Seal of the confessional


#1

Hi there, so a priest told me once something about someone in confession, the name wasn't revealed, just wondering did that priest break the seal of confession and was he excommunicated. Please help


#2

Unless the Priest identified a penitent with a sin that was confessed, the Priest has not revealed anything. "I've heard someone confess such-n-such" is vastly different from "JimBob confessed to me that he did such-n-such".


#3

[quote="seanom, post:1, topic:314252"]
Hi there, so a priest told me once something about someone in confession, the name wasn't revealed, just wondering did that priest break the seal of confession and was he excommunicated. Please help

[/quote]

If you were unable to determine the person's identity from what he told you then no, he did not break the seal.

Keep in mind, that you are not the first person to confess a particular sin. I am sure you were not the first person to confess that particular sin to that priest.

Sometimes it can be appropriate to let you know that other people have struggled with the same issue, and were able to over come it, etc.

Again, as long as you were not able to figure out who the person was from what he told you, then no, he did not break the seal.


#4

"JimBob confessed to me that he did such-n-such"

What did he say I did?


#5

[quote="seanom, post:1, topic:314252"]
Hi there, so a priest told me once something about someone in confession, the name wasn't revealed, just wondering did that priest break the seal of confession and was he excommunicated. Please help

[/quote]

no and no


#6

Unless he disclosed who the person is, then no. Furthermore, a priest may ask the penitent for a release from the sacramental seal to discuss the confession with the person himself or others. Worst case, an indirect violation of the seal does not carry automatic excommunication. And confessors know very well how to honor this most sacred seal ;)

Additional and important info: anyone (f. ex. a lay faithful) who gains knowledge of a confession (such as overhearing someone’s confession) is also obligated to preserve secrecy (Code of Canon Law, No. 983.2). For such a person to violate the secrecy of another person’s confession is a mortal sin and warrants "a just penalty, not excluding excommunication" (No. 1388.2). Also, a person who falsely accuses a priest of breaking the seal of the confession incurs a mortal sin and perhaps other canonical penalties, including excommunication. (source)

Usually when a priest shares something, is with utmost respect of the secrecy and for the purpose of enlightening the person under spiritual direction. So when this happens, don't worry about him, but focus on you :D


#7

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