Question from a Lapsed Catholic


Hello, I joined this forum to ask a question I can’t find a suitable Google answer to. I’m a lapsed catholic. I’ve been away from the church for 9 to 10 years now and got involved in witchcraft and Satanism.
I was raised hardcore traditional catholic though and it’s something I just can’t shake. So, my question is this. Is it allowed to go to confession and just seek guidance? Is that a waste of the priest’s time? For personal reasons, I’m not comfortable with an office appointment right now and I’m definitely not ready to commit to a general confession and full return of the church. But, I want to find faith again. I just don’t know where to start.
Is that something that’s allowed? Or, what other recommendations might you have?


Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums!

That’s a good question and I am not sure of the answer. The priest cares about your spiritual well being and may be happy to set aside the sacrament and just give you some guidance. I suggest that you tell him right at the start that you do not intend to repent, confess, and receive absolution. Then he may say that he can counsel you, or he may tell you that he cannot do it at that time, but would be glad to see you at another time or place. If there are other people waiting for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, you cannot expect to have a long counseling session.

I hope you return to the faith. God bless you.


It is often suggested to make an appointment with a priest because confession time is is limited. There are often others waiting and so each individual should strive to take only a short amount of time.

Additionally, the time and place for confession is for that sacrament to occur.

If you really think your question will take only a few minutes (10 or less, in my opinion), you might try waiting until all the people have spoken to the priest after Mass, and then approaching him and asking if he has a few minutes to speak with you. He may tell you no, and to make an appointment :wink: or he may have time and be able to discuss your question with you.


I hav been involved with a program “Catholics Returning Home” for some time. We who chair the program have an understanding: “one step at a time”

As the other posters have noted, those in line for confession are there for the reason of confessing their sins and being forgiven. Because you are not seeking confession at this time, and because your conversation with a priest is most likely to take more than a few minutes, I too would suggest that either you try to speak with a priest briefly after a Mass, or make an appointment (which he may well suggest anyway).

You should have no fear that the priest is going to try to rope you back. And it may take some time for you to resolve the conflict you are encountering. While I understand you are not anxious (to put it politely) to meet face to face with a priest in his office, that is the most likely approach.

One thought would be to call the office during the week and ask to speak with the priest; via phone is a lot less confrontational for you. Again, he may not have much time (simply due to his schedule; they tend to be busy), but it may lead you to a point where you can work, together, to find a time and method for you to speak in greater depth.

Another approach might be to call, if you have a Catholic college/university nearby, and ask to speak with a priest on the phone.


I am glad you are at least considering a return to the Church. The Holy Spirit is calling you back.

With respect to just going into a confessional: The problem is that some priests will not want to provide “guidance” in the confessional. They want you to either make a confession, or else make an appointment to see them at another time outside confession time. You could get lucky and find a priest who’s willing to talk to you for a few minutes in there, but if he does that, then other people who actually want to confess are being kept out of the confessional by you using it for a purpose other than what’s intended. And the discussion time in the confessional is going to be limited in any event and might not cover everything you want to ask about or talk about.

If you aren’t ready for an office appointment, perhaps see if a priest would be willing to talk to you by phone, assuming you made an appointment in advance for a phone discussion, and provide some guidance in that way so you wouldn’t have to be sitting there looking the priest in the eye.


If you are not comfortable yet with showing your face then let the priest know when calling and he will arrange it. There are priests who agree with the caller that they will be in X room behind the screen at Y time to talk.


Thank you for the responses. And thank you for pointing out how inconsiderate it would be to the actual penitents to take up the priests time in the confessional. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll see about speaking via phone. Please just pray for me.


Yeah, for someone who is not comfortable yet talking face to face with a priest, this would make the most sense. The priest should understand.


First off, you will never find any answers online, through Google or this or any Catholic website. I speak from experience. It is better to seek a face to face with a holy priest. Really. Godspeed.


Be assured of my prayers.


You have my prayers, and feel free to PM me.



Many priests now also have email, if you prefer. Check the parish website.


No matter the circumstances you should approach a priest.
Email, phone call or talking to him after Mass would do.

I hope for you to return to the mercy of God and to His Church.
May God bless you and guide you.


Easy, go to confession and afterwards tell the priest you need spiritual counseling. And. welcome back because God loves you, and see you in church!!!


Sure, welcome and good luck.


Why would you not want to be absolved from your sins?


:footprints: My prayer for you. Saint Michael the Archangel, thank you for being with ‘powerandglory’ every step of the way. In Jesus’ holy name keep up this good work. Glory be to God.

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