Names and confession

Say you punch three priests, your local priest Fr. Smith, Avery Cardinal Dulles, and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, all in private. Later, you feel bad about it and want to confess. Would you have to confess, “I punched Fr. Smith, Cardinal Dulles, and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange”? Or could you just say, “I punched 2 priests and a Cardinal”? :hmmm:

Better to avoid the situation to begin with…

You should say “I punched 1 priest and desecrated 2 corpses.”

If your confessor needs more details, he’ll ask you.


Pretend it’s the 1960’s. :wink:

Thanks for the laugh. I wonder if I punched any boys who grew up to be priests?

Names are not necessary.

Thanks for the laugh. I wonder if I punched any boys who grew up to be priests?

In that case, the penitent would incur excommunication for assaulting a cleric, under the 1917 Code.

Edit: I can’t find the specific canon, but it’s there somewhere.

Oh. I thought by “punching” meant he was vocally critical of these people.
My bad. :blush:
I didn’t seriously believe he actually punched people.

So when and where did you do all of this. Come on spill the beans.

Good one, Father.

If naming names was required, it sure would make confessing adultery awkward :smiley:

A school boy went to confession. He told the priest that he had committed adultery with a married woman. The priest asked, “Who is it?” the boy said that he would not say. The priest pressed on, “Is it Mrs Smith?” The boy would not answer. He asked again, “Is it Mrs Jones?” Again the boy would not answer. The priest asked a third time, "Is it Mrs Davies?’ The boy did not answer so the priest gave him absolution.

When he came out of confession his friend asked him how it want. “Not too badly”, the boy said, “I got three new names”.

I see. For the sake of continuing the thread, let’s use pianistclaire’s assumption and say that you verbally assaulted the three priests.

I didn’t say I did this


You said that I did this.

Just kidding. I know what you meant.

The point here is that the penitent simply mentions the sin. It’s not necessary to mention any names. If the priest-confessor does need more information he’ll ask.

There are different levels of ecclesiastical crimes and corresponding penalties for assaulting clergy (verbally or physically). See canon 1370. Using physical force against the pope incurs automatic excommunication.

Most of these penalties can be absolved by most priest-confessors. “Most” does not mean “all.”

Truly, the answer to your question is that the penitent mentions the sin and if the confessor needs to know more details, he will ask.

Ok, thanks.

Just kidding. I know what you meant.

Do you? Or are you “just kidding” about knowing what I meant? :hmmm:

I was only kidding when I wrote that you said that I did it.

Take my comment as a joke.

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