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Author Topic: Imperfect Clergy  (Read 2927 times) Average Rating: 0
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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2012, 09:17:20 PM »

Yup.
Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?
Isn't a question of "repentant enough." It is a question of not being repentant at all.
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« Reply #91 on: July 01, 2012, 09:19:15 PM »

Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?
Isn't a question of "repentant enough." It is a question of not being repentant at all.
thanks, but the question was directed to FatherGiryus. Perhaps you could let him answer for himself?
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« Reply #92 on: July 01, 2012, 09:22:25 PM »

That varies from state to state.[/font][/size]

And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court.
So priests don't refuse to divulge statements made in confession in court?
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« Reply #93 on: July 01, 2012, 09:25:50 PM »

Fwiw some of the posts in this thread might be relevant here...
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« Reply #94 on: July 01, 2012, 09:50:31 PM »

You said, "And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court."

I said, basically, that this is not entirely true, and that different states have different standards.

Whether an Orthodox priest would testify is a complicated process, weighing a number of factors, including whether the statements to be testified to can actually be considered confession or not.

The ultimate measure would be the salvation of all those involved.  If I believed that a child would continue to be raped if I did not report what I heard in a 'confession' (meaning that the person speaking to me was unwilling to turn himself in so that he would stop), then I would say that this priest would be willing even to sacrifice my ministry if it meant stopping such a horrible evil and be deposed for it.  However, that being said, I can't think of an Orthodox bishop who would depose a priest for trying to prevent such savagery.

I do not believe in self-preservation at the expense of others.  Sometimes it is better to jump on the grenade to save others than it is to live a long life knowing that you could have saved someone else and didn't.  Whether the grenade goes off is another matter entirely.


That varies from state to state.[/font][/size]

And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court.
So priests don't refuse to divulge statements made in confession in court?
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« Reply #95 on: July 01, 2012, 09:52:30 PM »

Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?
Isn't a question of "repentant enough." It is a question of not being repentant at all.
thanks, but the question was directed to FatherGiryus. Perhaps you could let him answer for himself?
He did.
Yup.
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« Reply #96 on: July 01, 2012, 10:00:29 PM »

You said, "And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court."

I said, basically, that this is not entirely true, and that different states have different standards.

Whether an Orthodox priest would testify is a complicated process, weighing a number of factors, including whether the statements to be testified to can actually be considered confession or not.

The ultimate measure would be the salvation of all those involved.  If I believed that a child would continue to be raped if I did not report what I heard in a 'confession' (meaning that the person speaking to me was unwilling to turn himself in so that he would stop), then I would say that this priest would be willing even to sacrifice my ministry if it meant stopping such a horrible evil and be deposed for it.  However, that being said, I can't think of an Orthodox bishop who would depose a priest for trying to prevent such savagery.

I do not believe in self-preservation at the expense of others.  Sometimes it is better to jump on the grenade to save others than it is to live a long life knowing that you could have saved someone else and didn't.  Whether the grenade goes off is another matter entirely.


That varies from state to state.[/font][/size]

And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court.
So priests don't refuse to divulge statements made in confession in court?
Nice self serving statement, but you didn't answer my question- do you notify people in advance that you will divulge the contents of thier confession if you feel it necessary? Or if you feel they are not repentant?
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« Reply #97 on: July 01, 2012, 10:08:31 PM »

Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Not to speak for Father Giryus, but the priest is not under any obligation to absolve, and can place a condition that the person confessing turn himself in.

And notice he is calling the bishop, not the police. He has to call the bishop. The priest is not autonomous, and in such difficult cases, the bishop must know what's going on. Names would not have to be given.
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« Reply #98 on: July 01, 2012, 10:24:17 PM »

Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
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« Reply #99 on: July 01, 2012, 10:30:11 PM »

Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
I didn't try or itend to insult you, FatherGiryus.
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« Reply #100 on: July 01, 2012, 11:17:04 PM »

Dear Mikha'el,

All of us are shocked and depressed.  This was a serious betrayal.

What gives me hope is that we saw the Church act quickly and appropriately: the youth director immediately reported the situation, and the Church stepped up and not only contacted the police but deposed the man without hesitation.  I think you will see healing come quickly because of these steps.  The victims were given priority, and will continue to receive compassion from the Church.

