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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Reading the Transcripts to Catholic Confessions

A message from Louise . . .

There is a book that compiles transcripts of confessions recorded with a hidden microphone and without the confessor’s or the penitent’s knowledge. It is from the 1960’s and the people confessing are left anonymous. I am awfully curious about it but it feels wrong to read it. Would it be sinful to read such a book?

My response . . .

I am appalled that such a book was ever written and published. While I do not know the work in question, I can answer your question quite bluntly— do not purchase it, do not read it and if by accident you own it, throw it where it belongs— into the trash.  Regardless that the names of penitents remain anonymous, the fact remains that both priest and penitent were unaware of the recording and did not give permission. The one who made the recordings and the subsequent book committed a grievous sin. Those with a prurient interest in the sins of others would better be concerned about their own failings and need for mercy.  Not only are we talking about a violation of the seal of confession but what is arguably a criminal act. Would it be sinful for you to read such a book? Really, you have to ask? You would make yourself party to the sinful acts of others.    

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