Oddest Confession Ever


It is now too late to affect your decision, but for the sake of completeness I’ll answer.

I believe that Fr Serpa’s advice was that yes, you should receive communion in this circumstance, and without compunction. In other words, trust you are in a state of grace.

See the end of the first question which he answered.

… I probably won’t be recieving Communion until I figure this out…

And his answer…

Worry not! You are not held responsible for a priest’s error in past Confessions.

My conjecture on this is to mention the old maxim that God works through the sacraments, but is not limited by them. I would say that you are in a state of grace, however there is still a judicial requirement to have those sins absolved through the Church, which can be done at your next confession. (as others have said). When this happened in my case, the second priest accepted the need for the sins to be absolved, but without need for reconfession.


If the priest said the act of absolution, it’s valid. He maybe forgot to give a penance. Some of the older priests do that sometimes. I always ask for a penance if the priest forgets. Say an “Our Father” and then mention it the next time you go to confession.


I would just simply ask a priest about it. Or you could simply mention it to your regular Confessor the next time you go to Confession.


So many knots. Knot, knot, knot. He said your sins are forgiven & you didnt even get a penance!! Yippee! Be happy.sunshine. Be happy that you’re going to confession. Think of the starving children in the world who would like a chance in life - they dont get to go to confession. Or alternately - offer up your mental confusion & suffering for the children in the world who.dont have enough to eat. Thank God for what He has given you. God bless you. Peace.


That is true but none of the priests have ever really chatted before the confession apart from that I have always had it at a seperate time so the church needed opening and there a certain amount of make yourself comfy but always been given the confession card and he puts on the purple ‘scarf’ and I should know it technical name and dont, and always a specific format as read through the card given. But High Anglicans as we are, some have a specific time for confessions, ie turn up as you guys do but I would think that more regular to book the time personally with the priest and if he didn’t know you he may chat to you first not to find out if you are a member or not because I think it open to anyone who wants it, but he may want to reassure a stranger it perfectly okay etc. The priest usually chatters afterwards depending on their own work schedule but before in my own experience though this time he did give me that space and wanted to but that different reasons and he knew as had warned him what I was doing before and he gave me the time to talk about it accept as we both know I can’t though tried hard and still ended up saying ‘okay’ even though he knew but I was given that time but usually it quite formal to start with but that could just the priests we’ve had and how I am too. But even if the opening poster had wandered into another denomination God will still forgive but I know how you guys feel about all of that but on the front of forgiveness the OP is forgiven but well like I say I am aware of bigger things at steak here for you people


The new formula of absolution, since the Second Vatican Council, is:

God the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

Colin B. Donovan, STL is Vice President for Theology at EWTN. And this is what he says regarding this;

The form is the words of absolution. A priest has a moral obligation to say the entire form “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” However, as to what is truly essential in this, it has been commonly taught that only “I absolve you” constitutes the essential form, as this states what is taking place. This form suffices in an emergency, though “from your sins” should ordinarily be appended. Substitutions of these core words, however, such has by “I forgive you,” renders the sacrament probably invalid. Absolution speaks of the change of soul by the infusion of grace, that which is commonly taught as actually remitting sin. “I forgive you” is too generic, and does not precisely state what is occuring. It is seriously wrong, in any case, to deliberately place any sacrament’s validity in doubt by altering the essential form or matter of a sacrament. It is one of those cases in which the common good of a parish obliges us to act to correct if we know the truth, speaking first to the priest, and then to the bishop, if necessary.

Peace, Mark


While I agree that any deviation of the wording needs urgent addressing I can’t percieve of God holding back on forgiving the confessed because of a mistake on the part of the priest.

God knows all minds and intentions and is above all a God of Understanding of human frailty - one in which mistakes are made, even with the best of intentions. In this particular case I don’t think the road to hell would be paved with those good, if errant, intentions.


I would most definitely repeat the confession to a different priest. That is what I would do.


I would recommend, in a “no Form of absolution”: Go find another priest as soon as you are able.

It seems your intention to be forgiven is there, and that you have all the requisites to be forgiven. Even more, God can forgive as He so chooses. But in terms of the reception of the Sacrament: the valid form is “I absolve you of your sins.” If this wasn’t said by the priest, you need to find one how will.

I would look into this post, regrading the Form of the Sacrament:


another point from the anglican world is that I have always always been given penance. some very wishy washy and love the present priest for his penances far more as they really do help me reach God. Just a prayer or two is nothing in my book and and even more so for me. But I have always had a penance.


It sounds strange but if you acted in good faith and you were sorry for your sins then I would not worry about repeating your confession. Go to mass and go to communion.


If the indented bold portion (all CCC 1449 bold mine) of what is below wasn’t said by the Priest, I would go elsewhere to a Catholic Priest and re-confess my sins.

**CCC 1449 ** The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies
is the source of all forgiveness.
He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:

God, the Father of mercies, through the death and
the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


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