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Problems With Priest in Confession

Problems With Confessor

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"What to do if I'm having problems with the priest in confession?"

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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IMHO, dealing with problems in the confessional would depend upon the nature of the issue. For example...

* If there was some physical issue (e.g. not being able to hear the priest), it may be best to addresses the cause of the problem and work to find a suitable solution

* If there was some language barrier (e.g. the priest could not understand your language), you might need to find another priest to hear your confessions

* If the priest has a poor 'bedside manner' (so to speak), one might be wise to simply 'suck it up' (or as more appropriately phrased, 'carry one's cross') and focus on the great gift of God's mercy, even if it is being dispensed by his representative in an unpleasant manner. Should it be truly intolerable, however, perhaps finding another confessor would resolve the issue?

* If something inappropriate occurred (I pray not!), the matter should be taken up with the proper (secular and/or church) authorities, as the situation warrants

* If the priest refused absolution, try here [Note: Of course if a penitent honestly feels the priest's refusal of absolution was truly groundless, he/she might speak with the priest to clarify the matter. If the situation warrants, the penitent could speak with another (good/holy) priest, but one should carefully examine one's true motives for doing so. For example, it would be wrong to try to get a priest to give you absolution if you weren't truly sorry, or if you weren't prepared to give up the sin, etc. Rather, doing so would likely add more sin.]

Depending on the issue, one might see if the problem can be properly resolved somehow with the confessor. If not, it might be necessary to find another confessor (at the parish or at another parish), as appropriate.

It might be wise to first ask yourself honestly if the issue is actually with you, with Church doctrine, with the environment, or with the priest. If the issue is with you or your behavior, wouldn't it be up to you to resolve the issue? If the issue is with actual Church doctrine, isn't this the same as the issue being with you – and therefore on you to resolve? If the issue is with the environment (e.g. some physical issue within confessional itself), perhaps this could be taken up with the parish? Or might another confessional be used? If the issue is truly with the priest (and not with you or Church doctrine), it may be necessary to resolve/deal with the issue in some suitable way or find another priest to hear confessions. Proceed with honesty and a humble heart, and pray for your confessor. [And of course proceed with any course of action at your own risk, always using good judgment – and remember that we cannot make any guarantees whatsoever regarding any item.]

We understand this situation may be very difficult & we wish you a holy resolution to the issue.


Reminder: We make no guarantee whatsoever regarding any item herein. Items herein may be the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect our views. All applicable items may be subject to change at any time without notice. Utilize any link(s) appearing on this page at your own risk. For more terms information, see "Important Notice" below.

  

Other Resources:

[click link(s) below, as applicable]

Penance / Confession (Topic Page)

Priests (Topic Page)

Catholic Basics Section

 

  

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