Questionable Advice in Confession


Ok…I just posted a thread the other day asking about going to confession to priests I knew weren’t holy, and got various responses about it. Well, I decided to find a different church, and let me say that the results weren’t much better…

I was going to confess sins of personal purity, and I mentioned to my confessor that my girlfriend and I of almost 2 years, while not sexually active, may have gone too far in our physical relationship (i.e., heavy making out). And instead of offering me words of encouragement or godly advice to stay away from temptation, get this: He tells me that if we are going to be sexually active, we should make sure that she is on birth control, because it’s “the lesser of two evils” (rather than her getting pregnant). Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. I tried explaining myself better, that we weren’t sexually active, but he persisted with the “yeah, but if you ever are…” line, telling me that we should use birth control, even though he “knows what the church teaches about it”.

In terms of sin, using birth control and having premarital sex definitely does not seem like the lesser of two evils. In fact, it seems like the greater of two evils. That our holy fathers, the very men we are supposed to trust and confide in, would give such horrible advice to a teenager in need of spiritual guidance is such a pitiful testament to our times.

Needless to say, I will not be following his advice, but I do sorta feel guilty about not saying more in the confessional. I didn’t challenge him as much as I could have (he was in a hurry to get out of there anyway), and I just sorta let him off with that answer with a nod and an “uh huh”. He did say the words of absolution and give me a penance, so I’m fairly certain that my confession was valid, but still I’m dumbfounded.

Why is it that we don’t seem to have priests that teach the Word of God anymore? I’m a 19-year-old male who would gladly enter the priesthood if the Vatican would allow married priests…but I am not prepared to give up my girlfriend and future wife. I tell you I’d do it in a second just to try to right this quickly sinking ship called the Catholic Church.


Oh dear. I don’t know what I would say to that in the confessional. I’ve been blessed with loving and holy confesseors so far. I would probably freak out and have to go to confession again after having an encounter like that. How old was the priest, about? I’m flipping out!

I’ve thought about marrying and entering the priesthood married myself. I was baptized Greek Orthodox, so it would be permitted by law. haha, a cute thought. But that, I do think, would be way too much work for me. Yet, some men manage to do it. :eek:

Praying for our priests and religious!


God does not extend priestly vocations in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church to those “not prepared to give up my girlfriend and future wife.” It certainly appears as if you have made a wise choice in not attempting to enter the priesthood.


Unfortunately a common belief of some, I won’t say many, Priests and other religious. Why should we expect anything different? The clergy almost rioted when Humanae Vitae came out and all that really did was maintain the Churches traditional position on contraception.

A lot of Priests and a majority of Catholics too, if opinion polls are accurate, don’t really think pre-marital sex is wrong, masturbation is a normal healthy activity, using condoms makes good sense in todays world, and sexual experimentation is a necesary part of human development.

The result of 40 years of lax standards, bad catechisis and the humanization of religion at the expense of good solid Catholi teaching and morality, both of which are pretty much scoffed at today.

Look around your Parish. How many women have children out of wedlock? How many men have children from more than one woman? How many openly practicing homosexuals are there? How many couples just living together are at Mass? The list goes on and on. I’m sorry kid, but what you have run into is in my view the second biggest problem in the Church today. The lack of a cohesive moral center.


It is indeed a terrible time when the clergy cannot follow or believe the teachings of the Church. But, something caught my eye here…

Why is it that we don’t seem to have priests that teach the Word of God anymore? I’m a 19-year-old male who would gladly enter the priesthood if the Vatican would allow married priests…but I am not prepared to give up my girlfriend and future wife. I tell you I’d do it in a second just to try to right this quickly sinking ship called the Catholic Church.

So you would want to be a priest so you could help the Church, sehr gut, yet you would not do so if you cannot have a wife.

You spent the first 4 paragraphs telling us how a priest goes against Church teaching and supports birth control, and then you tell us that you would only become a priest if the Church threw out clerical celibacy. He wants birth control, you want married priests- what is the differance here?

Secondly, you say you want to right the “sinking ship” of the Church as a priest. What is more important to you- being a priest or having a wife? If you really wanted to help the Church you would heed her call despite any temporal wants you might have.


