Obligation of the Seal of Confession for the Laity


Hello there! I have a quick question. I was wondering if when me and my family go to confession together, if it’s appropriate for somebody like me and my Dad to talk to each other about what we said in the confessional and discuss the good advice of the priest. Certainly the penitant can reveal what he himself said in the confessional, although the priest is bound to not say anything due to the seal? I mean, St. Augustine obviously could since he wrote the Confessions?


That is correct: the penitent himself is not bound by the seal.


You can say whatever you’d like about your own confession and are not bound to the seal if someone tells you after the fact. The only time you’re bound to it is when you overhear the confession itself. That being said, you shouldn’t be spreading around what your dad said to you about his confession. Does that make sense?


I pretty much assumed that whatever somebody tells me, I keep it to myself. Thank you for the insight!


It’s more along the lines of what you might accidentally overhear. If you are, for example, waiting in a pew and overhear someone confessing their sin of drunkenness, you are bound to keep that information to yourself.


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