Category Archives: Seal of Confession

Secularism Conquers the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade: Cardinal Dolan Should Clarify

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

We are up to our waists in the muck of secular quicksand and slowly but surely it is trying its best to suck us all deeper into its godless abyss.  This insidious secularism has permeated so much of our lives it has become the norm for many, especially the Millennials (those born from 1980 and after). Marriage has been relegated to an afterthought; after living together, having sex together and having a baby together then MAYBE marriage is considered.  The Affordable Care Act has gone so far as to demand that we Catholic/Christians leave our faith and morality inside the church door and shed it when we leave.   Once outside of church we MUST accept abortion and contraception because they are now LAW and therefore we cannot reject them.  What our church teaches matters not. Is this NONSENSE?  Nope, it is the law of the land. 
In New Orleans,  the Louisiana Supreme  Court reversed a lower court and has ruled that a priest  can be be “made” to testify as to what he was told in the confessional and violate the “seal of confession”, something a priest can NEVER do.  The court also empowered the trial court to DECIDE  “whether or not a sacrament took place”.  Imagine the hypocrisy of a court that rejects the very Constitution it is sworn to uphold and determines that it can decide when a Catholic sacrament is or is not a sacrament.  
These few examples are the tip of the iceberg.  Who needs to be defended are all of those Catholic/Christians standing tall and speaking out against the attacks against the faith.  Many of them are being stifled as Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are being shoveled into the secular trash cans that are filling up with the freedoms that we so recently took for granted as we lived our lives in the greatest country ever founded.  I want to mention one Catholic priest in particular. Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.  
Monsignor Pope has been a Catholic blogger for some time and his clear explanations and teachings and defense of the Catholic faith have been a refreshing joy to many.  However, the other day Monsignor wrote a column criticizing Timothy Cardinal Dolan and his defending the gay agenda being accepted into  New York City’s  annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The powers to be did NOT like it and Monsignor Pope was forced to remove the blogpost.  Today, September 8, the church celebrates the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Today, I did NOT see a post by Monsignor Pope.  I hope and pray he has not been pushed off  the cliff  by the PC Gendarmes simply because he told the truth.  That would be a shame because he is a true and honorable defender of the Catholic faith which he loves so much.  We need Monsignor Charles Pope and more people like him.
My non-theological explanation of church teaching on this topic is this:  Homosexuals are permitted to be in full communion with the church…but they must remain celibate.  This also applies to single men and women engaging in sex whether living together or not..  This is NOT new.  This is how it has always been.  It will not change.  Embracing a sexually active homosexual lifestyle is NOT permitted.  The fact is, Cardinal Dolan, standing as the Grand Marshall of the parade, will be giving credence to the lifestyle of the “gay agenda”.   It will appear that the LBGTQ lifestyle is acceptable to the Catholic Church.  It is NOT.  End of story.

When you are a “parent’ there are times you MUST stand firm and say to your children “NO!”  Cardinal Dolan is the spiritual parent of the Catholics  in the New York Archdiocese.  In addition, his name recognition is worldwide.  He must teach, guide, nurture, and protect his children, especially from the forces of secularism.   He also must stand tall and set an example for everyone beyond his diocesan borders.   As a parent I know that often times saying “NO!” is hard to do.  But it comes with the territory and you are obliged to do so or you are failing in your responsibility.  Right now I, too, am very disappointed in Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  I am praying that before the parade in March he clarifies his stance and explains Catholic church teaching to all concerned.  

Another Attempt to Break Down the Doors of the Confessional

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The Sacrament of Penance is a magnificent gift we Catholics have been given and the beauty of its effectiveness is encapsulated into what is known as the Seal of Confession.  Anyone who goes to confession has the absolute certainty that whatever he or she confesses to the priest will NEVER,  no matter what, leave that confessional.  Confession is between the penitent and Christ.  The priest represents Christ and is able to talk to the penitent, advise and counsel them, or simply listen to them.  When the person is finished confessing the priest asks that person to say an “Act of Contrition”.  This is when the person expresses their sorrow for the sins they have confessed.  Then the priest imparts Absolution .  It is one of the most beautiful prayers there is and this is where God is called upon to give pardon to the sinner.

 Not all judges, politicians and lawyers are secularists; but there are many who are.  It seems that many of these folks are ideologically bent and have become true Machiavellians (people that believe that the “end justifies the means”).  Forget “Natural Law”,  cast out common sense, trash the Ten Commandments, because none of that matters anymore.  As long as the needs of those demanding “change” are satisfied we have attained “virtue”. This is “hogwash” but the Supreme Court of Louisiana thinks differently.  It has ruled that  Father Jeff Bayhi, a priest for 35 years, a man who has served the poor and downtrodden and worked hand in hand with Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, may have to testify about an “alleged” confession.

Apparently, a girl who was 14 in 2008, says she went to confession to Father Bayhi at the time and told him that she was abused by a now dead parishioner.  The girl’s parents sued Father Bayhi and the Diocese of Baton Rouge for failing to report the abuse. The parents won their case in district court which said that Father Bayhi must testify.  Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision but then the State Supreme Court once again sided with the parents.  The state’s highest court said that Father Bayhi may be subject to “mandatory reporting” laws regarding sexual abuse and cannot invoke the privilege of “confidentiality”.  There you have it;  the “virtue of secularism”.  It is not enough to have this young woman, who is now 20 years old, tell the police and state’s attorneys her story.  It is not enough to have years of  the documentation on hand that is required to even pursue the case.  The accused abuser is dead.  SO–let’s get the priest to violate the “Seal of the Confessional”.  The accused abuser never confessed and, even if that were the case, the Seal of the Confessional is inviolate. The priest is bound to silence, silence forever.

Our nation is founded under the Judeo-Christian principle which is followed by Natural Law.  Our First Amendment guarantees Freedom of Religion.  A foundational doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, which has been in effect for two thousand years and is part of a Sacrament instituted by Christ Himself, mandates that the “Seal of Confession”  is absolute and inviolable.  A priest must NEVER break the Seal.  He cannot even admit that someone went to confession to him.  No-one, not even the Pope himself, can mandate a priest violate this oath.  The priest would have to suffer the civil and criminal consequences, even death if necessary, rather than betray this most sacred of trusts.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge explained in their statement that, “a priest is under the gravest of obligations NOT to reveal the contents of a confession or if the confession even took place.  He cannot do so even under threat of imprisonment or civil penalty, and incurs automatic excommunication if he breaks the “seal of confession”.  The Church takes this pretty serious, don’t you think?

The secular world has grown not only intrusive into the world of Catholicism but it has become overly obnoxious, nasty, vitriolic and downright hateful.  Under the banner of “virtue” secularism honors abortion, euthanasia and sexual promiscuity as a right and a necessity akin to breathing and eating and sleeping.  These secularists, some who claim to be Catholic, support these behaviors and are against any kind of “moral” boundaries.  Sadly, many court decisions support their beliefs.  One thing they need to understand–they can NEVER nullify, invalidate or strike down the magnificence and profound power of the “Seal of Confession”. Do not be surprised if this case winds up in the United States Supreme Court.