Rushed through confession

Hi there,

I was just wondering if anyone has ever experienced a priest in the confessional who just kind of rushes through, gives you your penance, doesn’t seem to care much and absolves you? I was deeply troubled by this happening to me the other day. So much that I went to confession again, with a different priest, so I could confess the sins that I forgot because I was so blown away by the attitude of the priest. Maybe he was having a bad day, but it really upset me and sort of angered me too because the confessional is the last place you want to feel like someone is not paying attention to you or rushing you through. So many people struggle going to confession in the first place. Would anyone have said anything to the priest, or not? Just curious.


I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “rushed through.”

At my parish there is time for confession after daily Mass once a week and by appointment as well as before Mass on Sunday. After daily Mass or with an appointment, I feel I have time to properly confess all of my sins and enjoy doing that face-to-face.

Before Mass is another story. The priest wants to get through the entire line of people waiting for confession before the Mass begins, so the style of it is more rushed. But I would say that the pennance is not always the same, so I believe the priest, however rushed, is listening and giving appropriate pennance to all.

If you prefer to have more time, maybe you can pick a time when the priest is less rushed. Or perhaps you just didn’t enjoy the style of the priest you went to and can not go to him in the future.

Of course, if I felt i was being intentionally rushed through to the point that I felt was unnecessary, I may speak to the priest privately about this. It depends on whether it was a matter of a difference between his style and my preference, whether I had other options… or whether it was something more serious.

When I lived in Ohio, I went to confession and the priest told me that I could confess three sins and three sins only. When I asked him what if I had more than three sins and he told me to come back next Saturday when I could confess three more sins. :bigyikes: Lets just say that was the last time I went to confession with him.

Yes I have been rushed before.

If this is routine with one particular priest then find a new one.

Priests are not all the same. They’re like the rest of us. Some are great, and some not so great! I once saw something like this happen. I used to make a major effort to go to confession on the first saturday of the month. But it seems like a lot of other people have the same idea.

Our confession is on saturday before the 4:00 mass. The schedule for confession is just one hour. One day I got there, and the line was huge! The priest acually stayed a bit longer to give more people a chance to confess. Then he told the rest of us that he just didn’t have time. By then, he had only 15 minutes to get ready for mass!!

Most priests I go to are decent. While I havn’t actually been rushed through, sometimes I know I don’t have a lot of time, so I try to keep it short. About the only time I have much time for confession is if I see the priest personally outside of confession. There is one in particular I like to go to. Righ now, he’s on vacation. :crying:

I have felt rushed and didn’t like it. But I also try to be well prepared so I don’t take too much time. Confession is not spiritual direction. I try to get to the point w/o lots of information he doesn’t need to hear. Just the facts!

I have been behind people who take a LONG time. Maybe they have been away from the sacrament for a while. Or maybe they’re giving all sorts of details and long explanations that the priest doesn’t need to know. At any rate, I always pray for the person in front of me to make a good confesson. If my kids are behind me in line, I ask them to pray for me! --KCT

I had this happen to me once. I go in there and the priest goes…ok i dont want to hear all this , lets go lets go, i was like what the ?? so i just kinda wrapped it up . kinda sad , but alot of priests just become mundane , and they treat it just like a job after awhile.

Yeah, I’ve had that happen. Oddly enough, I’ve had both good and rushed experiences with the same priest (not at my home parish) and the good, non-rushed experience was on Christmas Eve morning with a long line of people behind me.

If I go during the scheduled time for the parish, I try to go through my list fairly quickly. A few times the priest has heard my sins and gone straight to absolution, mostly though there is a bit of spiritual direction involved, though not as much as when I schedule confession as a separate appointment.

The first time the priest went straight to absolution I was a bit put off, but later realized that the effect of the sacrament was the same either way, and that must have been just what I needed that day.

I haven’t ever been blatently rushed through the Sacrament, however I have been cut off or been given absolution before I was through confessing my sins, as in during a short pause. I should add that I do confess my sins as concisely as possible and do not expect lengthy Spiritual Direction.

Though one time while I was confessing, the priest was reading something and then he pulled his sleeve up and looked at his watch.:confused:

I figured he was probably the Celebrant for the Vigil Mass that evening and realized that he is human, but it was still unsettling at the time.

I’ve never been rushed, but absolution is absolution. I don’t think I’d take it personally.

[quote=Elliott]. I don’t think I’d take it personally.

Good advice. I didn’t take my experience to heart. It was just unexpected at the time.

I have had that happen to me at the parish I went to in Scranton. It was one of the confession sessions after the novena to St. Ann. Before I could complete mentioning my last sin, the priest gave me absolution.

Here is a thread on the same thing from Ask an Apologist:
What do I do when a priest won’t let me finish my confession?

I’ve never been actually told to hurry up, but I have felt that the priest wanted to “get on with it” so to speak. Like he was impatient or something. But, I can kind of understand because my church is like huge and they have confession once a week for a half hour before the 5pm saturday mass, and while the line isn’t huge, it’s several people long and it’s tough to get through everyone in that amount of time, I would imagine. Nothing excuses out and out rudeness, though, in my opinion…

I’ve gone to confession feeling like the priest wasn’t even paying attention to me. I’ve gone where priests make up a phrase of generic advice and give a generic penance- and I’ve gone back and heard the EXACT same words again- and they were different sins. It’s like the priest was reading the newspaper while casually talking to me whenever he felt it was time to say something so I’d leave.

I’ve never had it happen to me, but I’ve heard others mention it. I used to think that it was sad that priests would do this, but I’ve changed my thinking a bit. When confessions are held before Mass, the priests really do have limited time. They may have no other choice if they want to accomodate all those in line.

I also heard this matter addressed by Jimmy Akin on Catholic Answers Live and he stated that he notices (on the call in show) that people tend to give a lot of extra details before they get to their questions. He recommended that when there is a limited time allowed for confession (such as before Mass), we should just confess our sins and leave out all of the explanations and assorted details. After I heard that, I started thinking differently. It really isn’t practical to expect lengthy spiritual direction from the priest at that time.

God Bless,

I’ve never felt rushed by my confessor, but I have felt the urgency to get done myself, when there is a line at 6:30 AM on Wednesdays. If I think I’m going to take more than my fair share of time, I do make an appointment.

HOWEVER, we had a substitute priest from a local abbey (our pastor had a BAD case of the flu). He was older, to be fair. But I don’t think he was a morning person, and I don’t think he actually expected to see anybody at 6:30 AM on Wednesday. He actually asked me, “You want to go to confesion? Now? Can’t it wait?”

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