Hearing impaired confession?

My father has lost his hearing. He can hear very little with his hearing aids and that must be spoken with a very clear voice in a higher volume than is normally used for speaking. He is not a Catholic, in fact he has stopped attending church because he cannot hear the services. My question is, if he were a Catholic, how would confession work for him? He could not hear the Priest speaking to him.
Thanks for reading;)

I’ve heard of something like this where someone who was deaf could only confess by passing a piece of paper through the window grates in the confessional. You can talk to the priest and see if he can arrange this. Also, sometimes I can’t hear the homily (especially if it’s someone from another country), but that isn’t a reason to stop attending church. The homily isn’t even the climax of the Mass, it’s Holy Communion. If the priest prints out his notes on the computer (some do this), you can always ask for a paper printout of the homily for him. I did this back in my old Lutheran church during confirmation (we had to take notes on the sermon) since it was hard to hear it.

One good thing about having a hearing loss (I also have a hearing loss) is at Eucharistic Adoration, it’s certainly nice and quiet. :slight_smile:

For a person in a situation like that, there’s always some way that can be worked-out for a priest to hear his confession. Some examples:

  1. He could arrange for a time for confession when he and the priest are the only ones there.
  2. The priest could lean over and speak loudly into his ear (without being insulting, naturally)
  3. Some confessionals have little “telephone like” devices for the hearing-impaired. I’ve seen this a few times, but they’re rare.
  4. If need be, the priest could write what he has to say, but this would have to be done with great caution. He’s still say the prayer of absolution adoud.

There are probably more options that I haven’t thought of, but suffice to say that it would always be possible to work something out.

You could have confession in the priest’s office or some other place where the priest could raise his voice without violating anyone’s privacy.

There’s an older book by Father Neil Boyd called “Bless Me, Father,” which I had the pleasure of reading many years ago (yes, there’s also a BritCom based loosely on it).

I recall a part when the priest didn’t realize it was a hearing-impaired person who was sliding a piece of paper through a drawer. It was a cute scene.

There may be a Catholic Charity to which your parish can refer your father, that may help invest in testing, diagnosis, and treatment for his hearing loss.

I would second the suggestion that your father should make an appointment to meet with the priest in his rectory office for Confession. It’s not as rare or unusual as one would think!

From what I’ve looked into, a Deaf (or hard of hearing) person can request an interpreter in the confessional, and the interpreter is bound by the same seal as the priest.

Yes, that is true. It might help others in a similar situation.

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