[quote="TerryJT, post:1, topic:327386"]
I am have a question. I have been going to the same confessor for almost a year. He is a holy man, gives good spiritual advice, and is also my parish priest. I am curious if it is a sin to go somewhere else for confession if I don't want him to know about particular sin?
I abuse alcohol, and have gone long periods of abstaining-but recently slipped. I confessed it, and He was shocked to find out I had a drinking problem, and our relationship has been akward and strained since he found out. I was helping in some church ministries-I suspect he is concerned about me being in any kind of ministry now that he knows I have this issue.
Well-I slipped again-need the grace of the sacrament, as it has been almost 6 weeks since I have gone...but am very uncomfortable confessing this. Is it a sin to go to "the priest down the street" to avoid my pastor? I know the grace of the sacrament is valid no matter where I go-I was just wondering if the "intent" behind going elsewhere is to conceal something from my regular confessor and this is compounding the sin? We are not in a spiritual director/directee relationship.
Your comments are welcome.
First of all, thank you for your openness to discussing this sensitive issue. It's not an outright sin, but IMO it is absolutely best to find a regular confessor whom one can trust with anything. If you don't feel comfortable going to your parish priest, that's not your fault. You might consider establishing this very important "confessor-confessee" relationship with another priest whom you can trust completely. If what you've told him in the confessional seems to affect his opinion of you and of your ability to carry out volunteer duties at the parish, perhaps you should find another parish. I must stress here that this is just my opinion, and that there are likely other components to this problem that should be considered before you decide to attend and serve elsewhere.
All this being said, I would give him one more chance in the confessional. In my experience, one can't be sure about another's true feelings from just one bad encounter and some seemingly awkward subsequent interactions. Two bad encounters in the confessional, if you are willing to risk it, would tell you for sure that you either need to find another confessor, or that you merely caught him off guard that one time (he is only human!) and that your perception that things are "strained" between you is wrong. I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for reading.
Yours in Jesus through Mary,