As for the predator, we can only hope that he repents and receives the forgiveness he preached about.  It is tragic that he could not get out of the Church what he gave others, but I think this is less about him and more about the power of God and the truth of the Orthodox Faith.  The faith does not depend on the strength of us weak humans, because the truth is the truth no matter what.

I had a hard time sleeping last night because of this.  I saw this man only a few weeks ago, and it is hard to believe that this is the same person.  He's an Army vet and retired police officer... not categories you connect with such depravity.  Yet, I do not doubt the accusations for an instant, because I know the deacon there and I trust that Archbishop Joseph had the evidence.  His Eminence does not mess around in these situations.  Years ago, he told us in a deanery meeting (after another high-profile case came up in the news) that he would call the police if he suspected any of us were doing anything like this.  I remember it clearly because of how animated he became.  Yesterday, he proved that he was not kidding.

We all would do well to pray for the victims, the people of St. Timothy who have a long road to recovery ahead, and all those adversely affected by this situation.  I think that would include the abuser himself, who is now greatly shamed and humiliated, as this might give him the opportunity to repent now and prepare his conscience before he passes into Eternal Judgment as all of us will.
Thank you Father, I truly am proud to call Archbishop Joseph my hierarch. I just can't fathom how he could live a double life like that. I find myself wondering, does he even believe in God? How could you enter the altar knowing you did that without literal fear and trembling? I only ever felt sincerity from the man, and he took sin very seriously.

 God has preserved me from the worst of this, for some reason, in that I wasn't there to see the Church fall apart (I would trade places with any one of them; they deserve it more) and He has brought me to another beautiful Church with sincere lovers of Christ.

A friend posted something on Facebook that really cut to the heart of this issue and how to move forward:
"Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one faithful; bring your offering even then and praise God in your loneliness"- Fyodor Dostoevsky "The Brothers Karamazov"

The one thing we seem to discard now a days, is that of demonic possession.  In all cases such as this, as well as the murders of innocents, it's the first thing that comes into my mind.   Sad
What do you know of child molestation and demon possession, Zenovia?

I would have to look at the priests  eyes to be certain, after all it is a reflection of a person's soul?   Undecided
How does that answer my question? You're still asserting that you have the ability to discern if someone's possessed, but you don't give us any details on what specific traits you're looking to see and/or what [first-hand] experiences you've had with the possessed that qualify you to speak as an authority on this matter.
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« Reply #101 on: July 01, 2012, 11:20:49 PM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
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« Reply #102 on: July 01, 2012, 11:29:42 PM »

Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.
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« Reply #103 on: July 01, 2012, 11:33:09 PM »

Please explain to me how 'self-serving' is not a pejorative.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/self-serving


Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.
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« Reply #104 on: July 01, 2012, 11:37:02 PM »

The adjective "self-serving" was used to describe what you said, not you personally.

Please explain to me how 'self-serving' is not a pejorative.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/self-serving


Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.
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« Reply #105 on: July 01, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.




In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.

Just a quick note.  I believe I read his victims were about 13, which means it wasn't pedophilia, but rather hebephilia.  I only bring this up because there is currently a serious debate concerning the possible elimination of pedophilia in the DSM-5, and replacing it with pedohebophilic disorder, something that it seems a very significant number (including many prominent) psychiatrists oppose.
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« Reply #106 on: July 01, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

Lord have mercy!

I hope no one will use this as a moment to attack the church, rather an opportunity to show and focus on healing and the love within the Church.
It's all over the Bay news and most of the news stories don't mention that it was the diocese that immediately defrocked him and called the police. Instead you've got scumbag reporters traipsing about the scene filming the Police ransacking the Church looking for evidence, taking out hard drives, etc, and they have this last and very purposeful shot of the Police locking the door with the sign saying "Closed".

I found a news report that did clarify church officials notified law enforcement.  At least one got it right.

Yeah, the first hit on Google, when I searched yesterday, was an article saying that the Church had contacted police.
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« Reply #107 on: July 01, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Father, I also have a question.  How would you know that they were planning to commit more acts of violence, as opposed to merely likely to?  Or does it matter to you, that is, if they were merely likely to commit more acts - in your opinion - would you break the seal of confession and inform the bishop?  If so, then how big of a sin does it have to be for you to feel it's ok to violate the seal of confession?
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« Reply #108 on: July 01, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

Yup.
Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?
Isn't a question of "repentant enough." It is a question of not being repentant at all.

