Saturday, 30 July 2011

Defend the Seal of Confession

Some Irish politicians are ranting against the Seal of Confession. They claim it is used to stop crimes being reported to the police. In truth this is an age-old argument. I am sure similar spin was used in Napoleonic France, Hitler's Germany, various Communist states, Masonic post-Revolution Mexico and in many other times and places.

The church may be many things at the moment but for thousands of years it was not stupid. Confession is a Sacrament.It is a gift from God. Take away the Seal of Confession (which basically prevents the priest repeating anything said in the Confessional or using info thus gained in any way) and people would stop going to Confession.

The priest is acting as Christ (as when he stands at the Altar at Mass) and one cannot imagine Christ repeating sins told to him to anyone. The priest may well tell the penitent that in order to be absolved of a heinous crime the penitent himself must make restitution - e.g. tell the police or replace some stolen item or its worth.

But the idea of breaking the Seal of Confession would break Confession itself. We are all failing humans, falling far short on many occasions, and so when we go to Confession the act itself can be far from glorious, even if the outcome is. It is vital therefore that the transgressions Confessed to God (large or small, and with most people I am sure it is a litany of personal faults and shortcomings that Our Lord has heard a thousand times), are retained by God only.

Otherwise we risk the State gaining information and using/misusing/abusing said information for its own nefarious ends. We may not live in France 1789, but who knows what is around the corner?

So please, don't believe the hype! As we have seen in more recent weeks much of the media cannot be trusted. It is not (always) altruistic. It has an agenda.

Confession is good for the soul. Break the Seal of Confession and it will be terminally undermined.

To St Peter's (Roath)! It may be a long protest - so feel free to bring a keg of Brains and some reduced 10p bags of doughnuts. I'll bring the fat rascals.

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