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Confessions in English?

Peter Robins wrote:
'so, yes, it does seem you can get a plenary indulgence on those 3 dates, a partial one on other dates, and a plenary one if you die en route.

Perhaps it only applies to Spanish-speakers?? '

I wrote this facetiously, but now I'm wondering whether in fact outside holy years the cathedral has clergy who can hear confessions in languages other than Spanish/Galician? I know they draft in outsiders for holy years, but in normal years? Anyone any experience?

Peter, you will forgive me for displacing your comments, but that thread had become too lengthy and cumbersome. Plus, your question deserves an entirely new home...where we can curtsy and snap with our many handy Latin maxims :)

My experience has been that most popular pilgrim sites have at least one priest who understands English (except the Holy Land, where in two whole weeks I could not find ANYONE to hear my confession :shock: )

Besides Greek, Latin, and Hebrew studies, all priests in the seminary learn that comes in handy. Most priests I know also speak another language besides Italian, usually French, Spanish or German. I remember the most complex confession I ever made was in Notre Dame, to a young Polish priest who spoke about as much english as I did polish. We tried to speak in italian, but his italian was mostly polish and mine mostly english, and when we'd get desperate we'd recourse to Latin! :?

My understanding is that if there is no other priest who speaks your language and that is available for confession, you can confess to any priest (in your own tongue) and he can absolve you even if he doesnt understand (the main point being honesty before God). So you could confess anyway.

:?: any takers?

ps. If I walk to Santiago 3 times, does that amount to a plenary indulgence? :)
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There is nothing in the incridion that states that the confession must be made at the specific site. In fact, the confession may be made before or after. When I was in the Cathedral in Santiago in October, there was one confessional box that had a hand lettered sign "English" hanging on the half door on the front where the priest sits. When he left, he took the sign down. The docents in the cathedral are very pleasant and helpful, they can help you. I arrived on the feast of N.S. de Pilar and there were about 30 priests from all over the world concelebrating mass, I sure on any major feast of the cathedral there would be priests that speak your language. We were approached by people who had arrived by tour bus who were interested to hear of our experiences walking the Camino. Ultreya, John

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