What may a priest ask about during confesssion?

I was out of town today and went to confession at a parish other than my own. The priest heard my confession, gave me a little advice, then began to ask me a lot of questions (unrelated to the sins I confessed) about where I live, which diocese I am from, and which parish I attend. He gave me no further advice, except to talk to my pastor if I had further need for guidance. Now, why did he need to ask all of those questions, unless he wanted to figure out who I was? Aren’t those inappropriate questions for a priest to ask a penitent? It was certainly the most unsettling confession I have ever made.


It does sound rather unusual, but I don’t know why one would find it unsettling. He can’t reveal whatever you tell him under pain of excommunication. SInce he asked about your diocese and parish, I suspect that he was trying to determine how orthodox your pastor is since he told you to seek counsel from him. It’s a sign of the times that orthodox priests have to be concerned about such things these days.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P;

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