For several decades, clergy sexual abuse of children has been in the news. Thousands of priests and tens of thousands of victims have been exposed from every U.S. state and in countries overseas. Investigations are still going on including one in the UK set up in 2015 called The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). One of their reports caught a local bishop’s eye.
The report recommended that failure to report sexual abuse of a child should be considered a criminal offence including disclosures in the confessional. This, of course, brought a cloud over one of Roman Catholicism’s sacred domains, Auricular Confession. For centuries, Rome has vigorously defended its right to secrecy in what it calls the “Seal of the Confessional.”
Bishop Paul Mason admitted that it was a “sensitive and difficult area” but claimed it was basically a non-issue. He personally had no occasion where a pedophile confessed to it in his confessional, and he had not heard of any other priest who had.
He took the charitable view that if the pedophile knew he would be reported, he would just go and turn himself in, avoiding the confessional. This was not good, the bishop said, because it would prevent the priest from helping the person, spiritually. What the lawmakers do with the IICSA report remains to be seen.
Biblically, there are many things wrong with this picture.
They neatly sidestep the 1 Timothy 2:5 scripture that specifies there is no mediator between God and man but Christ Jesus. Claiming to be the representative (vicar) of Christ, the priest in the confessional requires a detailed accounting of the “penitent’s” sin. This is done in a semi-secret “booth” where visual contact may be restricted to a small window with a grate.
Certain sins are considered “mortal,” serious enough to condemn the person to hell if not properly confessed before death. These are not clearly defined, leaving the person compelled to divulge everything he can think of just to be safe. To help him along, the priest may resort to leading questions.
Nowhere in the Bible is mortal man given this kind of power over a fellow human being. Historians suggest that this was a pagan practice adopted by Rome and was originally used to extract sensitive political information. Of course, this fits well with the centuries of Jesuit political intrigue.
Another serious problem with this practice involves the Romish doctrine of celibacy. By denying the normal outlet of marriage, the intimacy of the confessional can become more than some can handle.
Ex-priest Charles Chiniquy was greatly burdened by the tragedies that he saw resulting from the confessional. He detailed them in a small book that he called The Priest, The Woman, and the Confessional. Granted that it was written at an earlier time, but the incident in the UK illustrates that the practice has not changed. And since human nature is still broken, it is reasonable to assume that some of this still occurs.
Chiniquy’s book lays out in disturbing detail the destroyed lives that he knew personally. He is also very open about his own frustration over the demand that he use probing questions. The unbiblical dogma of celibacy and the demanded intimacy of the confessional set the poor priests and penitents up for moral failure.
The other scandal that has somewhat died down now was over rampant homosexuality among the priests. Yet this is traceable to the same roots in ungodly teaching on sexuality.
Chick Publications has done extensive research proving that Roman Catholicism is not just another denomination, but is a counterfeit church assembled out of the satanic practices of paganism. Please visit our information center on Catholicism to see the numerous publications that we have produced to help soul winners bring the precious Roman Catholics into full freedom in Christ alone.