path. Should I have ignored him? Do you think my greeting made him feel worse, rather than better?

More importantly, if the man complains, which is likely, will Father A or Father B get in some kind of trouble? Were he & his wife, as he said,* entitled* to Confession (& absolution) by Father B today, no matter the date or time?

[/quote]

I hope that when he did get his chance to do so that he confessed his nastiness. The rule is very simple. Everyone is entitled to receive the sacrament of Penance. However, unless it's a life and death emergency, the priest does not have to hear your confession on your schedule. The man was wrong and the Usher was right. Confession is over when it's over.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#7

:mad: There's no need to behave like that in Our Lord's house!!! For goodness' sake, he was in CHURCH, not the supermarket!!!

Sounds like you did the right thing though. God bless :thumbsup: xxxx


#8

[quote="PrincessViolet, post:7, topic:187770"]
:mad: There's no need to behave like that in Our Lord's house!!! For goodness' sake, he was in CHURCH, not the supermarket!!!

Sounds like you did the right thing though. God bless :thumbsup: xxxx

[/quote]

There is no need to behave that way anywhere. My mother taught me that good manner go a long way.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#9

As others have said before you did the right thing being charitable towards the disgruntled penitent; With the current situation in The CHurch we should be greatful for the priests we have even if they're perfect because they are human as much as we are and also confess;
Pray for priests and an increase in Vocations
Not so long ago I entered the Cathedral to have my confession heard; I was late and there were penitents behind me and in front of me. Despite the shcedule saying that confessions ended the priest kept calling people in. After he heard my sins gave me great advice and absolved me he gave me the greatest penance I ever got! To read 1 John 3 Amen. I'm greatful he heard my confession (and others) past the deadline and still listened and responded diligently to his flock. Thank you Jesus


#10

[quote="tbtcom1213, post:9, topic:187770"]
As others have said before you did the right thing being charitable towards the disgruntled penitent; With the current situation in The CHurch we should be greatful for the priests we have even if they're perfect because they are human as much as we are and also confess;
Pray for priests and an increase in Vocations
Not so long ago I entered the Cathedral to have my confession heard; I was late and there were penitents behind me and in front of me. Despite the shcedule saying that confessions ended the priest kept calling people in. After he heard my sins gave me great advice and absolved me he gave me the greatest penance I ever got! To read 1 John 3 Amen. I'm greatful he heard my confession (and others) past the deadline and still listened and responded diligently to his flock. Thank you Jesus

[/quote]

This is a beautiful experience, but it's not always possible. I know that my brothers can't do more than an hour of confession. Confession is from 4-5. At 5:15 the brothers have Vespers in common. They have to drop everything at 5:00 and rush to the community house to pray together. Then follows the community meal at which they must all attend. Those brothers who are priests do not get back to the parish until 7:00 in time for the mass. Right after mass they have to bolt back to the community house for community recreation which starts at 8:30 and at 9:30 is Night Prayer and Grand Silence.

Sometimes people get upset because they want to talk to one of the brothers after the mass, but the brothers can't stay. That's what happens when you have a mendicant community running a parish.

I recently visited a friend of mine who is an Oblate of Mary Immaculate (OMI). They are not mendicants, but they have a very structured community life. He was sharing that it was often very difficult for them, becuase people became angry at the fact that they can only be available in the parish office for about three hours per day. I'm not sure if that's three hours for each man or if they are all on duty at the same time.

The point that he was making is tha they have common prayers, common recreation, common meals, manual labor around the house (I guess that means housekeeping) and they have to go out and do preaching, because they are a congregation of missionaries. They are not always home either. Even though there are five priests in the house, they don't have the time to run a parish the way that people want it.

It's much easier for diocesan priests, because they do not have any religious obligations, because they are not consecrated men. They make their own schedules and they usually eat on their own, pray alone and so forth each priest on his own schedule. Unless they have two things colliding on the schedule, like the priest in the OP who had to say mass in 15 minutes, these guys can give the extra time for confessions that religious cannot always provide.

In fairness to religious, they do try to work their community schedule so as not to have conflicts with their parish, school, hospital or whatever they run. But the day only has 24 hours and sometimes you can't get it all into one 24 hour slot and something has to give. When it comes to religious, the parish will always have to yield to religiuos life.

This is a different group, but even Mother Teresa's sisters only work four hours a day. The rest of their day is spent in community and their programs and services are run by volunteers.

