Uncomfortable confessing to a particular priest


#1

Now, no, this priest hasn't said anything mean or unorthodox or particularly weird. But the problem is, he kinda knows me quite well outside the confessional (I help serve at the altar on occasion, do the readings, etc.) I guess you could say we have a friendly relationship. But how do I overcome being uncomfortable confessing to him particularly, given that? He's the only priest at the location.


#2

Confess behind the screen and do just confess --no personal things (other than for your confession)


#3

[quote="Cojuanco, post:1, topic:346456"]
Now, no, this priest hasn't said anything mean or unorthodox or particularly weird. But the problem is, he kinda knows me quite well outside the confessional (I help serve at the altar on occasion, do the readings, etc.) I guess you could say we have a friendly relationship. But how do I overcome being uncomfortable confessing to him particularly, given that? He's the only priest at the location.

[/quote]

You need to understand that priests are aware that people sin and need to confess those sins. Priests should expect their parishioners to show up and confess sins, even the awkward sins that are hard to mention and people think no one else does (I can assure that's most never the case).

I would suggest going behind the curtain to confession. Admittedly, this doesn't always promise anonymity, but it might help you feel better.

There's a certain element of professionalism that priests follow. :thumbsup:


#4

I think you shouldn't be too hard on yourself, either, if even in your discomfort you are making the effort to go to confession when you need it. It is completely natural that a person feel uncomfortable telling our mistakes to someone else, especially if we admire and respect that person. I'm ALWAYS uncomfortable when I go to confession, regardless of whether I know the priest or not. For me, the important thing is that I go anyway. The feeling is a feeling. What's important is the action. :thumbsup:

That said, the suggestions here to go behind the screen, etc. may make it easier for you to manage that feeling.


#5

[quote="Cojuanco, post:1, topic:346456"]
Now, no, this priest hasn't said anything mean or unorthodox or particularly weird. But the problem is, he kinda knows me quite well outside the confessional (I help serve at the altar on occasion, do the readings, etc.) I guess you could say we have a friendly relationship. But how do I overcome being uncomfortable confessing to him particularly, given that? He's the only priest at the location.

[/quote]

In addition, you can also confess to a different priest, even a different location.

God bless you.


#6

Sexual sins are always the most difficult to confess. Yet, is this priest asexual? Did he grow up without temptation of any kind? Rather, he knows your temptations rather well - that is why he is there to absolve and to offer spiritual direction as needed.

If your sins are not sexual in nature, the exact same thing applies.


#7

My confessor knows me very well. In fact I do feel more comfortable confessing to priests that I know personally.


#8

Trust that this is Priest is there for the purpose of serving God, and for all in the Parish at this time. I have known a Priest for over 25 years, both as a friend and confessor. He is able to keep the two matters separate and I am sure this could be said about your Pastor.

When in confession keep your meeting about that Sacrament. Your Priest is there as Jesus, the best friend any of us can have.


#9

While I agree with Cricket in a general sense, each priest is different, as is each penitent. I am quite active in my parish but also had our pastor as my confessor (and spiritual director). Over the course of a year we found our relationship suffered greatly because of this confessor/SD-boss duality, so earlier this month we agreed to part ways spiritually in order that I may continue to be able to serve. I now confess outside the parish. My spiritual life has become more serene and focused, and my working relationship with Father—as well as the friendship The Husband and I share with him—has significantly improved. It was the right decision for us.

OP, you cite your location as Irvine, CA, which is not in the middle of nowhere (I grew up in the area). There should be at least a few parishes at a convenient distance from your own. Would you consider confessing to a priest outside your parish? If you have a strong preference for retaining your own pastor as your confessor that is your prerogative, but if you're really so uncomfortable confessing to him perhaps the more prudent path would be to seek absolution elsewhere.


#10

[quote="Cojuanco, post:1, topic:346456"]
Now, no, this priest hasn't said anything mean or unorthodox or particularly weird. But the problem is, he kinda knows me quite well outside the confessional (I help serve at the altar on occasion, do the readings, etc.) I guess you could say we have a friendly relationship. But how do I overcome being uncomfortable confessing to him particularly, given that? He's the only priest at the location.

