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Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279339 02/19/08 05:52 PM
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Would he need to stick with one father confessor?

Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279341 02/19/08 05:56 PM
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That idea of travelling to another orthodox parish sometimes may be do-able...but if I told my priest that I had received confession at another church so he would know I can take communion, then he may be wondering why I went to another church and I don't want to have to confront him about it.

Re: Confessions concern
Terry Bohannon #279342 02/19/08 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
Would he need to stick with one father confessor?

No, but saying to a priest, "I am going to be going to Confession to my Spiritual Father in another parish and I'd just like to know that because I'll still be coming to the Chalice here." or "I am going to be going to Confession to my Spiritual Father over the telephone and I'd like you to absolve me." is a great deal better than saying, "I don't like you, so I'm going to any other priest but you." smile

Fr David Straut


Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279344 02/19/08 06:07 PM
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But what if he tries to ask my why.

Re: Confessions concern
jkay #279345 02/19/08 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jkay
That idea of travelling to another orthodox parish sometimes may be do-able...but if I told my priest that I had received confession at another church so he would know I can take communion, then he may be wondering why I went to another church and I don't want to have to confront him about it.

Is this priest an axe murderer or something? Is he going to go "postal" and spray the congregation with bullets because one of his parishioners decides they are going to Confession elsewhere?

If you believe it is so harmful to you to go to Confession to him, go somewhere else. Just have the guts to tell him in a nice way. What's so hard about that? I don't understand. It's important to me that my parishioners are confessing their sins and receiving absolution, not that I have to be the one to handle it. There are far more difficult parishioners in this world than there are difficult priests. Think about it.

I hear Confessions because I love people and want to help them. I don't enjoy it. If it were taken from me tomorrow, I'd be relieved, not angry. Can you imagine what it is like hearing hundreds, if not thousands, of Confessions every year for decades?

Fr David Straut


Re: Confessions concern
jkay #279346 02/19/08 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jkay
But what if he tries to ask my why.

I always liked Miss Manners response to the rude "Why" questions. She counsels people to reply in their sweetest voice, "Why do you ask?" If they have the temerity to actually give you answer as to why they asked, you simply repeat again without a hint of irritation, "But, why do you ask?". This process is repeated until the rude questioner gives up. smile

Fr David


Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279351 02/19/08 06:27 PM
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jkay, I think you need to be honest with your priest and discuss whatever it is that is bugging you. The problem is not going to go away on its own. If the priest had told you something shocking or immoral, you should go to the bishop. I'm assuming the situation is not like that however.

I have always been told that if you are going to confess to someone other than your spiritual father (who for most of us is our parish priest), you should have their consent to do so. I would think it would also be highly discouraged to seek confession elsewhere if it was done expressly to take place without the knowledge or consent of ones normal confessor. How we handle confession of course should not be the cause of additional things to confess.

Honesty is difficult, but is best for us. Remember the Gospel says there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and that is why we confess.

Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279369 02/19/08 07:52 PM
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Actually I just don't like confrontations and I already feel uncomfortable so I don't want to have to pursue it. And my priest is not very personable either, he hardly ever comes down to coffee hour and talks to people. I wish he would talk to me more, it would be nice, but it's not him I guess. I already feel like he looks down on me based on what he said and that's also why I don't want to tell him I want to go elsewhere. And no of course I cannot imagine what it's like to hear confessions. In situations like these I prefer to just avoid further dealings and move on with things differently.

Last edited by jkay; 02/19/08 07:59 PM.
Re: Confessions concern
jkay #279370 02/19/08 08:06 PM
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jkay, I think you need to talk to another priest (not as in a confession) in person or directly and give them the specifics and ask them what to do.

Last edited by AMM; 02/19/08 08:07 PM.
Re: Confessions concern
AMM #279373 02/19/08 08:16 PM
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I agree with AMM 100%. A good priest could give you solid advice after he knows more of the details than you could provide Father with here. I will pray for you...

Re: Confessions concern
AMM #279387 02/19/08 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AMM

I have always been told that if you are going to confess to someone other than your spiritual father (who for most of us is our parish priest), you should have their consent to do so. I would think it would also be highly discouraged to seek confession elsewhere if it was done expressly to take place without the knowledge or consent of ones normal confessor.


In the Latin Catholic Church you are free to choose your confessor, even to change it anytime you go to confess. Usually it is only a issue of liking.

I've no idea about the Eastern Catholics. Someone can explain me how it works?

Last edited by antv; 02/19/08 10:54 PM.
Re: Confessions concern
Fr David Straut #279395 02/19/08 11:50 PM
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Not for the first time, I appreciate Father David's suggestion! Among Greek-Catholics, what with the clergy shortage, we often have to find and provide priests to come and hear Confessions, especially during Great Lent (which is almost upon us so I am sensitive to the matter - this year I've been blessed with another priest who is in Dublin for extraneous reasons but who likes to come to Divine Liturgy, hear Confessions, and join in the service. God bless that man!).

