Scrupulous and a Different Priest

Would it be permissible for a scrupulous person to go to a protest other than for the confessor for confess I? Normally I would go to him, but I don’t feel comfortable telling him. It involves me using things he said to see of they justified me finding a new confessor. I don’t want him to know this.

You can confess to any Catholic priest.

I’m having some trouble following the flow here, but here is what I will say:

Sometimes, it may not be possible to go this regular confessor, and you certainly should not avoid confession because of that.

I would think that you could bring any concern you have to your confessor outside of confession.

You can have a different confessor (although it seems to me like you may be doubling down on scruples here) but have only one spiritual director. If you need to change directors, I don’t see that as problem either.

Is your question, “Is it okay to go to confession with a different priest to find out if what my parish priest told me is valid?”

If so, I would say maybe you didn’t understand what your parish priest said to you during confession so it might be more helpful to just talk to your parish priest about it… make an appointment to talk to him outside of confession.

Sorry about my post being hard to follow. I just read back through it and I was confused. Which is embarrassing. So what happened is that my confessor said some things I didn’t like and I wanted to get out of. In response, I asked people about these things hoping that I’d be told that I should find a new confessor or that I could ignore these things. I want to confess this, but not to my confessor. I don’t want him to know of my reaction to what he said. As a result, I’d like to confess to another priest that I like. Since I’m scrupulous and thus must stick to one confessor, I’m wondering if this would be permissible.

Your confessor is in the person of Christ. You are not disagreeing with him, but with our Lord. You are struggling with obedience. Something to ponder.

As to scruples:


  1. Do not repeat prayers, no matter how badly they may have been prayed, even if the prayers were given to you as a penance during the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession).

  2. Do not repeat the confession of sins that have already been confessed and which have never been re-committed.

  3. If you doubt the earnestness of your sorrow in Confession, consider the sorrow as having been adequate.

  4. If you are doubtful as to whether a past action committed was sinful, mention it simply to your confessor.

  5. If you are worrying that maybe you never confessed a certain sin from your past, consider it confessed. If you know for a fact that you have never confessed that sin, then confess it simply. The Holy Spirit does not torment us with doubts and/or guilt; rather, He always brings peace as He awakens our conscience to our sins.
    (cf. 2 Corinthians 7:10-11: “Indeed, sorrow for God’s sake produces a repentance without regrets, leading to salvation, whereas worldly sorrow brings death. Just look at the fruit of this sorrow which stems from God. What a measure of holy zeal it has brought you.”)

  6. Examine your conscience for no longer than three minutes each day, and for no longer than about ten minutes before you go to Confession.

  7. If you have prayed at the time of temptation, you can be sure you did not commit a mortal sin.

  8. If you have a history of scrupulosity, and you have made a General Confession at some time in your past, do not make another General Confession. Once a month is a good norm for the frequency of a regular Confession.

  9. If possible, go to Confession to the same confessor-priest.

10.Most importantly, cultivate a humble heart by complete obedience to the direction of your confessor. Be patient with yourself. Love is the goal of all our lives. It is important to remember that scrupulosity usually (and, quite often, ultimately) stems from one’s personal pride or arrogance, as though the scrupulous person holds this personal opinion: “I have a higher norm than most normal people.”

Posted by Fr. Wade Menezes of the Fathers of Mercy.

When we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) it is because we need spiritual healing, therefore, we hear what we need to hear, and not what we want to hear. If the penance and/or advice is achievable but we don’t like it, then we have to girt our teeth, pray and get on with it. Most people don’t like their penance or the guidance given but its the same as having an abscess lanced, it is uncomfortable and smelly but it does feel so good when it is over with.

Think of it as going to a doctor who informs you that you have lung cancer, treats you but says some stop smoking. You accept the treatment but don’t like to be told to stop smoking and don’t want to. Would you really go from doctor to doctor in the hope that one of them says its okay to smoke 20 a day? In the meantime your condition deteriorates because you did not get further treatment whilst shopping around for a doctor to fall in with your wishes. Or would you grit your teeth, and work on it?

At the end of the day, what is more important, spiritual health or feeling comfortable?

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