Skip to main contentAccessibility feedback

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Nuns can’t hear sacramental confessions – only priests, right?

Question:

When I called a local university to find out the times for confession on campus, the answering machine informed me that confession was being offered by both a priest and a nun! I thought only priests could hear confessions.

Answer:

You are correct that only priests may hear sacramental confessions and absolve sins. Perhaps you misunderstood the message and Sister is offering spiritual direction rather than sacramental confession. Or, perhaps she is an Anglican offering her services only to non-Catholics. I recommend going to the university and confirming who is hearing the sacramental confessions of Catholics. If anyone other than a Catholic priest is attempting to offer sacramental confession to Catholics, then I recommend notifying the bishop of the diocese in which the university is located.

Did you like this content? Please help keep us ad-free
Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission!Donatewww.catholic.com/support-us