Truncated confession w absolution, no penance


So, last night I went to confession. I got there a nd was one of the last in line. As I was confessing, the priest interrupted me and asked if I was married. I repliedthat I was. He then asked if I had kids. Told him 3 boys and another boy on the way. At this point he said “God has blessed you! Be patient with your wife and children.” Proceeded to absolve me and gave me a blessing, but no penance (that I can tell)

My concerns are
I didn’t go through all the sins I had gathered. 3 out of lots.
2 of the sins were graver than my impatience but he didn’t comment on those. Is it that the impatience is current and not in my past?
Is my penance to “be more patient”?
Sins that I had intended on confessing are covered, even though everything went by so fast. 3-4mins, tops.


Was he Irish? Haha! Don’t worry about it, Jesus is loving and merciful- I know how you feel this has happened to me in the past and well, the absolution was for all your sins- spoken and unspoken and are now in a state of grace. If it would make you feel better visit another Priest and tell him what happened and make a fuller Confession, however, most Priests wouldn’t let you and would say you are covered- free of sin, until you need to go again of course.

Have a Happy and Holy Easter!


If I had experienced this I would accept the confession and absolution as valid and that all my sins had been forgiven. However, if there were mortal sins remaining that had not been confessed I would confess them at the next possible opportunity.

Regarding the penance, he didn’t give you one. Open-ended advice to practice a virtue such as patience is simply that, advice – not a penance. Absolution does not hinge on the performance of a penance. The priest may have simply forgotten to assign a penance or neglecting to assign a penance was part of his attempt to hurry things along.

Be at peace.


His advice (or commentary) is not necessary for a valid confession. Neither is penance.

You took 3-4 minutes to confess 3 sins? That is the problem. You are going into too much detail. The priest was probably rushed for time, although he should have let you confess quickly.

I believe that you are validly absolved but should go back to confession and confess those sins that you did not have time to mention.


What do you mean was he Irish,? Do you mean to be Irish you have the gift of the Gab, well that part was right, I am often in Dublin and go to Confession , the Irish priests are so nice to go to Confession to, so much so while in Dublin a few weeks ago while going into the Confessional Room(not a box) just as I was shutting the door the priest said to me,
God Bless you for coming to Confession- your very brave. I knelt down with a smile on my face.

As for the penance question, you got one, the priest told you “Be patient with your wife and children” - its quite clear.

Still don’t know what you mean was he Irish though.:confused:


I’d got back to confession as well. I believe if a priest absolves your ,sins they are absolved if you get a penance or not. If really want to talk to a priest about you sins make an appointment for confession, you can take you time.


Haha it was a joke- I have Irish relatives and love Ireland and the Irish Church but here in Britain Irish Priests are known for being speedy- for example if you go to a Mass that is very fast it is known as an “Irish Mass” because in Ireland the majority of Priests say a quick Mass- not lacking any dignity or holiness, just faster than in England haha- its the Irish way, people often say “Oh I Confess to an Irish Priest” in a lighthearted way of saying that you know you are going to be in and out! Irish Catholicism and Irish Priests are very beautiful!


That is what I was thinking, right before Easter when there may be many confessions and the priest is getting ready for his busiest and the most important weekend isn’t a time for details. (but perhaps it would be better for the priest to says so and ask for the sins only


I agree with the person above that 3-4 minutes is a lot for 3 sins, you might be giving too much background information instead of just stating your sins.

As for advice, some priests feel they have to give advice with every confession, but most don’t. I would say the majority of times I go to confession, I get no advice. If a priest gives advice, it is usually because he feels he has something useful to suggest which may help the penitent to grow in virtue. Therefore it is not necessarily the gravest sin which will elicit advice, but the one which the priest feels he may be able to help you correct. Also, some sins may be objectively less serious but for that very reason more difficult to root out, e.g. if you regularly confessed a whole list of not very serious things and then a one-off huge sin, it would probably be the case that you were so horrified by the gravity of the big sin that you would be shocked into never doing it again, whereas something you perceive to be less serious, such as impatience, may well make it difficult for those around you to live with you and thus be more unpleasant for them.


IMO, telling people to reconfess sins that have been absolved leads to scrupulosity and distrust of the Church and her priests.

When the priest absolves your sins, you are absolved, period. Remaining feelings of guilt are just that -feelings-and can’t be trusted to reflect the objective reality. Jesus has forgiven your sins–would one stand before the Lord in NT times and say “Well, I can’t quite convince myself that you have forgiven me, you might have misunderstood me, etc., so I am going to tell you again”, or would one say “Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness! I am going to do my best to mend my ways.”

One cannot trust oneself, but one can trust God and the Church.


Thank you all for your insights! It wad 3-4 mins from greeting to exit. Hehe, I’m that long winded. I will take your advice and have faith in God’s infinite mercy.may you all have a blessed Good Friday.


Thank you all for your insights! It wad 3-4 mins from greeting to exit. Hehe, I’m that long winded. I will take your advice and have faith in God’s infinite mercy.may you all have a blessed Good Friday.


Haha, I got the joke. We used to have 4 Catholic Churches in my town: Slovak, Polish, Italian, and Irish. My dad said that when you were in a hurry you’d go to the Irish one for mass.


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