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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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.

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