Priests Have Me Thinking Frequent Confession is Bad?


#1

Hello Again Everyone,

I am in dilemma over the last 3 days, and would appreciate some advise from you all. Well I was previously located in Europe, where there were very traditional churches, very supportive priests, where I was also encouraged me to do frequent confessions (every 2 weeks, once I committed mortal sin).

1st Problem: And Now I am no longer located there, but in another country, which is very un-traditionational, a place where almost almost nobody confesses, and also a place where people uphold confession as a really bad thing. I have often visited parishes here, and when I ask for the confessional, people often pull back, stare at me harshly and then murmur the word “co-n-fess-io-n” as if it is some really bad thing> and they then follow by telling me, “You don’t need to confess, you could just pray by yourself and god will forgive you!” This “no confession thing” is apparently an epidemic in my new location. The Archbishop here has even posted signs around which “urge catholics in the country to return to the sacrament of reconcialition”. So basically people here take confession for granted, and associate extremely negative behaviour to it.

Ok that aside, I am used to being more “traditional” and as a result I stick to my regular confession (every two weeks, as long as I am in a state of sin).

2nd Problem: There are a shortage of priests in the country, as a result finding one for a confession could sometimes be challenging. When I now moved here I used to confess to one priest at the nearest parish: but he basically told me that I’m scrupulous and don’t come back.

Now let me say that I am not scrupulous, it is just that I’m going through massive changes and realisations in my life, and I’m becoming aware of things and behaviours that I never knew were sinful before, so as a result I often need to confess, and the first priest told me don’t come back.

So I then moved to another parish, which has a wonderful and very supportive priest who thinks that my regular confessions are just “normal” and not scrupulous. Unfortunately he is often unavalable as he has a busy schedule.

Since he is often unavailable I occasionally confess to a priest at a local monastery, although I try my best to stick to confessing with the supportive priest at my new parish, unfortunately that isn’t always possible.

Now the situation is, once again the priest at my parish has left the country for a month. So I now have 2 Options, 1) Confess to the priest at the monastery, OR 2) Wait 1 month for my parish priest to come back and confess to him.

NOW I am considering confessing to the priest at the monastery, as I really want to go for communion this sunday, Unfortunately the priest at the monastery does not seem very pleased with me confessing to him, as he is of the opinion that “Good catholics, shouldn’t confess every month”. The last time I saw him he told me this, and this happened 17 days ago.

So, this is my dilemma, do I go to the priest who is available and thinks that I “Shouldn’t confess every month”? OR Do I wait and Entire Month for my Parish priest to come back before confessing to him?

I’m a bit more than confused, as I am not used to priests behaving like this. I would really appreciate some advise. Thank you.


#2

Where as I don't have the resources present to give a canon or something to back up my argument, it would seem to me that reception of the sacraments are your right as a fully initiated member of Christ's faithful. It would seem to me that the sacrament of reconciliation would be absolutely paramount to receive in a timely fashion, even if there is no obvious mortal sin present. For me, I go when something isn't well with my soul. Note you, there is a strong chance that what ever is causing that ill feeling in my being is probably mortal sin, but I simply do not wait about until a prescribed time comes. If I am sick, I don't wait three weeks to go to the doctor.

It also sounds to me that you are going through a sort of purgation of the spirit, in which you are realizing sinful tendencies and habits which before had gone unnoticed. I would think that the sacrament would be best received ASAP, if only to further facilitate that cleansing.

I'm responding to this because I, too, have a parish priest who advised me that my bi-weekly confessions were too frequent. I'm not trying to be hardened of heart, or uncharitable to the priests that are in question here, but unless you can find a solid spiritual director who knows you deeply and can discern whether or not you are being scrupulous, I would err on the side of going to the monastery priest. Ultimately, the worst he can do is sort of frown and shake his head. He can not, however, deny you the sacrament.


#3

[quote="ThePaladin, post:2, topic:302925"]

I'm responding to this because I, too, have a parish priest who advised me that my bi-weekly confessions were too frequent. I'm not trying to be hardened of heart, or uncharitable to the priests that are in question here, but unless you can find a solid spiritual director who knows you deeply and can discern whether or not you are being scrupulous, I would err on the side of going to the monastery priest. Ultimately, the worst he can do is sort of frown and shake his head. He can not, however, deny you the sacrament.

[/quote]

Thank you, I have never heard of Purgation of Spirit but I will research it when I get some time. The first priest called me scrupulous as he never talked to me in detail, however my parish priest actually knows my issues and where I exactly stand, unlike the monastery priest who I see for 3 minutes and then just walk away. Anyway, thank you again, I am still considering seeing the monastery priest.


#4

Ultimately, the bottom line is that a priest can't bar you from a sacrament unless you are

A: Not in a proper disposition of soul (Which doesn't really apply to reconciliation because you are there to get right with God and restore sanctifying grace)

or

B: Barred by some form of juridical sanction, (Which again, chances are you haven't coined any heresies lately.)

