Telling dad your sins

Telling dad your sins

Q. When a child goes to confession, is it OK for them to tell their parents what they told the priest? If so, how should the parents respond?

H.S. by e-mail

A. Here’s a reply from Msgr. M. Francis Mannion:

There is nothing to stop a child telling parents what he or she confessed in the sacrament of reconciliation.The important thing is how a parent responds. Responding with anger — as legitimate as this might be in other circumstances — would be unwise and might have the consequence of putting the child off confession.

If a child tells a parent that he or she confessed something truly troubling, the parent may want to bite his or her tongue and raise and deal with the matter later, but making sure that the child understands the confidential nature of the sacrament.