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Frequently Asked Questions

See also The Seal of Confession # 2)

Q. 1. What is the Seal of Confession? Can you please explain what it means.

A. 1. The Seal of Confession means that the priest cannot discuss with anyone anything that was disclosed to him during the Sacrament of Confession.

On that matter, the Canon Laws state:

Canon Law # 983. 1 states: "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason."

Canon Law # 1388. 1 states: "A confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal incurs a latae sententiae [effective by law] excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; one who does so only indirectly is to be punished according to the gravity of the delict."

That means that a priest who relates to someone what he heard during the Sacrament of Confession, he can be excommunicated.

If you are aware of a priest who has broken the Seal of Confession by disclosing to someone the confession of another person, in part or in whole, please contact your local Bishop and inform him of this matter. This is a very serious matter!

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