Were my sins forgiven?

Earlier this evening, I went to Confession at a local Franciscan friary, which is my usual Tuesday evening habit. The priest, however, that heard my Confession was not my usual confessor. After having confessed my sins, and listening to the priest’s advice and pennance, The following transpired:

*Priest: “Are you sorry for these sins and all of the sins of your former life that you cannot remember?”

Me: “Yes.”

Priest: “Then, through God the Father of Mercy, I absolve you of your sins, both these that you have confessed to me, and all those that you cannot remember, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Go in peace.”*

Now, this formula for absolution is different than any that any priest to whom I have gone fr Confession has ever used. In fact, to the best of my recollection, every other priest has used the same formula for absolution.

My question is, most urgently, this: were my sins forgiven (there were mortal sins which I confessed)? Then, if they were not, what do I do now? Also, should I speak to the rector of the friary (who is my usual confessor) about this other priest?

Thanks so much in advance for your help,
Yours in Christ,

Yes, your sins are forgiven. The priest did not change the prayer of absolution in such a way as to change its meaning. That does not mean what he did was licit, but it was valid. As the Council of Trent stated:

The holy council teaches furthermore, that the form of the sacrament of penance, in which its efficacy chiefly consists, are those words of the minister: I absolve thee, etc., to which are indeed laudably added certain prayers according to the custom of holy Church, which, however, do not by any means belong to the essence of the form nor are they necessary for the administration of the sacrament.

The priest in question did say “I absolve you” and thus fulfilled the requirement for validly as set down by the Council of Trent.

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