I have some questions about auricular confession (Catholic). I read the chatechism and everything in the code of cannons about confession but still an not sure about a few things.
One is privacy, I know the priest is bound under the seal of privacy and I never heard of anycase myself where it was broken. But I do remember priests, one for example who was very old and hard of hearing. The kid in the confessional opposite to me was confessing sexual sins, nothing unusual but nothing I wanted to hear on purpose, the walls were paper thin and old churches can have an echo. The priest went to give him advice about his sin very loud so that everyone in line probably heard it. I’m sure the priest meant well, this was 15-20 years ago and he died of Alzheimers not long after. However he was not the only priest that tended to discuss people’s sins with them loud enough so that others can overhear it. I know it wasn’t on purpose but still. I live in a close knit area where people tend to know each other and after that I tended to be rather vague about confessing certain sins (the priest frequently knows what I’m talking about anyway). I know that the priest is technically sworn to secrecy and anyone overhearing a confession would have a big sin if they deliberately listened in, but it doesn’t mean that people won’t do it.
After that I would wait until I was on a retreat or out of town pilgrimmage to make a more explicit confession. But what if hypothetically I lived in an isolated area with few Catholic parishes.
Technically we are supposed to to confess all mortal sins in detail (I was jealous of my neighbor 4 times…). I rarely had a problem since half the time the priest didn’t want to know the details, was exhausted, half asleep, or would cut me off and absolve me if I went on for more than 30 secs to a minute. Usually its the Religious priests on retreats that will ask questions or counsel in detail… My issue is not so much shame (I have the feeling priests hear so much they forget what you told them anyway.) but of confidentiality in security. What if the person you sinned against was a violent person and right in back of you in line- I know- It’s hypothetical. Some priests will let you confess general vices or just say which commandment you broke but thats not how church law spells it out and Padre Pio would flip if you did that with him.
I ask, would it be OK if we had a bad feeling about privacy to postpone a certain sin and save it for a better environment.
I heard on an EWTN podcast that if a priest cuts you off before you’re done you’re still forgiven but have to confess it next time. That said can you just confess somethings to God silently-w perfect contrition and then just confess it next time if you can’t word things properly this time? I’m not trying to be lax or minimalist but just honest, practical, and realistic.
Does the church ever address these privacy issues? Do Eastern Christians or strict Anglicans have these same issues?
IN some ways it seems forced enumeration of all sin, though a wonderful sacrament and practice, is like being forced to buy something via credit card online- The site may be trustworthy and be secure and I shop online myself. But security in reality is never 100% perfect and luckily no one is forced to give their credit card online, but we are bound to enumerating all mortal sins to get to heaven.
I hear the model about revealing everything to a physician so they can give right medicine but in my experience the pennances are usually the same anyway. (e.g. 3 Our Fathers for the boys- 3 Hail Mary’s for the Girls, maybe 5 if you robbed a bank.) Of course I’ve only been to Latin Rite confessions. I have also fluctuated between scrupulosity and lassitude in confession and find it hard to get a realistic, reasonable balance…