Coming out of my lurkdom to ask a serious question.
At what point should someone expect that the seal of confession is in place?
I was recently told that no seal was broken when a priest told what someone else said in the confessional and I’m still stunned.
The person, an adult if it matters, according to the the priest and the person, entered the screened confessional and said, “I’m sorry but I’m really angry and don’t want to be here. (Mass that day) I’m just doing what I’m forced to do bc I feel I have to.” The priest then refused to listen further stating they were not spiritually prepared to give confession and told them to seek further counsel elsewhere.
I was stunned to hear this. Not so much that a fellow catholic could be having major spiritual struggles, that’s nothing new, but that I would hear from their priest that they voiced this inside the confessional.
To me, regardless of attitude of penitent, if they entered the confessional then it should be sealed unless the penitent clearly states that the priest can speak of it outside of the confessional, which in this case they say they did not, tho they weren’t bothered about it since it was me he spoke to, but I am extremely bothered by it. When I voiced this concern, I was told that people say all kinds of stuff before , or after or whatever while in the confessional and that those things do not fall under the seal. I’m just…:eek:
I’ve never in my life heard that before. Ever. Any time anything about confession is mentioned it’s always been stringently driven into everyone I’ve met that anything said in the confessional is sealed. I’m just… Seriously this is rocking my world. When I said that’s how it made me feel, he laughed and said I just needed to understand that the confessional is not a place for counseling. um? What? Yes, I know that and yet, yes it sort of is too. One of the reasons we are encouraged to seek one confessor is specificly so he can know us well enough to counsel us properly on avoiding and dealing with the struggles we bring to confession. It’s right there in Introduction to the Devout Life for one. I know I’ve had priests in confession ask for background on what I am bringing to them. It never even remotely occurred to me that only some of what I said in there was sealed.
I’m just a ridiculous mess about this —> :eek::mad:(:eek: