Priest not serious about Confession?!

Couple weeks ago I went to Confession with a heavy heart and was confessing some uh…rather serious sins. But the whole time, the priest was kinda acting goofy and not serious about anything. I mean, I confessed a rather serious sin and he laughed and said “Ooo, that’s a popular one”. Stuff like that.

Plus the penance wasn’t much. I mean, I don’t expect that he ask me to say 1,000 rosaries or something, but I expected an actual penance. I’m confused about all of this. What should I do? I’m beginning to think the whole thing was invalid because I don’t think I was fully concentrating on my sins because I was caught so off guard by his humor and carelessness. Anyone ever have something similar happen?

I once had a priest smacking loudly on a lollypop during confession and he just made wierd noises and then gave me some counsel and then said goodbye.
I’m like wait a minute, I need to go back in there and actually ask for absolution. I guess he forgot. Well everyone has a bad day here and there.As long as he absolved you in the name of the Trinity then you’re good.

A lollypop? Did you actually see it? Might have been a cough lolly or something. Suppose he should’ve quietly swallowed it, spat it out or put it aside in any event.

As for priests who don’t appear to take confession seriously … I can imagine that those who hear lots of confessions can get a little blase about things. Not to mention just plain tired around Christmas.

I know what you’ve done may be serious but the priest could easily be hearing it for the 10th time that day or the 20th time that week. We humans aren’t terribly imaginative or creative in the ways most of us sin.

Assume the best and believe that he was trying to put you at ease. Priests hear our worst transgressions and know how embarrased and ashamed we feel. Maybe he thought he was doing something good?

** If it bothered you this much, I would go and have a heart to heart chat with him. Tell him that you left confession feeling confused and you understand he was trying to make you feel better, but that it had the opposite effect. He can’t change unless he knows something’s wrong.**

Merry Christmas!


Was the confession valid? Unless you did something to invalidate it (like intentionally fail to confess a serious sin) then I think (I may be wrong here) that you can safely assume it is valid.

In my rather limited understanding, I think the general rule is that if you do enter a sacrament with the correct intent, but something outside your control, like the actions of another person, are somehow improper, or at least unusual, that does invalidate it for you. I could very well be wrong here though.

However, if you are concerned, you can always go to another proest and confess those sins again. If you do this, you should tell the priest what you are doing.

Pray for priests.

My priest told us, during a 3 week course of Homilies on The Sacrament of Confession, that he HATES hearing confessions and that it is the worst part of being a priest.

He hates this sooooo much that he hears Confessions for 20-30 minutes before both Masses on Sunday!

The Parish Bulletin for the 3rd Sunday of Advent contained an article on Christmas Reconciliation which said:

"…the Church holds the confession of sins with so much importance that lack of time may oblige priests to postpone or even omit other activities, but never that of hearing Confessions."

I guess he hates the thought of his parishioners receiving the Body & Blood of Christ unworthily even more!

I have found that how reverent a priest says mass has a direct link to how well a confessor he is.

I think you’re right, Tony. The priest I am thinking of says Mass exactly according to the rubrics, with never a stray word or gesture. It’s a beautiful thing. In confession, he is gentle, thorough, encouraging and authoritative. The line at his confessional is always the longest. Best of all, he’s probably still under 30 years old - we’ll have him for a long time!

It’s the middle-aged and older liberals who have to be the center of attention at Mass who are kind of questionable in confession. But their absolution is equally valid - it’s just the advice you might want to take with a grain of salt.


also remember the priest is in persona christi when he says mass and hears confession. he is acting in the place of Christ and his worthiness is not an issue as long as he gives you absolution.


I wonder how could a priest not want to hear a confession? Padre Pio would hear confessions all day. Some of these lasted 18-20 hours a day! In his biography, he speaks of demons tormenting him and trying to prevent him from hearing confessions. I realize I’m not priest, but I guess the one that heard my confession, forgot how important it can be to someone like me.

Our new (young) priest uses incense at his NO Masses every Sunday.

He also hears confessions BEFORE Mass so that penitents can receive the Eucharist worthily. There is no doubt that this priest truly believe that he is changing bread and wine into the Body, Blood Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ when he offers the Sacrifice of the Mass.

I have been told there are good and bad priests, I think we all can agree on that one. As to reverance in mass = reverance in confession not a chance. I have seen a very reverant priest celebrate mass, then hear horror stories about confession.

