Seal of Confession?

Earlier today, I was waiting for Confession when an elderly lady came in the Church. I basically told her that there was a person in the Confessional with the priest. She said that she just had a few short prayers or something like that. I sat back down. Shortly after that, she got up and headed for the door, seemingly to leave. When I glanced back a second time however, she was headed straight for the Confessional. There was enough time for me to have spoken loudly to try to get her attention or walk over to stop her, but I didn’t, and she went into the Confessional. Of course, she came back out fairly quickly when she realized what was going on. My concern is that through my inaction, I allowed the Seal of Confession to be jeopardized. If that is true, would I have incurred an excommunication?

No, you didn’t. The seal of the confessional binds the priest, and any other person who happens to hear anything said in confession. Now – this woman, if she heard anything, is bound; but you bear no responsibility in her action.

Maybe you could have interfered but don’t blame yourself for what she did.
Being an elderly woman, perhaps she didn’t unterstand you properly or she had forgotten some moments later.
In any case, what happened is her own responsability, not yours.
So be at peace :slight_smile:

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