Under what circumstances can a priest substitue another mid stream in a confession?

Does anyone know why this would be done?

Is this a hypothetical question or have you heard of a situation in which this was done? Short of the priest having a heart attack or stroke in the confessional, I can’t imagine such a thing ever happening. Even in these situations I would think that the penitent would help the priest, if qualified, or just get out of the way. If another priest came to hear confessions, the penitent would just begin his confession all over again. One priest could never just “take over” from another priest without starting the confession again, because a priest would never tell another priest what he had heard in the confessional. A priest will not break the seal of the confessional under any circumstances.

Did he do this after he said, “You again?” :smiley: No, I’ve never heard of such a practice. Like the previous poster stated, if absolution was not granted then there was no sacrament and the entire confession would need to take place with the second priest.

Until we hear more about the specifics the OP has experienced, I’d like to consider the theoretical possibilities.

It seems to me that the priest having knowledge of the penitent’s sins is preferred, but not mandatory, as we’ve heard about the validity of this sacrament when the penitent and the confessor do not speak the same language.

We also know about the various provisions for completing the Eucharistic sacrifice if for whatever reason the original celebrant is unable.

On these bases, I would venture that a confession can in theory be validly completed once begun, if in extreme circumstances the original confessor must be replaced. The replacement need not know the sins previously confessed, so long as the penitent met the general rule about number and kind of sins.

Having said that, I think such situations would be very rare indeed, and in nearly every case the new confessor would simply ask for a recap of what was previously confessed.

I never even considered this…very clever scenario!
I wonder if a priest has ever fallen asleep while somebody was confessing?

“Father, he found out about the embezzlement so I had to liquidate him.”

zzzzzzzz:D

Given the few possible circumstances described in which this might happen one would hope the penitent might turn on their mobile phone (assuming they turned it off before coming into church) and phone for an ambulance rather than ringing the diocese to say Fr’s just collapsed while I was in the middle of confession do you think you could said a replacement. They’d probably reply if you can find a priest please let us know.

Can you provide a resource or some documentation that supports this? Thank you.

:confused:The resource is the logic put forth in the previous two paragraphs.

If the Church at some point decides to enshrine this as official teaching, even better. For now, I thought it was fairly clear that I was making a theoretical argument.

A valid absolution is not dependent on the confession of sins. Although I do not know if this is licit outside the cases of emergency.

Since the Church can grant or restrict faculties, and the Sacrament of Penance is invalid in the absence of faculties, licity and validity go hand in hand a bit more than in most of the other sacraments. So the Church can make valid absolution dependent on the confession of sins - and I think at present it does, outside of emergencies.

Canon Law says that for absolution to be valid, you need a valid minister (priest with valid Orders) and faculties from the Church. I can’t find any other prescript that would invalidate absolution by a priest with faculties other than if the penitent is an accomplice of the said priest against the Sixth Commandment (except in danger of death). Do you have something that says that valid absolution is dependent on confession of sins except in cases of necessity?

Can. 959 In the sacrament of penance the faithful who confess their sins to a legitimate minister, are sorry for them, and intend to reform themselves obtain from God through the absolution imparted by the same minister forgiveness for the sins they have committed after baptism and, at the same, time are reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by sinning.

Can. 960 Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the only ordinary means by which a member of the faithful conscious of grave sin is reconciled with God and the Church. Only physical or moral impossibility excuses from confession of this type; in such a case reconciliation can be obtained by other means.

Can. 988 §1. A member of the Christian faithful is obliged to confess in kind and number all grave sins committed after baptism and not yet remitted directly through the keys of the Church nor acknowledged in individual confession, of which the person has knowledge after diligent examination of conscience.
§2. It is recommended to the Christian faithful that they also confess venial sins.

Never mind------ Found it----

Can. 959 In the sacrament of penance the faithful who confess their sins to a legitimate minister, are sorry for them, and intend to reform themselves obtain from God through the absolution imparted by the same minister forgiveness for the sins they have committed after baptism and, at the same, time are reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by sinning.

Help me out here. Who is an official minister in this particular case?

That would be the priest or bishop hearing the confession… teachccd

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