There are many things about the lives of priests and religious that most people don't know. I know one diocesan priest who lives at home. They can do this. He takes care of his dad who is up in years. The poor man is exhausted at the end of the day. He runs a parish and takes care of his dad. He's the one who takes dad to the doctor, the dentist, to church, back home and so forth. Sometimes there are things that we don't see.

We have to learn to be peaceful when things don't go our way. There may be a very good reason.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#11

[quote="BriarRose, post:1, topic:187770"]

Thanks for reading all this & if you can, help me out.

Was it stupid to smile & greet the guy? He was in my path. Should I have ignored him? Do you think my greeting made him feel worse, rather than better?

More importantly, if the man complains, which is likely, will Father A or Father B get in some kind of trouble? Were he & his wife, as he said,* entitled* to Confession (& absolution) by Father B today, no matter the date or time?

[/quote]

Wow, what a nut.

Did you do the wrong thing? No, actually I'd imagine it's what Mary herself would do if she were in your place. I wish I could return smiles to jerks.

Is he entitled to Confession? Yes, but think of it like this: the guy's got the right to vote too, but he can only do that in November. He has the right to it but he doesn't dictate over the priest's time. Besides that, he was given other options. What's more, it's not like the priest just didn't feel like it. It was because he had to say Mass. Should the priest make God and everyone else wait because this guy doesn't have punctuality or patience?

Furthermore, yeah, it's Lent -- the perfect time for him to work on being a better person, not for him to act like a lunatic.

A Sacrament is a gift... what kind of a nut reacts that way to a gift? Either he was in a mood or he has issues. If that's so, it should be nobody's problem but his own; your priests shouldn't get in any trouble if he complains (unless if he embelishes the story, which he sounds like he might be prone to do since he embelished his right to Confession, in which case we'll have no idea what the outcome will be).

And if he got more annoyed by your greeting, it's his problem if he returns kindness with that. Forget him -- everyone else did what they were supposed to do. Best not to waste time fretting over arrogant anti-social jerks.

I have an even worse Confession scenario for you. It's kind of off-topic, but I think it's interesting. At one place where I go to Mass, they have Confession during the Mass (it's in a Catholic country where there is no serious shortage of priests, so they can do that, even though it doesn't make much sense to me that they do it during Mass and not before). Anyway, by the time the Mass is done, one priest just leaves even when there are still people waiting in line for Confession. It might not even be their fault, because they were on time and the lines get quite long. In this case, I think the priest is definitely doing something really unfair and they should make provisions so this doesn't happen. I don't think they're good to the parishioners at this parish. Before Christmas, they traditionally have a Novena of Masses at 4.30AM, and it is the absolute worst time for them to have extra-long homilies (I clocked one homily at 47 minutes last December) because everyone is sleepy and Mass needs to finish on time because people have work and school and a lot simply had to walk out. They've had a history of priests with excessively-long homilies. One priest they formerly had there didn't speak English well and, I hate to say this, but the Mass ends up being magnificently dull because of how he's slow and stumbling. So many people complained that whenever he did Sunday Mass, they always had a concelebrant just to do the homily. He still did the weekday Masses though. I can recite the Eucharistic Prayers by my memory faster than he can read it off the Missal, I wanted to yell the right words up to him sometimes. I really feel horrible about complaining about Mass, but my goodness, would it kill them to be competent? I clearly have to work on patience, just as the nut in your story does.


#12

Dear friends,

St. Paul has some relevant guidance for interactions with this (and any) difficult person.

St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 12:12-21

Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Our friend BriarRose treated this man as St. Paul tells us, by not repaying evil for evil, living in peace, and sharing good in the face of difficult and unpleasant situations.

And - none of us know what was going on in the lives of this man and his wife. There could have been something very serious that was overcoming this man's capacity to think about the needs of others. He should not have done things as he did, and hopefully he reflects prior to his own time of repentance with the Lord and changes the way he approaches things. However, none of us can tell him how to behave, we can just choose how we behave in response.

Let's all hope that this person was able to receive the Sacrament in a timely manner, even though it was not precisely at the time he desired. Praying for an improvement in this person's capacity for handling trials and difficulties in life, and in expressing thoughtfulness towards his brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.


#13

[quote="BriarRose, post:1, topic:187770"]
It's estimated that in our Diocese, there are nearly 2,500 Catholics per Priest....
Normal hours for Reconciliation are 3-3:30 PM Saturdays, with evening hours added during Advent & Lent.

[/quote]

With such a high ratio of laypeople to priests, it would probably be a good idea for them to schedule more confession times throughout the week. Not just for Lent, but all the time. Even if only 1/100th of those 2500 people (per priest) showed up for confession one week, there's no way they could all have an opportunity to confess in just 30 minutes.

