How are confessions administed to those who are cannot hear?


Particulary those born deaf who’ve used a sign language from the start to communicate to others?.Is writing between the priest and confessing person allowed in such a situation?.


You would think so. Well I think it would be. :slight_smile:

My PP has learnt sign language, so he can minister to the deaf, which is great I think :slight_smile:


I would suggest that anyone who has a difficulty in verbally expressing themselves should contact their priest in advance and explain their difficulties so that the priest can offer this sacrament. The priest will advise on the options available to enable the individual to make a good confession and for the priest to fulfill this part of his calling. The priest and indeed the Church will do all they could to administer this Sacrament to anyone.

By the way, in some parishes, the Sacrament of Reconciliation involves the penitent having to look the priest in the eye to enable the deaf priest to lip read. I saw a program on the ordination of a priest who was born deaf and it seems there are quite a few deaf priests who carry out all of their priestly duties in full.

I hope this helps.


I do not know if the use of writing is permitted, but the use of an interpreter is.



I remember reading “Bless Me, Father,” and if you enjoyed any of James Herriot’s work, you’ll enjoy Fr. Boyd’s memoir.

Fr. Boyd took the title from an incident where a deaf person came into his confessional, and the penitent slid a note through the screen.


It is also important to remember that it is Jesus who hears us and absolves us. It isn’t necessary for the priest to understand us because Jesus does. I have been to confession when the priest does not speak English and I don’t speak their language fluently and the confession is valid. Even though it is very difficult to have a “good” confession and receive the counseling that priests often give us, the forgiveness is still there regardless.

I have hearing loss but hear well enough with hearing aids that so far I haven’t had too much trouble so far. One of my sons has severe speech problems. He hears well but people often misunderstand him when he speaks. Before he made his first confession, I spike with the priest about how that would affect things in the confessional. The priest assured me that he would be just fine, that God knows what he will say before he even thinks it himself, and the intent if the penitent is what counts. As my son has gotten older, he usually writes his sins down and brings the paper with him into the confessional. He told me a few times the priest reads his list as my son confesses, and then gives him counseling, absolution and penance verbally, but often has my son write out his responses to any questions the priest may have. Some people can understand my son without much trouble, but other people struggle to make out much of what he says, so it is kind of tge same during confession. Sometimes the priest understands easily, other times the priest communicates more through writing. After confession, my son takes the paper home and burns them.


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