[quote=Caesar] He wants birth control, you want married priests- what is the differance here?

Hail. Caesar! The difference is quite simple, celibacy of priests in the Latin Rite is merely a discipline, the Holy Father could change it tomorrow. Birth control falls under the province of Church law. Wishing for a change in discipline is not wrong.



I’m not entirely sure that is true. In the example I love to use about Humanae Vitae, all of the Bishops and Theologians were of the opinion that the Holy Father could change the rule, based primarily on collegiality. The fact that he did not do so still is a bone of contention with them They felt and many still do that the Pope should have listened to them and changed the Churches position. Obviously they all felt he had the ability to do so.


Your name is kind of ironic…Peter sank in the sea due to a lack of faith in Christ…you must lack faith in Christ as well, because he promised us that the gates of Hades would not prevail over his Church and his Church would always be with us…if that promise is true, then how can the Catholic Church be a “quickly sinking ship”?


That is a very good question. why don’t we?
Because the human part of the priest takes over.

You have a calling to be a husband and dad. Do it and raise many Catholic children who will expect more of the Priests. Maybe you can be a Deacon too.

In the meantime, be patient and keep looking. Many young priests are very orthodox. Times are changing.


Netmilsmom you beat me to it I was thinking he should consider becoming a deacon also. Or why not start at teaching CCD? Teach and defend the magesterium


I know that we desperately need Priests but we also desperately need good Catholics.

We need to listen to what God is calling us to. I wanted to be a nun at one time. I really just wanted to escape the world. At about the time I was going to take the plunge, God brought a wonderful man into my life. There went the nun idea.

I then read Mother Angelica’s book and saw the human traits of nuns and how being with these woman all day and night could lead to fights. You have to be REALLY holy to make it through the human emotions of it. I’m NOT that holy.

God knew MUCH better than I did!


Not to highjack the post but I daily think ponder and pray about becoming a deacon and have done so for nearly two years. In the mean time I teach CCD, read at mass and help out with SVDP. I did not mean that becoming a dacon requires less commitment


Actually, I think it is an equal commitment.
A Deacon has to balance so many things.

I didn’t mean that either. We are on the same page.


My understanding is that a man that is considering the priesthood must be open to marriage and children and he must consider it as a serious possibility. If a man is not interested at all in marriage and children, how can he “fill in the shoes” of the Bridegroom?


It can change, but just recently the Holy See reaffirmed the discipline of clerical celibacy. The thinking is quite similar here- both of the issues, birth control and clerical celibacy, are established traditions of the Church- although one is doctrine, the other is discipline (discipline which happens to be upheld by Rome). Both the OP and the priest he is reffering to want change. I find it a bit hypocrital to denounce a priest for supporting one issue the Church is against, while he is against another issue the Church is for.

I too wish to be a priest, and I too have had my reservations regarding clerical celibacy in the past. But I will not let my temporal wants deter me if I am truly called to serve the Church as a priest. And as a side note, I have since come to the belief that clerical celibacy is for the best and an extremely important tradition of the Church.


1-There is no heresy or scandal with a simple public disagreement about a discipline. What it matters most is obedience.

2-There is heresy and scandal with public disagreement about a doctrine.

It would be hypocritical for the poster if he were publicly disagreeing with a Church doctrine.


You nailed it down to the point, and what you have said should be more common thinking.:thumbsup:


Oh I’ve been told all kinds of fun things in the confessional until I found priests that are truly in line with church teaching. Even at a very orthodox Catholic conference I had a priest tell me get my tubes tied and then confess it.:eek: I’ve been told birthcontrol is ok in my situation (several times over) because the of the danger to my life if I get pregnant again. I did not overtly challange the priests because I hvae such esteem for the office of the priesthood I felt disrespectful to do. My current parish has several orthodox priests so that is where I go to confession nw.


Your belief in your ability (while admirable) is delusional. Christ promised the Gates of Hell will not prevail and that is what protects the Church. Nothing more and nothing less.


So, are you a priest?

The difference here is that the restriction on a married priesthood in the Latin Rite is a discipline of the Catholic Church that it could drop if it so chose. (And, in the irrelevant opinion of this Protestant should drop). Engaging in birth control is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church. That’s the difference and it’s a darn big one.

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