Monday, January 19, 2009

The Real Truth About Confession

Mark Shea:

Vatican Reveals Super-Duper Top Secret Confessional!!!!!!

It looks deceptively like.... a room!!!!!!! God alone knows what horrors occur in there!!!!!

Turns out some sins are reserved to the Pope for absolution--such as a priest revealing the contents of a confession.

Confession is one of my alltime favorite sacraments (behind Eucharist and Matrimony). As a card-carrying neurotic, I was stunned to discover that Catholics actually had a way to deal with post-baptismal sin that didn't involve the preposterous attempt to shout "once saved, always saved" or "eternal security" while doing an elaborate game of navel-gazing in which you angsted for the umpteenth time about whether you "really meant it" when you asked Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior or if you were one of those evil reprobates whose heart was so wicked and deceptive that you had fooled even yourself about having faith in Christ and were, even now, heaping up judgment for the Day of Wrath.

Catholics just say, "Of course you sin after you become a Christian! We fall down and we get up. Now get your butt to confession, make a good act of contrition, and carry on!"

It's funny to me now, having experienced so many time the sheer human sanity of confession (not to mention the incredibly mercy of it) to read article like this which breathlessly reveal Dark Vatican Secrets which are neither Dark nor Secret. It also cracks me up to hear ex-Catholics issue the standard warning that what they are about to say is a farrago of ignorant nonsense ("I was raised Catholic and I can tell you...") followed by the usual rubbish about how "Confession was a huge guilt trip" etc blah blah.

Bunk. I was not raised in a household that practiced any religion and I can tell you all about guilt. The only thing that has ever lifted that burden from my shoulders was baptism and the sacrament of confession.


Warren said...

What I've long wondered is how Mark Shea can be such a brilliant and inspired Catholic apologist - one of the best I've ever seen - and yet have such a serious case of Bush Derangement Syndrome on certain issues? It seems as though, whenever he talks about Iraq or our interrogation techniques or our detainment policies, he temporarily takes leave of his senses. When in that mood, he's willing to give credence to even the vilest sources (both far left and far right) - sources that he himself would denounce as deranged and immoral on virtually any other subject. It's not that Shea doesn't have valid points to make on these subjects, but rather that he seems to lose all sense of proportion or context when discussing them that bothers me. Have you been able to figure him out?

Matteo said...

I give Shea's political BDS diatribes only the lightest of look-overs and pretty much ignore them. It is good, however, for someone like Shea to warn about the possibility of drinking the Kool-Aid, but I think he's way over the top about the prevalence of "torture" in interrogation. It's almost akin to insane secularist claims that the Inquisition burned 3 million witches. Other than being a bit overboard on a very few issues, Shea is about as rock-solid as it gets. Which, I suppose *is* about rock solid as it gets.