Last year during Advent, my parents went to a Confession service at a parish different than theirs and my dad had an unusual situation. This particular parish has a large Hispanic population, so they had several bilingual priests available. My dad entered the confessional and he barely got through saying Bless Me Father, when the priest informed him if didn’t speak Spanish he should go into another confessional even though this priest spoke English just fine. My dad was rather upset about this. Should the priest have heard his confession, even if my dad had unknowingly entered the Spanish line?
Would that we all spoke Latin so that we could understand each other, worship in one language, and read Leo the Great, Augustine, and Lee Child in the original language. Sad, but it is not so.
There could be circumstances whereby a confessor might ask someone to go to another confessor, if there were a language barrier.
In this case, it seems that the confessor didn’t have difficulty communicating in English (though he might have). It might have been the case that there was only one priest at the Penance Service who was fluent in Spanish, and with a preponderance of Spanish speaking penitents it made sense to reserve his confessional for the merely Spanish speaking sinners.
Still, that seems a little blunt for a confessor. He caused the penitent some embarrassment (having to leave the confessional and then immediately get into another line). Also, this sort kind of experience could provides people with an excuse to avoid the sacrament altogether and also bad mouth priests.
Fathers, welcome penitents into your confessional. Don’t shoo them away!
I hope your father got over whatever anger or embarrassment he may have felt and that he found another priest to shrive him.
Remember that priests, too, are people, and sometimes have bad days.
Don’t let Father’s bad day, or bad temperament, or silly comment imperil your eternal soul!
Review, please, my 20 TIPS.