Seal of Confessional Vs. Spiritual Direction

Hi all,

I spoke to a priest in confidence. I shared some stuff which was of a confessional nature, in the capacity of a meeting which began with a general conversation about personal matters, generally bleeding my heart out. It concluded with confession.

My question is, how confidential is the information you confide to a priest outside the bounds of the Confessional?

If I reveal X,Y, or Z in a conversation with a priest in a conversation, and then at some later stage confess those same matters, does the subject then come under the umbrella of the seal of the confessional?

I couldn’t even remember or distinguish the matters that were discussed, and the matters confessed, such that whatever I revealed about myself, I should expect confidentiality and would feel supreme betrayal should any of it be revealed to another. I’ve no reason to suspect this would be the case, but in my (paranoid?) mind I need to figure this out.

I am probably worrying unnecessarily, but I am just wondering what are the norms here? Is a spiritual direction/heart to heart, pouring your heart out, conversation protected by confidentiality?

Inside the sacrament of confession everything is kept confidential.

In a spiritual direction like environment everything is confidential except: criminal activity and harm to self or others.

I think this might be the most concise summary of any Catholic dogma I’ve ever seen! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


Do you have to say, in a conversation with a priest, that you would request confidentiality, or is it assumed?

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