T O P
HonestGodQuestions

As a Catholic, he likely would be separated from the priest, in a booth next to the priest's with a screen between them. Physical contact likely wouldn't be possible in most normal situations. If the priest were hearing the confession face to face, grabbing the priest would definitely be rude and potentially violent, but I don't see any reason it would invalidate the Sacrament or cause issues with his confession. I'm Orthodox, not Catholic, so any Catholics can feel free to correct me if I've misrepresented something.


YummyTerror8259

It's pretty common for a confessional where the priest is just around a corner of some sort, and the room is set up to have both screened or face to face confession. Screened confession is done kneeling, face to face is in a chair. I agree that grabbing the priest wouldn't make that confession invalid or anything, but shouldn't be done and would indeed be very rude. A question for OP, in what way is the character grabbing the priest?


trumpetcrash

Hello, thanks for the response, I had the priest and confessor sitting in a confessional booth and seperated by a black curtain. The confessor would the reach through the curtain and grab him by the lapel - we'll, not an actual lapel, but that general area.


SnooSquirrels9452

That's not very "normal" but also no specific rules nor protocols are broken. The reaction would depend on the priest and local church culture.


hope-luminescence

In most confessionals I've been in, this would be physically impossible, because there's a wall between the priest and the penitent, with a small screen, or sometimes a small window blocked by a curtain, between. The priest and the penitent enter through separate doors. ​ Usually you whisper your confession. Any yelling or thumping around might be noticed by people in the line for confession outside the confessional (who will be very uncomfortable and try to avoid hearing it, unless it becomes apparent that someone needs help. ​ Confession is sometimes held outside of actual confessionals. ​ Using physical force against a priest probably would not void the confession, but might be a new sin needing to be confessed. Clingily grabbing hold of a priest is, like, "BOUNDARIES, man", but probably not even blasphemous in itself.


trumpetcrash

Thanks for the response and the insight! I had my two characters in a confession booth and seperated by a black curtain, but no barrier beyond the curtain, letting the confessor reach through the curtain and grab the priest.


hope-luminescence

Yeah, sometimes that exists. I've encountered that kind of setup in temporary chapels or ones where they didn't have purpose - built confessionals set up.


SnooSquirrels9452

I've confessed in a room with a priest with no booth, just two chairs. I could have touched the priest if I needed to. It wouldn't be unheard of to hold a priest's hand or get a hug or pat in the back, at least in our local churches.