Just how confidential is Confession?


As a NEW Catholic, I have a question I am hoping someone will be able to answer here, as I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone at my RCIA class. When a person goes to confession, is it all kept confidential ? Things like infidelities ? I’ve been married now for almost 30 years but, I have to admit the first few were NOT too easy as we were quite young and, several things happened that I am VERY ashamed of. I have managed to keep these to myself all of these years but now, as a new Catholic, I’ve been told I have to confess ALL of my sins before receiving my First Holy Communion. I feel as though after I do this, our Priest will know my dirty little secrets and, will be lQQking at me with disgust and, my partner with pity. What should I do ? I have grieved over these past infidelities and I truly believe God and Jesus both know how very sorry I am. Please help, as I’ve been told I will need to take care of this soon.

Thank You !


Dear H,

You have nothing to fear. The priest is bound to silence about what he hears in Confession under pain of excommunication. You know, we priests go to Confession too–and not as a pius thing to do. We are sinners also. I doubt that your priest will remember what you have told him because he hears so many sins. But if he does, he will not look down on you. He will admire you for your honesty, willingness to repent and courage to humble yourself for your love for Christ. I certainly do!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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