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Hamlet the Confessor

Two millennia ago, a Jewish rabbi declared that he had the authority to forgive sins or “send away mistakes” and transferred that authority to his closest followers. An early follower, Tertullian, called the action of repentance and forgiveness a “plank” for a “shipwrecked man.” The . . . . Continue Reading »

Internet Confessional

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned; it has been one day since my last confession.Three times I participated in an argument about trigger warnings. Each time I swore it was my last.Once I replied “lol i’m not mad, it’s just funny to me” Father, I was super mad.I read an article about whether . . . . Continue Reading »

Uber, But For Penance

There’s something very modern, very grim about reading church reviews on Yelp. Washington’s Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle won one from a reviewer who identified himself as True Detective’s Rust Cohle: “I come here to contemplate the moment before the crucifixion.” Continue Reading »

Why Louisiana Can’t Break the Confessional’s Seal

In January of this year, the U.S. Supreme court declined to intervene in a case in which the prosecutor wants to force Fr. Jeff Bayhi, a priest of the diocese of Baton Rouge, to testify about a confession in court. He allegedly told a fourteen year-old in 2008 to forget about the sexual abuse she had suffered from a family member. If Fr. Bayhi indeed did this, he will have to take responsibility for this despicable and unpastoral act at a higher, heavenly court—but he cannot be expected to discuss the contents of a confession in a U.S. court of law. Continue Reading »

On Memory and Reconciliation

The pope’s apology to Pentecostals during his visit to the church pastored by Giovanni Traettino speaks to the importance of memory. As Augustine recounts in his Confessions, the memory is a vast storehouse of many chambers filled with countless images. Continue Reading »

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