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Author Topic: Roman Catholic Confession Refused  (Read 3200 times) Average Rating: 0
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Myrrh23
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« on: March 27, 2008, 10:20:42 PM »

Hey Cassiel---


Did your RC parish let you go to Confession during Lent? 'Cause I was told down here in Carbondale that it wasn't allowed.... Huh Sad
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2008, 12:03:34 AM »

Myrrh,
Seriously?!  As I recall, it was always quite encouraged during Lent, and I think there were even specific penance services (followed by private confessions) just like at Advent (the other penitential season in the RC church).  Ummm...I don't think your Carbondale parish was quite right.
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2008, 12:51:33 AM »

Hey Cassiel---

Yeah, a friend and I were told...to our faces...that the Roman Catholic Church does not allow Confession during Lent. Although it's half a drop in the bucket, I've encountered three RC priests would have actually gotten annoyed with me and chastised me because I showed up to the appointed times of Confession. Look, I know Priests have a life and have other things to do, but Confession is always on the "To-Do" List.
I've been down here in Carbondale, Illinois since 2001, and two of the three RC priests that are here have often refused to take my Confession because (1) It's not necessary to be so serious about "every little sin", and (2) I'm not serious enough about changing my ways...their words. This crap isn't just in Carbondale, but Springfield as well. I'm not as anti-Catholic as a few people on this Board would like to think, but I do have a problem with the attitudes of many Catholic "faithful" that I've encountered in the parishes and schools I've been too. I wish to say that I have met about a handful of good Catholics, so I don't believe RCs are the children of the Devil or anything, lol. But my faith in institutions like this has gotten moldy because of treatment like not letting me go to Confession and not helping me come up with solutions to stop doing certain sins. That's one of the reasons I'm leaving the RCC, because they've often come off to me like they don't care...but that's just me.
I'm just wondering if any Orthodox here have been refused Confession because the priest didn't think they were serious about changing? I can understand being temporarily excommunicated from Eucharist...I agree with that.
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2008, 09:47:12 AM »

Yeah, a friend and I were told...to our faces...that the Roman Catholic Church does not allow Confession during Lent.

That's just bizarre. I've known many Catholics, liberal and conservative, and some I would call "fringe", but I have before heard of anyone claiming that the Roman Catholic Church does not allow confession during Lent.
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2008, 09:57:10 AM »

A priest can refuse confession in that circumstance but it is unlikely. In Orthodoxy, you generally go to the same priest for confession and he knows your journey much more intimately, etc.  I don't know the circumstances of your case so I don't want to speculate. It seems they were saying you aren't doing enough to stop repeating a sin and you are saying they weren't doing enough to help you get to that point.  I'm sorry you've had such a frustrating time of it--I had similar experiences when I was Catholic.

For instance, one time I confessed a sin and had a priest tell me it was "not really a sin! come on!"  Another time, my wife and I went to confession and the priest refused my wife absolution and told her, "you just need to go do something nice for yourself, like buy yourself a present."

!
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2008, 10:26:58 AM »

What?! I have near heard of such things happening to anyone I know, let alone experience them myself.

If I were ever to witness something like this, the bishop would be hearing from me in short order.
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 10:44:33 AM »

What?! I have near heard of such things happening to anyone I know, let alone experience them myself.

If I were ever to witness something like this, the bishop would be hearing from me in short order.

Oh when I first went to RCIA, the nun told us the Catholic Church would be considering ordaining women in our lifetime! When I told the priest, he said, if you don't like it, go somewhere else! So I did--to the Byzantine Catholics.

When you join the world of exRoman Catholics, that's when you start hearing all the stories...people leave for a reason, and once they are gone, they really start to talk!

I'm surprised you guys don't have sleeper agents going to ex-Catholic groups reporting back...oh wait, maybe that's why you are here Wink just kidding.

In all seriousness, this stuff does happen, happened to many people I knew, and was very detrimental to our faith journeys so to speak.

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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2008, 11:09:43 AM »

This thread actually might help answer a lot of questions I have been asking myself...

It is not unusual for me to be approached by Catholics while I am here at church, even though it is obvious that I am not Catholic here on the Cathedral grounds. What these Catholics most want is for me to hear their confessions (clearly I can't do that, but I can at least provide a sympathetic ear and advice, which is the best I can do and they seem OK with that).

