Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thirty Pieces of Silver... Anyone?
Retired (CL.401#2) Bishop Geoffrey Robinson Offers Soul to Highest Bidder
It never ceases to amaze me how some priests and Bishops are so eager to make friends with a world at the expense of the Church. Bishop Robinson is here attacking the fundamental integrity of the Sacrament, and as a bishop is enabling the enemies of the Church to drive a wedge into the Body of Christ, thus destroying the fundamental trust that those sins confessed to a priest, who acts in the Persona Christi, and who has no right to the knowledge he receives in the confessional, are between the penitent and God who forgives the sins confessed.
If a penitent confesses a crime such as murder or paedophilia the priest has an obligation to counsel the penitent, whether priest or lay, to confess their crime to the proper secular authorities. The confessor must remind the penitent that confessing a sin is not good enough and that one must have true contrition for their sin, a firm purpose of amendment, and they must complete a material penance due to atone for their sin. The priest has no authority to act on any information he hears under the seal of confession because he has no personal right to know the sins of others. The seal of the confessional is meant to protect the rights of the individual, so that clergy CAN NOT do that which enemies of the Church have long since accused them of doing, i.e. using their knowledge to exercise power over the faithful. The seal of the confessional is a protection for ALL Catholics so that they can go humbly before their God to seek forgiveness that will restore a relationship with HIM that was broken by their own evil act in thought word or deed. If they are truly sorry for their sin and that sin is a serious crime which has caused physical or material harm to others, they will follow the advice of their priest and go, with him if necessary outside the seal of the confessional, to the proper authorities so that they can atone for their crime just as they have acted to atone for their sin before God.
Any priest who is prepared to break the seal of the confessional, is attacking the relationship between the penitent and their God. They are acting no longer as a conduit of God's grace and forgiveness, in persona Christi, but as agents for the state and they tear at the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27), and thereby put themselves outside the Church. Bishop Robinson has publicly indicated that he is willing to destroy that trust essential for the Sacrament, and it will not take much, perhaps only thirty pieces of silver, for the enemies of the Church to take advantage of him to destroy that which they hate.
Pray for Bishop Robinson who sounds less like an apostle of Jesus Christ and more like a teen, more interested in what the world thinks of him than what it thinks of the Lord he claims to serve.