I am not a good one on this subject as I only went to confession once and now there is serious doubt that it was valid, it was absolutely horrid, I was actually told by the priest not to confess any sins in regards to something he didn’t want to know about. The sins were mortal sins he was aware because of previous discussion that I had numerous mortal sins in relation to this situation, but he insisted that I not confess this that was the good part of the confession it just went down hill from there, I haven’t been back since and probably won’t ever go back to confession


Yes you will - when you realize that you can’t let someone else’s bad attitude push you into Hell.

Go to a different priest.

When you are traumatized in confession why would you go back? The priest is acting as christ so guess what that means. Further when there is no other priest to go to then what?


For the same reason people who are traumatised at school would go back there, or those who are traumatised in a car accident would go back to driving. Because you have to. Simple as that.

Now if a priest tells you he doesn’t want to hear about certain sins that you’ve previously discussed with him it’s probably for one of two reasons.

The first could be that he considers you as having already confessed them when you told him the first time. He might in fact be trying to be considerate by not making you rehash them again.

The second is that you are in fact being scrupulous, which needs to be nipped in the bud. This may seem harsh but it’s truly for your own good and spiritual health.

No offence to you, but we’re not always the best judge of the seriousness of our own sins. And even if the priest’s judgement is wrong then he will bear the blame, not you if you listen to him.

So don’t be traumatised about these things at any rate. I don’t know what else may have gone on, but unless he physically slapped you, yelled at you or refused to absolve you it can’t be too bad, right?

When one is traumatized in a car accident or at school there is usually counselling that helps the person through that, you usually just don’t go back. If that is what you think well, you are much stronger than I.

Also there is a great difference between being in a car accident than being traumatized by christs persona. I have been in both and by far the latter is far worse. I almost died in the first one, but the second one only injured my soul.

Actually both cases where checked out to make sure I wasn’t making a wrong assumption.

The answer to both questions are.

  1. The priest was wrong he can not ask a confesse not to reveal a mortal sin. Further part of confession is humility and we had only discussed generically what was going on so although he was aware I was haveing diffiulties he didn’t specifically know what they were and therefore they were required to be confessed in full.

  2. Since it was my first and last confession and it was over a year ago and doesn’t fit the criteria for scruples. As for following his advice although I did it, I had a phone conversation with another priest about it and infact the confession was illicet and invaild and thus puts me in mortal sin and I will be the one that bears the brunt of that, the priest will answer for allowing this to happen, but it is my soul that is damaged by it.


Of course one confession can fit the criteria of scruples! Where did you get the idea that it can’t?

Scruples refers to seeing serious sin where there is none. This can be just as apparent in a first confession as any other, surely.

As for your soul being damaged - sounds like rot. My understanding is that you in good faith did everything you could do to make a valid confession and the only reason it was invalid was because the priest stuffed up.

Assuming this is the case, then certainly you’re obliged to confess again, as you are obliged, for example, to confess a sin you may have forgotten, the next time you go. Doesn’t mean your soul is in danger at all! You think God doesn’t take into account the fact that from your end you did everything you could???

I really don’t understand where you’re coming from with all this.

Hello LilyM:

It is very evident that you don’t understand where I am coming.

First scruples is fearing serious sin when there is none, but it must be habitual and must be done in contiually trying to reconfess the same sin. Therefore one confession doesn’t fit with scruples.

As for the damaged soul, well as soon as the priest told me not to confess anything from a certain situation the whole premiss changed because I knew then that what he was saying was wrong but I went along with it, thus I perticipated in it.

As for the damaged soul, yes it is damaged as is any soul that has put itself and leaves it self in mortal sin and continues to commit mortal sin it damages the soul and continues to cut itself off from the grace of God and without confession that grace is removed and thus dead.

When one is in mortal sin ones soul is always in danger from eternal salvation.

Does this clear it up alittle for you?


You’re wrong - without sorrow for sin (which even for mortal sin can be sufficiently expressed by an Act of Perfect Contrition) and the INTENT to go to Confession THEN you’re cut off from grace. Remember someone who dies without having confessed is still saved - as long as they have repented of their sins and intended to confess.

Now you had both of these. So unless you’ve sinned mortally since, without again repenting and intending to make a good confession as soon as possible, then you’re not automatically cut off from grace nor damaged in soul.

Confession is to enable you to enter back into the life of the church and reception of the sacraments - doesn’t mean that without it you’re cut off from all grace or automatically hellbound.

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