Weird question about the seal of Confession

If I were to discuss something with a priest in Confession, and if I told the priest that it was ok with me if he took action on the matter, would that priest still be breaking the seal of Confession if he took action based on what I said, even though I had given him the ok? Should I discuss this type of matter in Confession, or should I set up a separate appointment, even though the matter is related to a sin I committed?

i would set up an appointment outside of confession to discuss this and then give him the OK to act on it if he wishes to.

I believe you can release him from the seal of confession, which protects your privacy.

I did such things on that way, that I waited until he finished the absolution, and then said that I have an additional problem.

Even if you give him permission the Priest CAN NOT break the seal of confession.

If there is a problem that you feel the Priest needs to be free to address, then you need to schedule a meeting so as not to muddy the waters of can he/can’t he with confession.

Canon Law
Can. 983 §1 The sacramental seal is inviolable. Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion. §2 An interpreter, if there is one, is also obliged to observe this secret, as are all others who in any way whatever have come to a knowledge of sins from a confession.

Can. 984 §1 The confessor is wholly forbidden to use knowledge acquired in confession to the detriment of the penitent, even when all danger of disclosure is excluded.
§2 A person who is in authority may not in any way, for the purpose of external governance, use knowledge about sins which has at any time come to him from the hearing of confession.

Maureen is right - no amount of permission you give can release the priest from the seal of confession. You can even give a written permission, signed, certified by the notary public, with witnesses, whatever. The priest cannot ever use knowledge gained from confession.

You must approach him outside the seal of confession and proceed with the matter.

Breaking the seal of confession is not done, even if you were to release the priest. It would be a serious infraction for him to do so.

I have a question about this…if this is a matter that you feel the Priest may or maynot need to interfer in…why not do so yourself?

My understanding is YES a penitent CAN GIVE PERMISSION to the Priest to make use of information from ones confession outside the confession.

Though it can be best to deal with such situations under ordinary confidentiality-counsel not under the seal…

The article you are using state a very narrow window in which a priest might be released for the seal. Counceling with the same person. Although this really doesn’t seem like a release, more of a continuation.

Since it is a crime under the canon to break the confidence, it would have to be a very special case for one to even tread on that territor.

My canon law professor told this story.

A preist was leaving a parish after many years. It was a small town and the mayor was going to give the key note address and was running late.
The preist, to kill time started talking about his first impression of the town. Particularly since the first confession he heard was about adultary, stealing and crooked buisness practices, then continued that he was please to find it was indeed a very faithful town.
When the mayor finally arrived, he started his tribute with, “I was to first one to come too the good father for confession when he arrived…”

The seal of the confessional is not to be broken.

Yes of course. Absolutely.

But it would seem that a person can give permission to the Priest to make use of info he knows from his confession.

Why the need to give permission.

What ever it is can be brought up out side of the confessional at a later time and then there is no doubt.

The Canons, as posted, are very explicit and leave no room for the penitent to give permission for the Seal to be broken.

As someone studying for the priesthood. If someone tried to give me permission while in the celebration fo the Sacrament of Penance I would stop them and tell them to talk to me after the confession.

This way there is no doubt and there is no chance that the person could “change their mind” and then accuse the priest of breaking the Seal. At least he would have a record of an appointment outside of the confession on record to back up his claim of not having borken the Seal.

And even if they did come to me outside of the celebration of the Sacrment of Penance with information that they gave during the confession I would be loath to follow up on it as the person could still claim later (if they changed their mind) that I had broken the Seal.

If it is something of a legal nature, I would advise them to call the authorties and to leave me out of it.

I do not see where this would really be applicable.

(granted it is referencing a work from 1911…but it shows the historical possibility of such permission which one finds also in works used by confessors in the past such as Jone from 1960 who says too that one may give such permission…)

The other references I gave above from Fr. John Hardon and the other Priest are from more recent works…

“However, a priest may ask the penitent for a release from the sacramental seal to discuss the confession with the person himself or others.”

(and thus of course I would say one could also offer such permission…)

Despite the article you post, I’ll go back to my Canon law professor and lawyer who indicated that the seal of confession cannot be broken even if given permission by the confessor. Unless these priest are also canon lawyers, and even if I were a priest, would want 2nd and 3rd and 4th opinions before following them.

Despite the article you post, I’ll go back to my Canon law professor and lawyer who indicated that the seal of confession cannot be broken even if given permission by the confessor. Unless these priest are also canon lawyers, and even if I were a priest, would want 2nd and 3rd and 4th opinions before following them.

The renowned Theologian Fr. John Hardon reponds here too in the affirmative. The penitent may give permission …such is not breaking the seal.

See first question:

(it is copyrighted so they do not want it quoted without permission…which it is too late in the day to get…but I can give the link. it is short)

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