A Confession is a fessing up together – it means someone telling someone else a fact or facts, usually about himself or herself, with the unwritten rule that the fact or facts will stay between the two. In Christianity a person has the opportunity to confess to Christ via the priest. The confessions are supposed to stay between the two, knowing the confessions pass onto Christ and is forgiven and forgotten. What happens if the priest uses the knowledge to take advantage of the one confessing? It might have happened, as in situations of the recent scandals, but the norm is different.
In the confession, there is an integrity involved and the priest demonstrates his integrity to himself, to the confessor, to Christ and to others in the community by keeping the discussion to himself. By doing so, he promotes trust in the community so that others can confess and feel light at heart. And it is because one knows that the matter is private, he or she feels comfortable about confessing.
Everyone has a responsibility to guard confessions. These confessions can be a planned event or something like a spur-of-a-moment thing, but the parties involved ride on an unwritten trust throughout the conversation. Keeping up the trust and guarding the secret between the two is one way one can make himself or herself stronger and be His true servant. It should be part of the value system of everyone to help another person, whether in need or not, be able to confide in him or her. Possessing the ability to let someone else confide is great; and keep up the ability is even greater.