WHEN THE CONFESSIONAL BECOMES A GLORY HOLE
In my 38 years in the priesthood I have heard various stories about how the confessional became a place of "sin".
When I was a curate at St Peter's Cathedral in Belfast we once had a group of monks give a two week long retreat or "mission" - one week for men and one week for women.
During the women's week I was outside the cathedral during a session when the monks were hearing the women's confessions. All of a sudden a young woman ran out of the cathedral screaming and crying. I stopped her and asked what was wrong. She was so upset she couldn't talk so I brought her to the presbytery and gave her a glass of water and a comforting cup of tea. She eventually managed to tell me that during her confession the young monk hearing her confession got her to suck his finger through the wire grill as he masturbated himself. She was deeply upset.
Later I confronted the monk in question and he blushed deeply. admitted what he had done and promised to get help.
I myself, as a teenager, experienced priests quizzing me about "bad thoughts" and "impure actions" with myself and during the lengthy quizzing there was a distinct sound of the rustling of a habit.
I once had a Cistercian (Trappist) abbot admit to me that he had had a lot of sex with both men and women in the confessional and at other places around the monastery and its grounds. He had a worrying habit of rubbing my leg during confession but at least by the time I knew him he had circulation problems and publicly lamented the fact that he could no longer achieve or sustain an erection.
Recently tow men I know have had very negative and sad experiences in the Cistersian monastery in Portglenone, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
One young gay professional man who has spent years in a steady, chaste and faithful relationship with another professional man decided to go to confession at Portglenone monastery and was REFUSED ABSOLUTION by one of the monks.
He had not mentioned his partnership or his sexual orientation as part of his confession - why should he - he does not regard his partnership as a "sin" at all - and neither does God.
|PORTGLENONE - ANY WONDER ITS SO EMPTY?|
But the eager confessor kept asking him questions until he discovered that the man was gay and in a partnership. The arrogant monk then decreed: "I cannot give you absolution. I will give you a blessing". The penitent rightly told the monk to stuff his "blessing" where the monkey stuffed his nuts.
Another man in his forties went to Portglenone to talk to one of the monks about his transvestism and was told by the monk that he was "an abnormal creature who will burn in hell".
Years ago a very mature parish priest who had a very healthy and exclusive relationship with a lady of his own age said to me: "Pat, they wouldn't let us get rid of our semen - and it went to our heads and made us mad!" He was right.
It seems to me that the only "healthy" priests in the Catholic Church are those who have integrated their sexuality and spirituality - either as celibates or lovers.
The rest of them are going around with very large gatherings of white fluid on their brains - Semenitis Gravia- refusing people absolution, quizzing people in confession about their sex lives, indulging in covert and serious unhealthy sexual gratification, getting women to suck their fingers or targeting little children.
Bishop Pat Buckley