As for the term purgation of the soul, I encountered it in "The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life", which I'm about to take a midterm on in an hour.....

The text is in the public domain, and can be found here,

ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/3WAYS.TXT


#5

As far as I could get from reading some lives of saints, in an ideal world we should confess weekly, including venial sins and imperfections in our confessions - after all, we cannot make "not committing mortal sins for some days" our goal! "To be perfect like the heavenly Father" - here's a decent goal :D But to do so, we must be able to remain in a state of grace for an extended period of time and start defeating venial sins, vices, and imperfections.

However, our confessor can discern if we are having scruples or whether or not it is more convenient for our soul to confess, say, every 2 weeks or every month.

But to reconcile ourselves frequently with Christ, how can this be bad? :D By all means, confess to Christ as often as you need it! The priest will understand, and if not, you are free to go to another confessor!


#6

Go to the monastery, tell the priest that apparently you are “not a good Catholic,” which is why you need confession!

I’ve had the same reception since I started going to confession more often. It went something like this:

Why are you here again?
Because I sinned father!
Well it’s not a bad sin.
It’s bad for me, which is why I need confession.


#7

[quote="ThePaladin, post:4, topic:302925"]
Ultimately, the bottom line is that a priest can't bar you from a sacrament unless you are

A: Not in a proper disposition of soul (Which doesn't really apply to reconciliation because you are there to get right with God and restore sanctifying grace)

or

B: Barred by some form of juridical sanction, (Which again, chances are you haven't coined any heresies lately.)

As for the term purgation of the soul, I encountered it in "The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life", which I'm about to take a midterm on in an hour.....

The text is in the public domain, and can be found here,

ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/3WAYS.TXT

[/quote]

Thank you again, I guess I will just see the monastery priest then, as I haven't done either of those things: And thanks for the link, I will read it now.


#8

[quote="R_C, post:5, topic:302925"]
As far as I could get from reading some lives of saints, in an ideal world we should confess weekly, including venial sins and imperfections in our confessions - after all, we cannot make "not committing mortal sins for some days" our goal! "To be perfect like the heavenly Father" - here's a decent goal :D But to do so, we must be able to remain in a state of grace for an extended period of time and start defeating venial sins, vices, and imperfections.

However, our confessor can discern if we are having scruples or whether or not it is more convenient for our soul to confess, say, every 2 weeks or every month.

But to reconcile ourselves frequently with Christ, how can this be bad? :D By all means, confess to Christ as often as you need it! The priest will understand, and if not, you are free to go to another confessor!

[/quote]

Thank you! Frequent reconcialition is what I am used to, well for the scruples part I guess I will find out eventually, but at the moment I doubt that I am scrupulous. I hope the priests understands when I go for confession on friday!


#9

[quote="triumphguy, post:6, topic:302925"]
Go to the monastery, tell the priest that apparently you are "not a good Catholic," which is why you need confession!

I've had the same reception since I started going to confession more often. It went something like this:

Why are you here again?
Because I sinned father!
Well it's not a bad sin.
It's bad for me, which is why I need confession.

[/quote]

Thank you, I hope I wouldnt have to come to something like that, but those words are a good way to start things.


#10

Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa of Calcutta went to Confession weekly.


#11

Haha, at least the bishop is trying to restore sanity to this mess!

Ok that aside, I am used to being more “traditional” and as a result I stick to my regular confession (every two weeks, as long as I am in a state of sin).

2nd Problem: There are a shortage of priests in the country, as a result finding one for a confession could sometimes be challenging. When I now moved here I used to confess to one priest at the nearest parish: but he basically told me that I’m scrupulous and don’t come back.

Now let me say that I am not scrupulous, it is just that I’m going through massive changes and realisations in my life, and I’m becoming aware of things and behaviours that I never knew were sinful before, so as a result I often need to confess, and the first priest told me don’t come back.

So I then moved to another parish, which has a wonderful and very supportive priest who thinks that my regular confessions are just “normal” and not scrupulous. Unfortunately he is often unavalable as he has a busy schedule.

Since he is often unavailable I occasionally confess to a priest at a local monastery, although I try my best to stick to confessing with the supportive priest at my new parish, unfortunately that isn’t always possible.

Now the situation is, once again the priest at my parish has left the country for a month. So I now have 2 Options, 1) Confess to the priest at the monastery, OR 2) Wait 1 month for my parish priest to come back and confess to him.

NOW I am considering confessing to the priest at the monastery, as I really want to go for communion this sunday, Unfortunately the priest at the monastery does not seem very pleased with me confessing to him, as he is of the opinion that “Good catholics, shouldn’t confess every month”. The last time I saw him he told me this, and this happened 17 days ago.

