Oddest Confession Ever


#1

I had an interesting experience, but it left me in doubt. The priest first chatted with me before I could begin the Confession. Then I listed my sins. The priest then tried telling me that one of my sins wasn’t a sin, and then went into his own absolution. He said something about forgiving myself, maybe said the word absolve, and then I left. No penance either. No place to kneel, no screen. Is this valid, or should I repeat this confession?


#2

It depends on exactly what the priest said. The words “I absolve you” are operative, and if these were missing, you should explain the situation to another priest and repeat your Confession.


#3

I honestly can't remember. The whole situation was disorienting.


#4

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:330587"]
I had an interesting experience, but it left me in doubt. The priest first chatted with me before I could begin the Confession. Then I listed my sins. The priest then tried telling me that one of my sins wasn't a sin, and then went into his own absolution. He said something about forgiving myself, maybe said the word absolve, and then I left. No penance either. No place to kneel, no screen. Is this valid, or should I repeat this confession?

[/quote]

:confused:

If it were me (and perhaps I'm a little scrupulous) I would find a normal-looking church with normal Confessionals, with screens and kneelers -perhaps the sort that has the Act of Contrition printed on the penitent's side of the screen, and make my Confession there.


#5

To be sure, I’m never going back there, but I was in the area and dropped in for Confession. This is definitely not my normal church.


#6

I would reconfess.


#7

Ah, and I forgot to ask. Am I still in mortal sin? Can I receive communion tomorrow?


#8

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:6, topic:330587"]
I would reconfess.

[/quote]

I would not.

I would assume the confession was valid because you have no reason to believe otherwise. Chatting beforehand, not having a screen, etc, doesn't invalidate the sacrament. It's not unusual to be distracted in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation. The fact that you can't remember exactly what the priest said isn't a good reason to assume that he left out an essential component of the sacrament. In the absence of proof to the contrary, I would assume you're in a state of grace.


#9

As far as I see, the ideal course of action would be as follows:

Go to Mass early tomorrow, and pop into the sacristy. Talk to the priest about what happened, and ask him if the Confession was valid. If the Confession was valid, you’re all set. If it was not, the priest can (validly) absolve you right then and there.


#10

I know he said something along the lines of “God has already forgiven you”, but I don’t know if that’s close enough to the “I absolve you”.

And should I send a note of concern to the parish/bishop about it, because I presume I’m not the to whom this has happened.


#11

Sorry, I don’t want to sound uncharitable but are you sure it was a Catholic Church you went to, as some High Anglicans have Confessions, as do the odd Lutheran Church and no doubt there formula would be different than ours, you did say you were only passing the place and dropped in, next time your passing look to see if it is a Catholic Church you actually went to.#

Just a thought.::signofcross:


#12

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:330587"]
I had an interesting experience, but it left me in doubt. The priest first chatted with me before I could begin the Confession. Then I listed my sins. The priest then tried telling me that one of my sins wasn't a sin, and then went into his own absolution. He said something about forgiving myself, maybe said the word absolve, and then I left. No penance either. No place to kneel, no screen. Is this valid, or should I repeat this confession?

[/quote]

If you are really unsure about it, just seek out another priest whom you trust, explain to him what happen, if the previous confession was invalid, then problem solved, if it was valid then you received some more graces for a devotional confession. Win-win! :thumbsup:

After this, next time, if you do return to that priest for confession pay a little more attention to see if he did validly absolve you.


#13

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:10, topic:330587"]

And should I send a note of concern to the parish/bishop about it, because I presume I'm not the to whom this has happened.

[/quote]

I wouldn't persue this course of action just yet, give him the benefit of the doubt first by maybe trying confession with him again, and paying attention to see if he said a valid absolution or by speaking to him about this and hearing what he has to say.


#14

[quote="Celtic_Maiden, post:11, topic:330587"]
Sorry, I don't want to sound uncharitable but are you sure it was a Catholic Church you went to, as some High Anglicans have Confessions, as do the odd Lutheran Church and no doubt there formula would be different than ours, you did say you were only passing the place and dropped in, next time your passing look to see if it is a Catholic Church you actually went to.#

Just a thought.::signofcross:

[/quote]

I'm positive. I'm from the area and have gone to Mass there before, but not for a while.


#15

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:5, topic:330587"]
To be sure, I'm never going back there, but I was in the area and dropped in for Confession. This is definitely not my normal church.

[/quote]

This was a CATHOLIC CHURCH, this was an ordained CATHOLIC PRIEST, you made an honest and full confession with the intention of making every effort to avoid future sin and with love for Jesus and your will to be with Him upon your death. I don't think you need to DO anything at this point, but you might want to just to put your mind at rest. it is in the HANDS OF GOD and between Him and this priest. You have made your confession. He may have asked you questions or advised you, that has happened to me between me and my confessor whom I think to be a saint, but only when I ASKED FOR IT. In other words, I asked him a direct question DURING my confession, which he answered (or tried to). I have also asked for direction which he has given me but he does NOT volunteer it. I don't think that's what the confessional is for, actually, even though I use it that way (since I go every week). IMO you are absolved but then I can't speak for God. Go to another church and discuss this with a priest in the confessional but I really do NOT think our loving and merciful God is going to hold this AGAINST YOU.


#16

I would definitely not send such a note. That you can’t remember is the biggest reason why. You sound like you were thinking of several things besides the Confession (correct me if I’m wrong). In addition, that he tried to tell you something wasn’t a sin is not evidence of anything. Perhaps you’re scrupulous and he was just trying to assure you not to worry about something?


#17

[quote="StudentMI, post:16, topic:330587"]
I would definitely not send such a note. That you can't remember is the biggest reason why. You sound like you were thinking of several things besides the Confession (correct me if I'm wrong). In addition, that he tried to tell you something wasn't a sin is not evidence of anything. Perhaps you're scrupulous and he was just trying to assure you not to worry about something?

[/quote]

I was not bring scrupulous. This was a clear sin.

I've had odd confessions before, but never one where I don't get a penance and the absolution is completely divorced from the rubrics.


#18

[quote="Celtic_Maiden, post:11, topic:330587"]
Sorry, I don't want to sound uncharitable but are you sure it was a Catholic Church you went to, as some High Anglicans have Confessions, as do the odd Lutheran Church and no doubt there formula would be different than ours, you did say you were only passing the place and dropped in, next time your passing look to see if it is a Catholic Church you actually went to.#

Just a thought.::signofcross:

[/quote]

They certainly appear to, I remember paying a visit around the older parts of 'Anglican'] Bristol Cathedral {UK] and finding a CTS Confession card on a medieval stone bench seat.


#19

It's sad how often stories like this appear in CAF. :(

I had a very similar experience when the priest definitely didn't say the absolution after my confession (and he didn't withhold absolution either).

I mentioned it to another priest in my next confession, and he said "I'll include that confession in this". Which are interesting words. He is saying that the previous confession was not valid, but he is also saying that I don't need to reconfess.

Here is Fr Serpa's answers to two similar questions (1 and 2)...

...
For example if the priest uses his own absolution. This got me very worried about past Confessions I have made, especially because a friend recently told me about one of the priests in our parish, and how people say he doesn't think that confession is necessary,** so sometimes he leaves out the absolution part of the confession.**
...

Dear friend,

Worry not! You are not held responsible for a priest's error in past Confessions. The responsibility lies with him; not you.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Hi,

The priest must say the words of absolution in order for the sacrament of Penance to be valid.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


#20

The two conflicting quotes are what have me worried. Yes, he says that the fault lies with the priest, but does the invalidity then mean that I am unable to receive Communion tomorrow?


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