Fr. Serge

Re: Confessions concern
Fr Serge Keleher #279398 02/20/08 12:01 AM
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Quote
have always been told that if you are going to confess to someone other than your spiritual father (who for most of us is our parish priest), you should have their consent to do so. I would think it would also be highly discouraged to seek confession elsewhere if it was done expressly to take place without the knowledge or consent of ones normal confessor.

Interesting. Is this an ACROD tradition?
No restrictions are placed on the choice of a priest for conession in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In fact during Great Lent there are missions, and visiting priests or joint services of all the Parishes in the city which allows people to choose the line for the priest they want or the shortest line if that is what they want for confession.

Re: Confessions concern
jkay #279419 02/20/08 01:42 AM
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jkay:

Have you considered trying a little role-playing with someone you trust and see if you can work out a way to approach your pastor? Remember that your pastor is bound not to reveal what went on in confession so he might have no idea of the situation that's bothering you. He might not even remember that what he said made you uncomfortable.

If you approach your pastor, you might start by saying that you felt uncomfortable in going to confession and want to ask for advice on how you might be more comfortable in participating in this Mystery. What would it take to simply say to the man that you are a bit uncomfortable with confession and ask him for his advice? The prayers usually said during an Orthodox confession have always made me encouraged--the reference to confessing to Christ and that the priest is a witness to what I was saying. Maybe you ought to make an appointment to talk to him outside church--maybe even outside his home or office. Have you a place where the two of you could take a walk? Some place private? Take a couple cups of quick-shopper coffee with you?

I've always found that in overcoming an uncomfortable feeling that I have toward another person one of the best--at least for me--is to ask that person for advice: make him your ally. How about, "Father, being that you're new to the parish (if he is), I'd like to get your take on something that has always bothered me about the Mystery of Confession." Then describe your feelings of misgiving in third person terms so that he doesn't think you're targeting him. "I always feel uncomfortable talking to a priest; I don't know why." Then ask if he's ever felt that way, too. (We all have at one point or another; trust me on this one.)

I'm offering some advice as one who was once so shy he considered dropping out of the university rather than take a mandatory basic speech course.

Quote
Is this priest an axe murderer or something? Is he going to go "postal" and spray the congregation with bullets because one of his parishioners decides they are going to Confession elsewhere?

If you believe it is so harmful to you to go to Confession to him, go somewhere else. Just have the guts to tell him in a nice way. What's so hard about that? I don't understand. It's important to me that my parishioners are confessing their sins and receiving absolution, not that I have to be the one to handle it. There are far more difficult parishioners in this world than there are difficult priests. Think about it.

I hear Confessions because I love people and want to help them. I don't enjoy it. If it were taken from me tomorrow, I'd be relieved, not angry. Can you imagine what it is like hearing hundreds, if not thousands, of Confessions every year for decades?

Fr David Straut


Here's a priest I wouldn't mind making my spiritual father. "I love people and want to help them." Get in your car and get to New Jersey.

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 02/20/08 01:44 AM.
Re: Confessions concern
jkay #279421 02/20/08 02:03 AM
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Actually I just don't like confrontations and I already feel uncomfortable so I don't want to have to pursue it. And my priest is not very personable either, he hardly ever comes down to coffee hour and talks to people. I wish he would talk to me more, it would be nice, but it's not him I guess. I already feel like he looks down on me based on what he said and that's also why I don't want to tell him I want to go elsewhere.


__________

jkay,

Some people really have an aversion to controversy and I think that you feel that you are such a sensitive person. The perceived act of "confronting" the other person turns you off because you don't want to hurt anyone.

(I believe)You are very sensitive and feel you will hurt the priest. Try confessing again starting with an opening line like this -- stating that you feel that you would like to be more helpful to people (and maybe overscrupulous - which is a tendency to magnify a perception of wrongdoing) but hold back for fear of rejection. If the priest is listening closely he should adjust his approach and you should experience an entirely different attitude.
I have had people say to me that they wish that their pastor was more sociable, they wish that he would speak to them and not just pass by on his way out of church, or at a coffee social. The "old school" of priests tended to remain socially aloof; they appeared to think this was proper conduct, especially toward women. (Sorry for the unfair stereotyping, but this isn't just my opinion.)
If I have misinterpreted you I sincerely apologize. Please feel free to PM me if you want to.

Confession is a very special gift which Christ gives us that it would be a victory for the Evil One if he were to convince you not to go back. Please try to confess again.
May the Holy Spirit give you fortitude.

Fr. Deacon Paul

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