[/quote]

I am faced with something similar as you in that I must confess to a priest who I see almost every day because I attend daily Mass and he is the only priest in our parish. I also serve as a lector and EMHC and I go to confession every week. So, I am faced with this often. And, I will say that I actually care what he personally thinks of me. But, here is another take on this dilemma.

I'd say it's a better thing to confess to a priest for whom you have these sorts of feelings because, in this way, you are less likely to commit embarrassing sins and, most importantly, mortal sins. This situation could act as a deterrent for sin, don't you think? In my case, I know it does.

I know that this advice sounds unlike the normal advice on confession. And, IF it keeps you away from the sacrament, find another priest somewhere else. Please do not hesitate to partake of such a healing sacrament. Jesus is the one who actually forgives with the priest as His minister.

May God bless you.

houston1


#11

[quote="Cojuanco, post:1, topic:346456"]
Now, no, this priest hasn't said anything mean or unorthodox or particularly weird. But the problem is, he kinda knows me quite well outside the confessional (I help serve at the altar on occasion, do the readings, etc.) I guess you could say we have a friendly relationship. But how do I overcome being uncomfortable confessing to him particularly, given that? He's the only priest at the location.

[/quote]

Just keep going. It gets easier in time. Remember that your sins aren't that unique. There are only ten commandments and only so many ways you can break them. Going to a confessor you know well can be a great opportunity to grow in humility.


#12

[quote="houston1, post:10, topic:346456"]

I'd say it's a better thing to confess to a priest for whom you have these sorts of feelings because, in this way, you are less likely to commit embarrassing sins and, most importantly, mortal sins. This situation could act as a deterrent for sin, don't you think? In my case, I know it does.

I know that this advice sounds unlike the normal advice on confession. And, IF it keeps you away from the sacrament, find another priest somewhere else. Please do not hesitate to partake of such a healing sacrament. Jesus is the one who actually forgives with the priest as His minister.

May God bless you.

houston1

[/quote]

I agree. I try to remember that God already knows my sins, and it's simply a matter of MY pride that keeps me from confessing my sins. If I don't want to take ownership of my sins or confess them, then don't do them! :) I do prefer anonymous confession, and I do feel so ashamed when I have to keep confessing the same sin that seems like I can't break away from. I just have to swallow my pride. One reason I do struggle and not always confess to the same priest, is because one time a priest did ask questions relating to a certain sin, and it felt like he made a personal judgment when he asked if it was related to my appearance. (Whether it did or didn't, that felt less Christ-like and more personal, as he had seen me standing in line and knew which one I was.)

Confession is such a good thing, though!


#13

[quote="ccmcmg, post:12, topic:346456"]
because one time a priest did ask questions relating to a certain sin, and it felt like he made a personal judgment when he asked if it was related to my appearance. (Whether it did or didn't, that felt less Christ-like and more personal, as he had seen me standing in line and knew which one I was.)

Confession is such a good thing, though!

[/quote]

Wow, see I had a situation like the one you described but I look at what happened to me totally different... I had confessed a mortal sin and this priest I went to starting asking questions. And they were hard questions. It was the first time I had a priest ask me questions like this one.. I couldn't wait to get out and have my sins forgiven... I was so embarrassed about this particular sin... But when I walked over to the pew to do penance, I knelt down and put my hands over my eyes and said, Wow, that confession was hard! But Thank You God, that you provided me a priest who cared So much about my soul, that he was willing to take the time and ask those important questions to me! All the priests care or should care about one's soul, but I really walked away so grateful that I had a priest that asked those questions that I dreaded to answer.. I tell you what, it makes me think twice before falling into those sins again.... And now, when I do go to confession, I am always hoping to have him to confess to. I don't like to go to confession, but I like to have gone! :) Yes, Confession is a very good thing!


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.