When I ask why they aren't going to their own parish priest, they'll be kind of vague regarding their reasons. I wonder if maybe some of these cases are similar to what Myrrh23 reported---that their own priest kind of discouraged them.  Sad
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2008, 11:10:32 AM »

When I read and hear about travesties such as this one, I stop for a moment and thank God that He never subjected me to such things first hand.  I grew up in a relatively modern parish throughout the '80s in the relatively liberal Diocese of Greensburg (PA).  Our church building was one of those auditorium looking types with no high altar, tabernacle in a side chapel, etc.  We were subjected to horrible OCP music, for sure, but our pastor also made sure that we knew all the old hymns which my father always sang with gusto (much to my mother's chagrin, as he's tone deaf).  Some of the priests would use incense every now and then, particularly one priest who was ordained in the early 70s but always ended Mass with "Hail Holy Queen" in Latin.  In retrospect, our parish had its foot in both camps, holding on to the traditions with one foot and trying out the supposed progressive and new things with the other.  

But I never, ever experienced the horror stories I hear from people, my wife included.  The closest I came to being subjected to ridiculous abuses was at her old parish, staffed by Franciscans.  The pastor, who according to my wife told a full church on the feast of the Annunciation that the Theotokos "was unimportant", literally came out into the nave during the Pax and made us all hug our neighbors in the pews.  Being the petulant liturgy geek that I am, I refused, pecked my wife on the cheek as is our custom, reached across the pew and shook the hand of another 30-something who also seemed glad someone else was refusing to get all touchy feely.  The priest looked annoyed.  I wasn't going to communion anyways, so that was the last I saw of him.  But I digress.

He also forbid my wife from confessing to one of the parochial vicars there because, and I quote, he was "the pastor and everyone in this church must come to me for that sacrament."  Nevermind the fact that he was not this other priest's superior and that my wife had been going to him before the pastor arrived.  She stopped to confession after that and really hasn't gone since.  

From what I understand regarding canon law in the RCC, any priest can hear any layman's confession (barring imepdiment from the local ordinary or religious superior) at any time.  Fr. Z just wrote an entry about this over at WDTPRS.  It's one thing when a priest tells you during confession that you need not be so scrupulous or that what you did wasn't really a sin or that he will not grant absolution because he doesn't think you mean to change your behavior; that's his perogative, especially if the priest is one's regular confessor.  It's entirely a different matter when clergy and religious tell a penitent that, in essence, confession doesn't matter.  

I agree with lubeltri.  The bishop must be alerted because this is a matter that seriously can affect the salvation of souls.  Stuff like this makes being subjected to Haugen's Mass of Creation nothing in the greater scheme of things.
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2008, 11:42:19 AM »

Oh when I first went to RCIA, the nun told us the Catholic Church would be considering ordaining women in our lifetime! When I told the priest, he said, if you don't like it, go somewhere else! So I did--to the Byzantine Catholics.

When you join the world of exRoman Catholics, that's when you start hearing all the stories...people leave for a reason, and once they are gone, they really start to talk!

I'm surprised you guys don't have sleeper agents going to ex-Catholic groups reporting back...oh wait, maybe that's why you are here Wink just kidding.

In all seriousness, this stuff does happen, happened to many people I knew, and was very detrimental to our faith journeys so to speak.



To be perfectly frank (no offense or insult intended) I've never believed encountering lazy or heretical priests was a good excuse for jumping ship, however a bad experience that is. If you don't like your priest, find another. If a priest is doing anything like the stories you tell, he should be reported to his bishop and corrected. Would you have left and joined the OO during Iconoclasm?
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2008, 12:23:06 PM »

To be perfectly frank (no offense or insult intended) I've never believed encountering lazy or heretical priests was a good excuse for jumping ship, however a bad experience that is. If you don't like your priest, find another. If a priest is doing anything like the stories you tell, he should be reported to his bishop and corrected. Would you have left and joined the OO during Iconoclasm?

I never suggested it was. I am saying though that people do leave for these reasons (whether or not that is right nor not) and as such perhaps you guys should take note and do something about it.

