Confession for the Disabled
Sacrament of Penance After Medical Issues
Accommodating Medical Issues
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Question / Issue:
"I've had <medical
problems>. How do I go to confession?"
Answer / Resources:
[click link(s) below, as applicable]
I'm sorry to hear
about your medical difficulties. If you contact your parish (or your priest
directly) you should be able to work out a way to have Confession in a manner
that accommodates your condition and maintains secrecy. I have heard of cases
where penitents pass a paper to the priest in the confessional which is
immediately destroyed afterwards by the penitent. What exactly may be done in
your particular case can be worked out between you and the priest, in accordance
with the rules of the Church.
BTW, I am assuming you
are not having transportation issues. If you are having transportation issues,
you can also contact the parish (or diocese) to see how they can ensure that you
are able to receive the Sacrament of Penance. If you are not able to reach your
parish by phone, maybe you could ask someone you trust to call on your behalf or
see if it is possible to contact your parish electronically (e.g. via a form on
their website, via e-mail, etc.)?
Important Note: Be
careful about privacy – definitely do NOT transmit any sensitive personal
information in any insecure manner (including medical information or information
about sins). Note that email, website forms, and even phone calls may NOT be
secure, so be careful if you use such methods that you do NOT disclose sensitive
information to any party (e.g. private information about you, your medical
condition, your sins, etc.). Also, as I'm sure you know, you must NOT confess your sins to
anyone other than the authorized priest himself – and this must be IN PERSON.
Be assured that some
appropriate way to hear your Confession should be able to be arranged between yourself and a
priest, even though you may have medical difficulties. The specifics of how it
can be done will need to be worked out with the priest, in accordance with the
rules of the Church. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that you have difficulty
obtaining assistance from your priest, you might consider calling another parish or
contacting the diocese.
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