What do I do when the priest answers his cell phone in confession?


#1

I have a strange question. On Super Bowl Sunday one of our priests did a homily on confession. He used psychology and related things to being either healthy or unhealthy. He said that confession is healthy but that going too often (every week or every other week) is unhealthy. That being said I went to confession last Saturday because for Lent I will be going every week. I went face to face and told him it was one week since my last confession. I felt uncomfortable about this because he made me repeat it and remembering his homily made it more uncomfortable.

Then in the middle of confession his cell phone rang, he picked it up to see who was calling and then put it back without turning it off. Because of this distraction he even forgot to give me my penance. I tracked him down to tell him that he forgot to give me my penance and he was adament that he gave it to me and I must have forgotten it. What would you suggest I do about this?


#2

The priest may have had in mind scrupulous people, for whom frequent confession may indeed be unhealthy and aggravate their scruples. For people with normal consciences though, weekly or bi-weekly confession is not necessarily unhealthy and can even be spiritually beneficial. Pope John Paul II is known to have gone to weekly confession, at times more often; and, although it may be a pious story, it has even been said that he sometimes went every day.

[quote=Margaret G]In the middle of confession his cell phone rang, he picked it up to see who was calling and then put it back without turning it off.
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He may have had the cell phone with him in case of emergency. But, if you were uncertain whether the call had been disconnected and wanted to make sure that the confession was not being overheard, you could ask politely, “Father, is your caller still on the line?” and, if so, request that the call be disconnected.

[quote=Margaret G]Because of this distraction he even forgot to give me my penance. I tracked him down to tell him that he forgot to give me my penance and he was adament that he gave it to me and I must have forgotten it. What would you suggest I do about this?
[/quote]

You can mention in your next confession that you didn’t receive a penance last time. Whatever penance the priest gives you at that confession will cover last time. Should a similar situation happen in the future where a priest insists that he gave you a penance and that you must have forgotten it, I recommend politely asking him to give you another penance.


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