Eventually people whose confessions are never heard will just stop trying to receive the sacrament. If each priest only hears confessions 30 minutes per week in a diocese with a ratio of 1 priest to 2500 people, the diocese is practically discouraging participation in the sacrament of reconciliation.

I am not saying that priests should hear confessions for an hour or longer at one time. That's not reasonable; not everyone can do this. They should be scheduling more confession times.

[quote="BriarRose, post:1, topic:187770"]
Reconciliation was technically over, but by 3:45, dear Father B was still hearing Confessions. He was scheduled for Mass in 15 minutes.

[/quote]

That's very kind of him! :thumbsup:

[quote="BriarRose, post:1, topic:187770"]
More importantly, if the man complains, which is likely, will Father A or Father B get in some kind of trouble? Were he & his wife, as he said,* entitled* to Confession (& absolution) by Father B today, no matter the date or time?

[/quote]

They should not get in trouble. One priest was called to an emergency, and the other priest went beyond the scheduled confession time to help.

I do believe that the man and his wife have a right to the sacrament, but not a right "no matter the date or time." If Mass is scheduled, the priest has a responsibility to his congregation to celebrate the Mass. The man's behavior was irrational and rude.

But while I agree with everyone who has said the priests did nothing wrong, and that the layman's behavior was irrational and rude, I also think there's a serious problem in the diocese that needs addressing. Expecting priests to hear confessions only 30 minutes per week in those circumstances is ridiculous.


#14

This really doesn't seem to be any kind of religious or liturgical issue to me. This is a grumpy person, showing up late, and expecting special treatment. Yes, Catholics should be able to expect REASONABLE access to the Sacraments. But priests are people, have time constraints like everyone else, and can only do so much....and most of them can't be in two places at once.

Some Catholics do not even have enough priests in their area to be able to have MASS every week.

IMHO, this man has just been sucked into the impatience and entitlement of our secular society. He needs prayers, as we all do.

No, you were not wrong to smile and greet him. A kind gesture like that is never wrong. If he felt "made" to feel worse by your gesture that is, frankly, his problem. You are showing charity by praying for him.

:hug3:


#15

[quote="JesuXPIPassio, post:11, topic:187770"]

Is he entitled to Confession? Yes, but think of it like this: the guy's got the right to vote too, but he can only do that in November.

[/quote]

Would you have this same response to someone who makes a scene because he couldn't receive communion? Or is the sacrament of Penance so much inferior than the sacrament of Eucharist? And why does the Church not make more provisions to hear confessions; it seems to go way out its way with providing everyone with communion, even twice a day.


#16

[quote="JReducation, post:6, topic:187770"]
I hope that when he did get his chance to do so that he confessed his nastiness. The rule is very simple. Everyone is entitled to receive the sacrament of Penance. However, unless it's a life and death emergency, the priest does not have to hear your confession on your schedule. The man was wrong and the Usher was right. Confession is over when it's over.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)

[/quote]

this seems like another horrible symptom of our "i want it now and if i don't get it within five seconds i'm going to scream and have you all fired" culture.

people can not wait. this man was so blinded by his anger that he did not realize he was in a church, screaming at and about men of God, and isrupting the entire prayer time of those in the chapel. actually, i'm sore he did realize it. he just didn't care.

prayers for this guy. may the Holy Spirit encourage him to have more patience, gratitude, and charity.


#17

[quote="ProVobis, post:15, topic:187770"]
Would you have this same response to someone who makes a scene because he couldn't receive communion? Or is the sacrament of Penance so much inferior than the sacrament of Eucharist? And why does the Church not make more provisions to hear confessions; it seems to go way out its way with providing everyone with communion, even twice a day.

[/quote]

There is a difference here and it has nothing to do with the dignity of the sacrament. It's not making one sacrament superior to another. Receiving holy communion is made available through several rites: the mass, viaticum, communion services and several others in the Eastern Churches that we don't have in the west. The Church has not gone out of its way. These have always been part of her tradition. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you get to receive Holy Communion. A cleric is not bound to give you or me Holy Communion outside of these times or rites.

The same applies to confession. A priest may never deny someone the opportunity to go to confession, with one exception. That exception is when there is something else of EQUAL importance that he has to do at the same time. Having to celebrate mass at 5 PM and someone asking for confession at 5 PM creates a situation in which the priest cannot do both. He must choose. Since the case is not one of life and death, he may choose to ask the person to come back and go forward with the mass at the assigned time.