For the sake of argument, say your Church is the True Church. On the Last Day, Christ will judge all of us schismatics. But he will also judge all of the priests in your Church who led us astray (again, I did not leave Catholicism just because of bad priests).

As far as reporting priests to bishops, it rarely works. A friend of mine has reported priests to the bishop and gotten the response, mind your own business. He then reported the bishop to the Apostolic Nuncio, who said "we'll look in to it" and that was that.
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2008, 12:24:07 PM »

I loved my church, and only left because I really did find something that had a greater fullness of truth that I'd found there.  I was not looking for a new church when I came to Orthodoxy - in fact, the day before I came to the Orthodox church, never again to leave, I had gone to a Latin Mass at the Dominican Priory, for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (which is kind of appropriate, considering that refuting this teaching has been crucial to my understanding of God).  I grew up in traditional parishes, was raised by devout parents, and in general had a pretty good experience of Catholicism.

However - when I say I came to Orthodoxy because I found a greater fullness of truth here I mean it in every sense.  I didn't know how bad I'd had it in the Catholic church, in a way.  The casualness about confession was there even in my traditional parishes (where people actually would go to confession - I've heard many stories about churches where it's barely available).  Furthermore, thanks to the attitude toward confession (going behind the screen, going to whatever priest is available), its nature is completely different in the RC church.  There's no relationship with the priest at all.  This is something I'm having to adjust to in Orthodoxy, in fact - I am so accustomed to priests having no time for lay people that I probably spent the first two months of meetings with my spiritual father just apologizing for taking up so much of his time.  The poor guy was very tolerant.  As to confession being therapeutic, in my experience with the RC church, it was totally expiatory and not at all therapeutic (except for a few words in the prayers about finding "healing, pardon and peace").  Because of these factors, it does not seem surprising to me that the majority of Catholics, even priests, are able to treat confession with so little respect.  It is so, so sad.  People do not know what they are missing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 05:06:45 PM »

Quote
For instance, one time I confessed a sin and had a priest tell me it was "not really a sin! come on!"  Another time, my wife and I went to confession and the priest refused my wife absolution and told her, "you just need to go do something nice for yourself, like buy yourself a present."

LOL, I had one priest tell me that masturbation wasn't that big of a deal because "It's natural and I'm young". Roll Eyes

Bad priests are not the only reason why I'm leaving RC. I've just never felt like I belonged in the RCC...I never felt like I was included into the Family.
(shrugs) I dunno...looking at the huge priest abuse mess, it looks to me that the RCC isn't as concerned about problems in their churches as they should be. When Crunchy Con from Beliefnet.com left Roman Catholicism for Orthodoxy, he wrote that one priest told him to "go somewhere else if he didn't trust the Church" when it came to handling the abuse. I truly doubt the Bishop here would even yawn if I reported misbehavior, or he would probably tell me to take it up with the priests...who don't care anyways. My feet hurt from all the run-arounds.....
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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2008, 05:29:49 PM »

So you are not leaving because of issues related to truth? Rather, you are leaving because of the fact that you have had some bad experiences. Sounds very modern I guess.
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 05:45:32 PM »

LOL, I had one priest tell me that masturbation wasn't that big of a deal because "It's natural and I'm young". Roll Eyes

Bad priests are not the only reason why I'm leaving RC. I've just never felt like I belonged in the RCC...I never felt like I was included into the Family.
(shrugs) I dunno...looking at the huge priest abuse mess, it looks to me that the RCC isn't as concerned about problems in their churches as they should be. When Crunchy Con from Beliefnet.com left Roman Catholicism for Orthodoxy, he wrote that one priest told him to "go somewhere else if he didn't trust the Church" when it came to handling the abuse. I truly doubt the Bishop here would even yawn if I reported misbehavior, or he would probably tell me to take it up with the priests...who don't care anyways. My feet hurt from all the run-arounds.....

Wow, I can't believe a Priest would tell you that.  There was enough scandel up here with the Winnipeg Statement, but I have never heard a Priest say something along the lines of masturbation not being a big deal.

