When your priest misunderstands


…in confession what you are trying to say, so long as you said it you have no obligation to reconfess that sin, correct?

Because the holiness of the priest doesn’t matter, the priest’s lack of understanding a language (e.g a Polish priest hearing an Italian confession) wouldn’t matter, so I don’t think this would matter either in terms of reconfessing a sin. :shrug:


As long as you have the right intention during the Confession and you try to make a good Confession there is no harm done- all is well. I am a regular penitent and I lived in Spain for a while and often went to Confession, occasionally I especially went to see a Priest that spoke English but this wasn’t always possible and I often Confessed in Spanish to Priests that did not speak English, I made it clear I was not Spanish and tried to Confess to the best of my ability- the intention that I had to Confess was more important than if I linguistically got everything right or even made the Priest understand. I mention that because of the example you used.

Also the Priest technically doesn’t have to understand what is being Confessed, as long as the Penitent is sincere and has the correct intention the Priest can give Absolution- this was the case for me when I had very little Spanish and wasn’t able to Confess and was permitted to Confess in English even though Father didn’t understand a word!


I would caveat the above :
If the priest granted you absolution and you completed your penance you are forgiven.

If the priest misunderstood you and withheld absolution then you need to go back to confession as soon as possible.

To quote the gospel “those sins you retain on earth : they are retained in heaven.”


If you thought the priest misunderstood why not just say something during confession…otherwise the priest will absolve you for a version of the sin instead of the actual sin…and will give you your penance for that version of the sin instead of the actual sin…

closed #5

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