Is your son or other relative a priest?


What is it like to go to confession to your family member and what is it like seeing him celebrating mass?


I think that a lot of priests don’t hear confessions from their immediate family unless it’s an emergency. Not a rule against it, it’s just potentially really awkward.

That’s what I’ve heard, anyway.


If I were a priest I would never hear my family’s confession. That would be awkward.

Unless it were an emergency of course.


From the Priest I’ve heard they don’t remember what was said in the Confessional or even who said what----I think that is a special gift/grace from God. I would think it would be a true honor and blessing to hear a family member’s confession. It’s not like you’re in there to chat or have a visit you go to Confession to confess your sins and be absolved.


You really want to hear a sibling or parent tell you about their sins, particularly sexual sins? Barf.

Unless it’s an emergency, I imagine most people would go to a different priest.


In the Confessional the Priest is acting in the Person of Jesus Christ not a son or a brother. But each are entitled to their opinion on this subject.


The priest is still aware of what he’s hearing. Not all priests forget what they heard in the confessional, and I imagine hearing a close family member talk about certain topics would really stick with you.


Priests are trained well, the guidelines are there for a reason. They only hear the confession of their immediate family (wife - remember there are married priests, children, parents) in an emergency/grave situation. In fact, most make a practice to avoid hearing the confession of close friends and their employees/staff.


Are there official guidelines? I would think that it just comes down to common sense and the comfort level of both parties. My priest does not hear the confession of his children or wife, but will regularly hear the confessions of close friends, particularly those of fellow priests.


At least in face-to-face/1-off Confessions. If the parish secretary is number 12 of 20 booth confessions before Mass, I’d doubt Father would recognize a voice


Every Bishop handles this differently.

You can ask your priest, this is not some big state secret!


Hmmm. When my brother was alive, he was the one person in the entire world I could implicitly trust for honest, truthful and spot on guidance. There were times I went to confession to him. There was no hesitation on my nor his part about doing so. We were in different parts of the country, so it didn’t occur very often, as confession has to be face to face.


I heard once that the late Justice Scalia went to his son for confession once. I don’t really know what it was like though.


As has been stated, there is not a “FORBIDDEN” stamp, there are times and reasons when it may be appropriate. In general, it is not encouraged. Maybe that is more precise?


I feel a need to Confess to the CAF Community! :worried: Clear Out! I cannot control the level of awkwardness that shall ensue :tired_face:


I didn’t think there was any secret involved. You just mentioned guidelines, which led me to believe that you had seen something official. I have talked to my priest about this and he didn’t mention anything about guidelines, other than the fact that a priest is forbidden from absolving his accomplice in a sexual sin is written into Latin canon law.

I walked away from the discussion with the understanding that it basically comes down to the comfort level of all parties involved. When you mentioned guidelines, it seemed that you knew of something more formal and official.


Had my brother not passed away before becoming a Priest I could have seen myself going to him for confession and not feeling awkward about it.


I feel the same way. I prefer to confess to a priest who knows me well and who better than a trusted and loved family member?



Well, think of this example: suppose you were a parish employee, and went to confession to your pastor. In the course of that conversation, you confessed that you were embezzling money from the parish. Your pastor must keep the seal of the confessional: that is, he can never betray what you said in confession to anyone, ever. In other words, hearing your confession may hinder his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as pastor.

So, yeah – priests who have responsibility for folks in the external forum generally do not (or perhaps, “should not”) hear the confessions of those who report to them. In addition, priests who are responsible for formation (of novices in a religious community, or the rector of a seminary) are not to hear the confessions of those in formation.

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