Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The strange sacrament of confession

"When's the last time you've been to confession?"
"That's between me and my confessor." Rico Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy

The most bizarre sacrament of them all is Confession. Who was the sick pervert that came up with this idea? We'll have people get inside a little booth and tell us all the bad things they do. Then, we'll give them a "penance" to say and everything will be forgiven. Seems like just another example of Catholic guilt to me. Seriously, who goes to confession after age 12?

I went to a Catholic high school for three years. One of the creepiest things I remember was everyone going down to the gymnasium to confess their sins. Even the priests would confess their sins to other priests. Talk about strange. The only person I would ever confess anything to is a bartender, and I don't even like to drink. Now, you can even "confess" virtually. There is an app for the iPhone called Confession: A Roman Catholic App.

It would be funny to sneak into a confessional, impersonate the priest, and give people all sorts of crazy penances. "For your penance, say two Hail Mary's, walk down to Tops, go to register three, and apologize to the cashier for all of your sins."

The sacrament of penance has been used in movies for years to illicit fear and suspense to the moviegoer. I vaguely remember someone confessing their sins, only to find out that the person they were confessing to was, in fact, Freddy Krueger. Not exactly the type of guy known for forgiveness.

I was looking for some clips on the practice and stumbled upon this clip from Rome. It might be a good time to allow priests to get married...


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