Refused absolution in confession

what should one do if he has been refused absolution in confession? I have never been refused absolution. I just want to know what the process would be if it were to happen to anyone.

I would assume that the priest would tell that person what they would need to do before they could come back and seek absolution again. If not, I would try another priest.

Canon law only permits a priest to deny absolution if he is reasonably certain that the penitent lacks contrition - i.e., the penitent is not truly sorry for his/her sins. This is because the penitent’s contrition is a necessary element for a valid confession. If a penitent were refused absolution, he/she would need to seriously pray about his/her sins and return when truly sorry for them. Until then, even if a priest were to grant absolution, if the penitent lacks contrition, it is not a valid confession.

I didn’t know if even you were truly sorry and received absolution that it is not a valid confession.

It would depend upon the reason. We could follow the advice of the priest in order to correct the problem , assuming he gave some.I can’t imagine a situation where he wouldn’t . We could seek out a different priest to discuss the matter with .

There are few reasons where absolution cannot be given. The most obvious is when the penitent is not showing true signs of contrition especially if this is accompanied by an unwillingness to change a particular situation. An example of this would be a catholic living with someone who is not their spouse. Absolution cannot be given without the expressed intent to change the situation as well as repentance of it. Another reason would be if the person was under a penalty of excommunication and it hadn’t been lifted.

the priest would tell you why, and he would direct you on what you need to do in order to be able to confess and receive absolution. An example would be if you are in a civil marriage, you would need to take steps to have your marriage convalidated so the sinful condition no longer exists, then you could be absolved.

if you are truly sorry, confess your sins, and receive absolution, it is a valid confession. I don’t understand your question.

Sister Ann Shields tells of going to Confession one week with her usual grocery list of venial sins. The priest refused her absolution, and told her to come back the next week with one sin for which she was truly sorry.

Absolution is refused when one pointedly refuses repentance in the confessional, unless in special cases, where the priest knows your situation personally, and you refuse to repent from the specific sin despite being advised to do so. Other than that I do not see any instances where absolution is refused in confession.

I can also think of another possibility, that the sin being confessed is an ongoing one…

For example, living with someone without being married…

What would be the point of absolving the penitent, even if truly sorry, if he/she will continue with this ongoing sin?

So, being truly sorry means more than simply feeling uncomfortable with what one does, one must mean to stop doing it…even if one falls again, one must at least intend and plan and make sincere efforts at changing…

Venial sins are good to confess because this Sacrament is a healing one, it strengthens and adds graces to be able to live better…

I think a priest is obliged to give absolution when a penitent accept repentance asked by the priest as a condition for absolution of that sin. If a penitent does not confess say another sin, a priest wouldn’t know and he cannot withold absolution for sin not confessed because he wouldn’t know.

If the penitent is living in an invalided marriage he only cannot receive Holy Communion but can have his other sins forgiven. Thus a person can still go for confession any yet cannot receive Holy Communion.

I’m not sure that I understand…

Are you saying that someone can go to confession, say some sins, withhold others [like living with someone] and get absolved of their sins?

Because when I go to confession, the priest asks at the end, ‘any other sins’? I say no, and he says ‘I absolve you of ALL your sins’ meaning to cover those that I don’t realize or that I forgot to mention…not the ones I purposefully withhold [in a hypothetical case].

I don’t see how one can choose some sins to confess and get absolution which is a TOTAL forgiveness!

No, actually if he/sh is unwilling to have a firm ammendment to sin no more than he cannot receive absolution. If he/she is willing to live as brother and sister or separate etc then the priest can give absolution.

Agreed. A priest gives absolution based on the sin confessed. He cannot withhold it.

I thought a person in that situation still can go for confession for other sins committed.

There are nuances to confession for example if you intentionally withhold a sin it invalidates the confession and all sins must be confessed again. Or in the matter we are discussing if you do not intend to change your behavior it also invalidates the confession . If you admit to the priest you do not intend to change then he will not give absolution . He doesn’t pick and choose the sins that he things you are repenting of and absolve those.

If you can provide some church teaching that says differently I’d be happy to read it.Or perhaps one of our priests can chime in.

We have come across many Catholics trapped in a situation where their marriage is not validated. They are therefore not free to receive Holy Communion. But this does not mean that they do not commit other sins.

I was saying if a priest knows about the person’s situation and he asked specifically about it and asks the penitent to repent of it, he has no choice but to withhold absolution if the penitent refuses to do so.

Yes, we have that clause after listing our sins, ‘for this these and any other sins which I cannot now remember , I am truly sorry’, and a penitent says this - a priest then has to absolve him, if he does not question him about his marriage situation.

What about if a penitent goes for confession in another parish where a priest does not know him? He does not disclose about his invalidated marriage. It may not be a sincere confession but in that situation an absolution will be given.

What do you think if you are in this shoe? I can only speak hypothetically but that’s my opinion ; he receives forgiveness on sins confessed because God is a merciful God who will forgive those who come to him for forgiveness. A priest have to absolve based on sins being confessed.

No, not necessary. You are living in sin because your marriage is not validated. One day you went out and steal. You couldn’t do much about the situation of your marriage but you regretted the thief and wanted to confess it. Would you not go for confession OR confession is being withheld from you also until you resolve your marriage?

If you admit you do not want to repent then absolution is not given which I said in my first post.

It is a hypothetical situation and it is my personal opinion, there is no need to be upset.

I was saying theorotically a priest has to give absolution based strictly on what being confessed. He would only withhold absolution if the penitent says, ‘no I don’t want want to repent of the sins mentioned’.

This has touched my heart. I’m in a Civil Marriage myself and have decided to ask for convalidation of my marriage by my priest. My wife wants me to wait, because she’s worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford a convalidation. I cannot receive Communion, which is very difficult for me. I would gladly sign anything that needs to be signed and I do want to raise any children we might have as Catholics. My pituitary condition makes sex impossible right now, so I’m living with my wife as a brother would his sister. Should I wait? Other Catholics have told me that I could and should receive the Eucharist, despite this condition I find myself in right now. I fled the Church for a long time because I thought that the Church was rejecting me by the priest refusing to give me absolution. I’ve been to Confession and Mass since then and I’ve felt myself genuinely forgiven by the absolution pronounced by the priests. I’ve also registered myself as married via Civil Ceremony in my parish. My question is…should I wait before going to a priest and asking him to bless my ring, should I do it tonight after Mass? How should I go about this as a loyal Catholic?

I do not really understand what you are saying.
A person who is not penitent, is not sorry, is not contrite, and tells the priest he is not sorry and plans to continue the sin or the sinful living situation, cannot be absolved. Yes a person in an invalid marriage or irregular lifestyle can go to confession, and perhaps even benefit from the priest’s counsel, but he cannot be absolved until he repents and moves to change that situation. he can’t be absolved, that is the reason he cannot receive Holy Communion. No he cannot be absolved of only some sins, confession does not work that way.

please make an appointment with your pastor immediately. there is no reason this has to cost any money at all. Unless you reserve the church for a separate ceremony and pay the usual price for that, there should be no expense beyond the marriage prep class and retreat, license if required, nominal at best, which can be waived in case of need. Explain your situation to your pastor, call Monday and make an appointment, there is no need to suffer the pain of separation from the sacraments any longer than you have to. In most parishes your marriage can be convalidated in the context of any regularly scheduled Mass, with little or no cost to you. There is no requirement whatever to have any kind of special clothing, celebration etc.

the other question, about receiving communion now because of the way you are living, is something you ask in confession, and unless there are other factors, he may very well absolve you and give you permission to receive, but only the priest in confession can answer this for you.

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