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QuestionaireOfAllCircumstances wrote:

Hi, guys —

I know the [Confessor/Priest] cannot tell a penitent that he has to turn himself in if he has done something illegal.

  • Nevertheless, can a priest refuse absolution, if, another innocent guy is convicted of the crime that the penitent committed, and the other guy is facing the death penalty or life imprisonment?
  • Could the priest make it a requirement that the penitent turn himself in?

QuestionaireOfAllCircumstances

  { Can the priest refuse to absolve the sin of a criminal or require that he turn himself in? }

Eric replied:

Dear QuestionaireOfAllCircumstances,

The priest cannot demand, and I daresay even suggest, that the penitent turn himself in, since doing so would violate the seal of the Confessional.

This is absolute. Otherwise people would be afraid to confess their sins and risk their salvation.

Eric
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