Here Are Things You Should Never Ever Say To Your Priest No Matter What

In the Catholic faith, priests serve as spiritual guides, mediators, and sacramental dispensers. We often find ourselves opening up to them, revealing our deepest worries, joys, and sins. The relationship between a priest and a parishioner should be one of trust, respect, and spiritual guidance. However, even in this context, there are lines that should not be crossed.

The Church provides us with guidelines for how we should relate to priests, some of which are universally applicable, and some that can vary from person to person. To understand this, let’s turn to authoritative texts like the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, among other Church teachings.

“Can I Get a Discount on My Indulgences?”

As a starting point, let’s tackle the concept of indulgences. It may sound odd, but some people still think that they can buy their way into Heaven, or get a “spiritual discount.” This notion is not only wrong but also a grave misunderstanding of Church teaching.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church” (CCC 1471). Notice, there’s no mention of monetary transactions here. The sale of indulgences was explicitly condemned by the Church centuries ago. So, asking your priest for a ‘discount’ on an indulgence not only misunderstands the concept but is also offensive to the sacramental economy of the Church.

“Tell Me Your Sins”

The Sacrament of Reconciliation, or Confession, is a beautiful aspect of the Catholic faith. However, it’s vital to remember that it’s a one-way street. The penitent confesses their sins to the priest, who acts in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. The priest himself is bound by the seal of confession, and any attempt to break it is considered a grave sin. The Catechism states, “The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason” (CCC 2490). Asking a priest to disclose his own sins during the sacrament misrepresents the purpose of the sacrament and puts the priest in a compromising position.

“Can You Make an Exception for Me?”

Another common misunderstanding lies in the idea that priests have the authority to bend the Church’s rules. While priests are given certain faculties for pastoral reasons, they do not have the power to alter Church teaching. “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with these” (CCC 88). Priests are bound by the teachings and traditions set forth by the Magisterium and cannot make exceptions to them.

“I Don’t Believe in God, but Can You Still Bless Me?”

This is a rather controversial point. On one hand, the Church is always open to drawing souls closer to God. But asking for a blessing while stating that you don’t believe in God puts the priest in a theological conundrum. A blessing is a prayer asking for God’s divine favor and protection. To ask for such while denying belief in God contradicts the very essence of a blessing.

“I Confess, but Don’t Tell My Spouse”

Marriage in the Catholic Church is a sacrament that binds two people together in a lifelong covenant. According to the Catechism, “The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church” (CCC 1661). When you confess sins that directly affect your spouse, you should not expect the priest to keep secrets from them. The priest cannot break the seal of confession, but he also cannot assist in keeping secrets that undermine the sacrament of Matrimony.

“I Can’t Come to Church Because I Don’t Get Anything Out of It”

Participation in the Mass and receiving the Eucharist are central to the Catholic faith. It’s not a question of what you ‘get out of it,’ but rather what you are part of: the mystical body of Christ. “The Eucharistic celebration is the center of the assembly of the faithful over which the priest presides” (CCC 1348). Missing Mass without a valid reason not only goes against Church teaching but also diminishes the community aspect of the Church.


In all relationships, boundaries must be respected for the relationship to flourish. This is even more so the case with your priest. It is crucial to remember the role the priest serves in the community and in your spiritual life, governed by the teachings of the Church. Keeping these guidelines in mind will not only help maintain a respectful relationship with your priest but will also deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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