Pretty unpleasant confession experience


#1

So, just like Alexander had his horrible, very bad, no good day, I had my horrible, very bad, no good confession experience today.

I confessed my sins as I usually do, on my fingers as I’ve prepared them, without excuse or extraneous information, thought a minute while I went quickly through the 10 commandments again and said “That’s about it”. He sat there the whole time with his eyes closed. He was silent a minute and then he started berating me. He told me my sins were “terrible” and that I had betrayed the Lord’s trust. He went on a bit about a loving Lord who suffers by our (or more specifically, MY) sins as well as the rest of the world that has to suffer with my bad temper and sins. He barked at me to say my act of contrition, absolved me and told me to leave. He was angry and acted disgusted with me. I left in tears. I said my penance (not a harsh penance at all…3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Mary’s) in the car because I just had to get out of there. Still, it was a bit before I could stop crying and drive home.

I have no idea why he was so angry with me. The sins I confessed were fairly “normal” ones, I would think (although, yes, all sin is grievous in the eyes of the Lord, it’s true). I didn’t confess anything violent or even particularly nasty. Perhaps he though I was not truly repentant or that I was just fulfilling a “chore” (after waiting over 30 minutes, I was a bit impatient, true, but I don’t feel like I expressed that in my confession…it certainly wasn’t his fault or his idea to keep me waiting. Hey, thank Him there was a line, right?). They WERE the same sins I’ve confessed over and over…I hate them, but still find myself back in the confessional every 2-3 months with them. Yet, it was my first confession with this priest…he hadn’t been the one to hear me confess the same thing time after time.

I just don’t get it; I’ve never had this experience before. Nobody’s yelled at me in confession. I’ve had priests who were a little impatient to get going or priests who didn’t seem particularly interested. I’ve even had priests tell me my sins didn’t warrant confession (when I know that they do), but I’ve never had a priest take my sins so…personally.

I’m confused and upset. I feel like I opened up the ugly part of myself that I hate and would not let anyone else but Christ see, not liking it, but at least expecting mercy and kindness. Instead, some angry man came out and started talking about “terrible” and “ugly” and “bad”. I lector at Mass and teach CCD, so there’s really no way to avoid him, but I’ll be going to a different confessor at a different parish…that’s for sure!

Anyone leave the confessional wishing you never went in? Tips for getting over it?


#2

FORGIVE him, he may have been HARSHLY treated or spoken to because of the Church scandal, he may have had a bad day. He absolved you and you are forgiven so forgive him. He is human too with human failings.


#3

I’ve had some “rough” confessions from the Priest’s side but I try to remember he hears so much and deals with so much that I would never even imagine. Give him the benefit of the doubt.


#4

This has never happened to me, not even close. However, this situation calls for forgiveness. Remember Jesus, who was mistreated and scorned by the Jewish authorities, including the High Priest.


#5

I had a priest snap at me before because he couldn’t hear me and I started telling my sins in “story form” when I first came back to the Church. That was my bad only experience.

I figured that maybe since he was snippy when telling me he couldn’t hear me that something must have happened to put him in a bad mood.

It could be the same with your experience. You never know what may have just happened to him or what someone else may have said to him to put him in a bad mood. It is possible as someone has said, he may have had someone say something to him due to the scandal.

I would just forgive him.


#6

Who knows? The priest may have had a bad day. Make no mistake I’m not excusing him. He shouldn’t have done that to you. But perhaps he’s already regretted it and is asking for your forgiveness.

In any case if you don’t feel comfortable going to him again which is fair enough then try and find a different priest next time.


#7

Do you know this priest outside of the Confessional? He may simply have a manner of speaking that is not the same as you are accustomed to.

Forgive him, move on.


#8

Had a similar experience. I went looking for mercy but ended up feeling like I was the worst person to walk the Earth. I forgave him for the way he spoke to me (and confessed my anger later) but never gone back to that parish for confession again.


#9

Hmmm. Hmmmm. Sounds a bit over the top.


#10

Find a new confessor. If you think it’s appropriate, contact the pastor of the parish. He should offer some reassurance to you and correction to a priest who isn’t acting very Christ-like.


#11

I am so sorry he treated you this way. Remember the grace of the Sacrament and the mercy of God is yours, despite the priest’s failings in charity.


#12

You have to stand up to bullies. Go back to confession, and if he ever does it again stand up to him. He isn’t forgiving you, God is forgiving you. If he is abusing his role as middle man, then he needs to know about it.


#13

Maybe its what you need to stop these sins. Who knows, Maybe he was having a bad day,
Maybe you will reflect on this experience before the same sin again. who knows.
it is true that all our sins grieve the body of the church.

pray on this experience.


#15

I would find another confessor, and never go back to that one. I would also report your experience to your bishop…those these days who knows what good that would do.


#16

I think that it is better if you don’t take this experience as personal. Our priests are human beings after all.


#17

The priest either has a harsh confessional style, or he was having a bad day.

It’s not a big deal to have a harsh priest once in a while. I get one occasionally. The last one I had about a year and a half ago was pretty hard on me about committing a particular grave sin, which made me cry, and as a result I stopped committing the sin because I didn’t want to have to risk going through that again with another priest. So it had a good result in that I reduced the number of my serious sins.

If you find this priest’s style unhelpful to you, don’t go to him again, but like I said, getting a harsh priest once in a while is no biggie.


#18

I had a harsh priest once, many years ago, but it was exactly what I needed to completely renounce a serious sin that, before the confession, I was taking too lightly. I am grateful to that old harsh priest!


#19

if one more harsh priest means one less soul in hell, bring on the harsh priests


#20

Maybe…he was berating himself for sins that he knows he has committed. The sexual abuse crisis probably has a lot of priests on the alert and scared and has possibly tipped some priests over the top mentally and/or emotionally as they realize that their game is up and they are in grave danger of being caught.

My imagination running wild? Perhaps. But the way you describe it, the priest wasn’t even aware of you, but seemed to be chastising someone else (himself?).

I hope I’m wrong.


#21

That’s an incredibly uncharitable post, echoes of a kangaroo court.


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