So, this is my dilemma, do I go to the priest who is available and thinks that I “Shouldn’t confess every month”? OR Do I wait and Entire Month for my Parish priest to come back before confessing to him?

I’m a bit more than confused, as I am not used to priests behaving like this. I would really appreciate some advise. Thank you.

Ask whichever priest you confess to next if you can receive communion the next time without reconfessing the sin if it occurs in the mean time, then ask his reasoning and trust his advise. You might not be scrupulous just yet, but may be in a position to develop such tendencies if two different priests have warned you of this.


#12

There is no such thing as confessing too much :wink:


#13

You may not be allowed confession if some mortal sins apply that are perpetual


#14

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:10, topic:302925"]
Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa of Calcutta went to Confession weekly.

[/quote]

Daily for Bl. John Paul the second actually, :D:D:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#15

[quote="mcw013, post:1, topic:302925"]
Hello Again Everyone,

I am in dilemma over the last 3 days, and would appreciate some advise from you all. Well I was previously located in Europe, where there were very traditional churches, very supportive priests, where I was also encouraged me to do frequent confessions (every 2 weeks, once I committed mortal sin).

1st Problem: And Now I am no longer located there, but in another country, which is very un-traditionational, a place where almost almost nobody confesses, and also a place where people uphold confession as a really bad thing. I have often visited parishes here, and when I ask for the confessional, people often pull back, stare at me harshly and then murmur the word "co-n-fess-io-n" as if it is some really bad thing> and they then follow by telling me, "You don't need to confess, you could just pray by yourself and god will forgive you!" This "no confession thing" is apparently an epidemic in my new location. The Archbishop here has even posted signs around which "urge catholics in the country to return to the sacrament of reconcialition". So basically people here take confession for granted, and associate extremely negative behaviour to it.

Ok that aside, I am used to being more "traditional" and as a result I stick to my regular confession (every two weeks, as long as I am in a state of sin).

2nd Problem: There are a shortage of priests in the country, as a result finding one for a confession could sometimes be challenging. When I now moved here I used to confess to one priest at the nearest parish: but he basically told me that I'm scrupulous and don't come back.

Now let me say that I am not scrupulous, it is just that I'm going through massive changes and realisations in my life, and I'm becoming aware of things and behaviours that I never knew were sinful before, so as a result I often need to confess, and the first priest told me don't come back.

So I then moved to another parish, which has a wonderful and very supportive priest who thinks that my regular confessions are just "normal" and not scrupulous. Unfortunately he is often unavalable as he has a busy schedule.

Since he is often unavailable I occasionally confess to a priest at a local monastery, although I try my best to stick to confessing with the supportive priest at my new parish, unfortunately that isn't always possible.

Now the situation is, once again the priest at my parish has left the country for a month. So I now have 2 Options, 1) Confess to the priest at the monastery, OR 2) Wait 1 month for my parish priest to come back and confess to him.

NOW I am considering confessing to the priest at the monastery, as I really want to go for communion this sunday, Unfortunately the priest at the monastery does not seem very pleased with me confessing to him, as he is of the opinion that "Good catholics, shouldn't confess every month". The last time I saw him he told me this, and this happened 17 days ago.

So, this is my dilemma, do I go to the priest who is available and thinks that I "Shouldn't confess every month"? OR Do I wait and Entire Month for my Parish priest to come back before confessing to him?

I'm a bit more than confused, as I am not used to priests behaving like this. I would really appreciate some advise. Thank you.

[/quote]

I think you need to be more assertive in your position, and if that doesn't work to go to the bishop and up the latter.

You have my support on this for sure, and as I am tired of both priests and parishioners taking this Sacrament lightly.


#16

[quote="triumphguy, post:6, topic:302925"]
Go to the monastery, tell the priest that apparently you are "not a good Catholic," which is why you need confession!

I've had the same reception since I started going to confession more often. It went something like this:

Why are you here again?
Because I sinned father!
Well it's not a bad sin.
It's bad for me, which is why I need confession.

[/quote]

I wish I could get that kind of treament. I just wish that the Confessional could be my permanent home sometimes.... and OP btw, you have every right to have a Confession heard. I am sure that if You bothered to look You would find the Canon Law for it, I would either print or write it out if You don't have a printer, then show it to the Priest.


#17

(bolding mine)

1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:60

Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear "man" - this is what God has made; when you hear "sinner" - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.61

Show that to the one who says you confess too often.


#18

Well if your confessing mortal sins every 2 weeks the confession is justified.


#19

Well certainly if one where to fall into a mortal sin --one would make an act of perfect contrition and go to confession as soon as possible.

But as to venial sins -- the Teaching of the Church that the confession of them is recommended.

Frequency is basically up to the penitent. Some confess every few months (not frequent) others confess monthly or every two weeks or weekly (I love to go weekly)

(of course venial sins can be forgiven in many ways --but confession is very good!)


#20

and a Monastery usually has more than one Priest --you may wish to another too.


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