Jay asked:

I went to confession and the priest refused to hear mine as what I was telling him was something that he was too close to the topic to hear. He referred me to another priest. Should he be reported?

Jimmy Akin replied:

"The code of Canon Law says that ... 843 section 1, sacred ministers cannot deny the sacrmanets to those that seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.

So in this situation it sounds like it was during a scheduled confession period, so it was at an appropriate time, you were properly disposed you were trying to do what you needed to do for your confession and you weren't prohibited by law from receiving the sacrament of reconciliation under the law, he would not be able to deny you the sacrament of reconciliation. But, that doesn't mean that your confessing to him might not pose a challenge to him and so he could I think legitimately request that you persue reconciliation with a different preist who doesn't have the challenges that he does.

Suppose that he is subject to a particular type of impure thought and in the process of making your confession if you were confessing that same type of impure thought it could stir it up in him and so it could pose a challenge to him morally, it could put him in the proximate occassion of sin. So I would say that I wouldn't be inclined to report him because it's you know not something that happens all the time, and I think I would try to look sympathetically on him as a fellow broken human being who's trying to follow God and persue holiness by keeping himself out of the situation that would tempt him into sin. And so I would try to look mercifully on that."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

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Show air date: February 20, 2014

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Jimmy Akin

Question appeared in show: 5:40

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