It is a shame you feel that way about your Bishop, I am still in contact with the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese I was confirmed in.  He is a strict man, but he always made time for members of the Diocese and their concerns.  I remember, after being accepted into Seminary, he told me that he would have to send me to a more liberal parish, since "you walking in in a cassock would likely catch them off balance".   Tongue

I guess there are a few of us that leave on very good terms.   laugh  Due to cultural reasons, I still have strong ties within the Roman Catholic community, with certain clergymen and lay leaders.  I'd honestly hate to lose that or have experienced otherwise.
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2008, 09:31:21 PM »


LOL, I had one priest tell me that masturbation wasn't that big of a deal because "It's natural and I'm young". Roll Eyes


We would be cut off from Holy Communion for at least a month for masturbation.
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2008, 12:57:49 AM »

I reckon that many of the RCC around here having Penitential Services during Lent.  A public kind of examination of conscience and then a private confession.
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2008, 01:10:38 AM »

This weekend is the Boston Eucharistic Congress (Divine Mercy Sunday is this Sunday). Tonight we had Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, plus adoration and confessions. 15 priests were stationed all around the church to hear them. In all my years of confessions, I have never once have had a bad experience.
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2008, 01:56:49 AM »

To be perfectly frank (no offense or insult intended) I've never believed encountering lazy or heretical priests was a good excuse for jumping ship, however a bad experience that is. If you don't like your priest, find another. If a priest is doing anything like the stories you tell, he should be reported to his bishop and corrected. Would you have left and joined the OO during Iconoclasm?

For me the bad experiences in the RCC were an impetus to examine why I thought such experiences happened - were they simply a few bad priests or was there an institutional problem?  And from that I decided upon Orthodoxy.  In the end I've had far worse experiences in the Orthodox church, but I like the theology and am willing to stick it out because that is what I believe in. 
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2008, 02:28:05 AM »

Before people bash the Catholics too much, I think it's important to point out that the Orthodox have just as many problems with confession too.  Myself, I have seen parishes were nobody's confession was longer than two minutes, where people just read generic sins from a laminated list of sins that they hadn't even made themselves, and then on the other end of the spectrum, I know of Orthodox parishes that have no regularly scheduled confession times.  As for masturbation, I have met priests that will excommunicate you for several weeks for it, while I have met others who don't really care and yes, I have been told by an ORTHODOX priest that "Masturbation is really no big deal, you're just young, stop worrying about it so much."
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2008, 08:03:07 PM »

I think if you look hard enough (or maybe not hard at all) you will find inappropriate/inadaquate spiritual leaders in any church.  I don't think any one church has more than their fair share, I just think the Catholic church gets all the attention. 

Please don't mistake me for an advocate of the RC's.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2008, 11:24:58 PM »

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So you are not leaving because of issues related to truth? Rather, you are leaving because of the fact that you have had some bad experiences. Sounds very modern I guess.

I'm not leaving the RCC for just experience reasons. I don't believe Christ ever meant Christianity to be "One ring to rule them all" existence. I don't believe that one man and one many only--a Pope--is allowed to wear the Hat.

Quote
I think if you look hard enough (or maybe not hard at all) you will find inappropriate/inadequate spiritual leaders in any church.  I don't think any one church has more than their fair share, I just think the Catholic church gets all the attention.

I understand that. The Catholic Church is not the only religious institution undergoing the abuse barn dance.....this horror has affected the Orthodox, the Baptists, the Muslims, the Hindus.... Sad
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2008, 01:11:40 AM »

I'm not leaving the RCC for just experience reasons. I don't believe Christ ever meant Christianity to be "One ring to rule them all" existence. I don't believe that one man and one many only--a Pope--is allowed to wear the Hat.

I wouldn't misuse that particular metaphor, considering it was invented by a devout Catholic.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2008, 04:53:49 PM »

Hey Cassiel---


Did your RC parish let you go to Confession during Lent? 'Cause I was told down here in Carbondale that it wasn't allowed.... Huh Sad
In our area, they have confessions during Lent, except for Holy Week. During the  Holy Week, they don't have the regular times for confessions. They have special times and the confessions are not at every parish, but the schedule was announced a few weeks ahead of time. 
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2008, 09:50:59 PM »

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I wouldn't misuse that particular metaphor, considering it was invented by a devout Catholic.

LOL! Wow...ouch...I've just been hit by the Hammer of Humor on that one! laugh
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