I was in Westminster Cathedral today when a chap came up to me trying to jump the Confession queue. I was not in the confession queue, I was standing looking into the baptistery.
“Father can you hear my confession?”
“Sorry, I’m not a priest I am a deacon, so I can’t”
“No it’s OK, my Parish Priest says you can”
After a few seconds thought I said “but I don’t know the words of absolution”. He went off and left me. It was amusing to think he thought I would not know if I could give absolution or not.
Shortly after I had just left the St Joseph’s chapel where today they had prayers for Paris when a lady approached me and said “Father there’s a long queue for confession, can you hear my confession please?”
“Sorry I can’t, I’m not a priest I am a deacon”
-pause- “yes, so I can’t hear confessions”.
So next time I am there, do I wear a collar with pride, or do I cover it so I do not disappoint people when I cannot help them receive the sacrament.