It's not a case of denying someone a right. In this case, if I understand the report correctly, it was a conflict in schedule. The priest his being asked to celebrate two sacraments at the same time. Obviously he can't do that.

There is always the question, could he not hear one more confession? OK, fair enough. But at some point he has to cut the confessions and move on to the mass. He has a church full of people waiting. In justice, if they were promised a mass at 5:00, they deserve to have it begin at 5:00. In justice, if the confessions are posted from 3:3j0 to 4:00 or whatever the schedule was, the penitents deserve to ministered to at the time they were told.

There is always a delicate balance that the priest must try to maintain. I believe that I said that this happens often when you have priests who are religious. They have to stick to the confession schedule very closely, because they have religious duties to attend. The Church requires that they comply with those duties. They can make an exception and be late for the Divine Office on some occasions, so that they can hear a confession, but they can't make a habit out of it. To continuosly miss community prayer is a grave sin. Usually, to be fair to the laity, religious communities try to build their schedule in such a way so as to avoid conflict with the parish schedule or shrine or where ever they find themselves. Once in a while, you're going to get the situation where it doesn't quite work. It is not the intent of the priest to deny someone a sacrament.

I believe this point has to be kept in mind. The intent can never be to deny a person the sacrament. The situation must be such that it can be justifiable to ask the person to come back. Such a situation is when there are two events taking place and the priest must be at the one, either becaues of law (such as community rule) or because of justice (such as people waiting for the 5:00 mass).

Finally, there is also another rule in liturgy. You're not really supposed to be hearing confessions when mass is going on in the same place. Even if you had more priests and you could have one for the mass and the other for confessions, you can't do it in the same place. Most confessionals are in the main body of the church. There is even a question about whethere you can do it in another part of the building. But the answer is not that clear on that point.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#18

[quote="JReducation, post:17, topic:187770"]
The Church has not gone out of its way. These have always been part of her tradition. If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you get to receive Holy Communion. A cleric is not bound to give you or me Holy Communion outside of these times or rites.

[/quote]

In hospitals and nursing homes, these ministers seemed to be always around. I know that from visiting my dad last year at those places. Visitors can get communion there too.

As for confession, there may be a little more to the OP story. I'm not saying this is what happened to him, but I (and perhaps all of us here) have been in confession lines where there was someone taking up considerable amount of time in confession. Let's face it, one or two people taking up ten to fifteen minutes of a priest's time can very well cause those at the end of the confession lines a lot of grief and anger because those at the end miss out on the sacrament completely. And, here we were, wasting all that time making a good examination of conscience in preparation for the sacrament. It's not justified I know, but we are human and we do get angry.


#19

[quote="JReducation, post:17, topic:187770"]
Having to celebrate mass at 5 PM and someone asking for confession at 5 PM creates a situation in which the priest cannot do both.

[/quote]

Exactly so. In my parish confessions are heard 30 minutes before every weekday afternoon Mass as well as on Saturdays. Five minutes before Mass is to begin, the priest leaves the confessional, even if a line remains. Generally, he will tell the next to last penitent to notify anyone remaining in line that no more confessions can be heard. Sometimes, if his schedule permits, he will return to the confessional after Mass, but not always.

I've been in the church waiting for Mass to begin when the confession line runneth over. I've also been in the confession line hoping I get in before the time expires. If I don't make it, I come back the next day.

Most priests have very busy schedules. If we want more confessions being heard by more priests, we can start sending more of our men to the seminaries.

Where is this "right to confession" written? In some places of the world, one may be lucky to get the chance to receive this sacrament maybe once a month or less. And at some times in history, it was only available yearly. How spoiled have we become?


#20

Thank you all for your words of wisdom & encouragement. You have not only taken the time to read my long post, but provided such thoughtful replies, both comforting & inspiring.

Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus, That in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge ~1 Corinthians 1: 3-5

It's a relief to know that should there be a complaint, Father A & Father B will most likely not get into trouble, and that smiling & greeting the man, after his outburst, wasn't a goof. Your replies have also helped me to see the brighter side of yesterday's encounter. I realize there's a joyful aspect- in that so many were returning to the Church, eager for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There have been times when Father sat there waiting, but very few came to confess.

I'll do as you suggested, praying for this man (& his family), lifting the situation up to the Lord, placing it in His most compassionate, merciful & capable hands.. letting go & letting God. I will also continue praying for vocations to the priesthood & religious life. We sure need more shepherds. Guess there's another bright side.. that this flock is growing!

Again, thanks so much & may God Bless you all.


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