But how do you discern who is really repentant?
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« Reply #109 on: July 01, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »

That varies from state to state.[/font][/size]

And confidential conversations with clergy are privilaged and not admmisable in court.
So priests don't refuse to divulge statements made in confession in court?

Professor Dr. Panteleimor Rodopoulos, Metropolitan of Tyroloe and Serention, an eminent canonist, on page 175 of the English edition of An Overview of Orthodox Canon Law, lists "Infringement of the secrecy of confession" as one of the "Misdemeanors by the clergy," which would suggest that if they don't refuse to, that they are in violation of canon law.  Metropolitan Emmanuel of Kos, in the Exomologeteke, a manual for confessors, says that the secrecy of confession is a principle for which there is no exception.
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« Reply #110 on: July 02, 2012, 12:14:45 AM »

Metropolitan Emmanuel of Kos, in the Exomologeteke, a manual for confessors, says that the secrecy of confession is a principle for which there is no exception.

It's Orthodoxy. There's always an exception.
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« Reply #111 on: July 02, 2012, 12:15:46 AM »

this is getting way off topic.
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« Reply #112 on: July 02, 2012, 12:31:06 AM »

First, I was speaking hypothetically.  I have never been put in such a situation.

Second, I think we have all seen where 'absolute' canonical norms have been 'broken' by our hierarchs at their discretion.  The interpretation and implementation of the canons is left to the bishops.  What a scholar says and what a bishops does often is two entirely different things.

Third, as to 'how would you know' is rather obvious... someone who comes and says that he will.  As I have said elsewhere in this thread, a true pedophile will likely not confess his activity as a sin.  If facts were uncovered about pedophilia, it would likely not be repented of and certainly not constitute confession.  As someone else pointed out, absolution can be withheld to those who do not repent.

Fourth, I am not aware that the canons cover all pastoral communication as secret.  Some clearly are, but others are not otherwise we would have an absolute injunction, which would make things like spiritual courts virtually impossible to conduct.

Fifth, my calling the bishop does not necessarily entail revealing an identity.  I can ask for help with a situation without naming names.  If I had to put myself in a situation where I would be risking my ministry, I would certainly want to talk to the bishop first.

Sixth, were I to take such a step, I would have to be willing to face the consequences of being put out of the priesthood.  That was the point of my earlier post which was labelled 'self-serving'.  Yet, I think that priests ought to consider their actions in terms of such eventualities.  So, I would have to use this rubric: is breaking the seal worth losing the priesthood?  

Seventh, I do not think that the privacy of confession was intended by the Church to allow murderers and rapists to clean their consciences in order to go back out and commit more crimes.  Anyone who would like to take issue with that is more than welcome to.   Wink

Eighth, if your child was being molested, and you found out the molester was going to confession and confessing it to the priest, what would you want the priest to do?  


Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Father, I also have a question.  How would you know that they were planning to commit more acts of violence, as opposed to merely likely to?  Or does it matter to you, that is, if they were merely likely to commit more acts - in your opinion - would you break the seal of confession and inform the bishop?  If so, then how big of a sin does it have to be for you to feel it's ok to violate the seal of confession?
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« Reply #113 on: July 02, 2012, 01:16:21 AM »

FWIW, I do believe that our priest brought up in inquirers class that idea that confession was not guaranteed to be 100% confidential and some situations, similar to the one at hand that would result in something not being confidential.

Second, I can say as someone in the helping professions that the laws of our state spell out that some things are not able to be kept confidential and that some people are mandated reporters. (Don't remember if priests are on that list or not.) We notify clients of this up front and have policies in place spelling out how to proceed, and still having been in the situation of actually making a report on a few occasions, I can tell you its not easy, fun or casual. Sometimes, however, it has to be done for the protection of others.
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« Reply #114 on: July 02, 2012, 01:17:10 AM »

I think Fr. Chris answers a lot of your questions in this thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12542.0.html

First, I was speaking hypothetically.  I have never been put in such a situation.

Second, I think we have all seen where 'absolute' canonical norms have been 'broken' by our hierarchs at their discretion.  The interpretation and implementation of the canons is left to the bishops.  What a scholar says and what a bishops does often is two entirely different things.

Third, as to 'how would you know' is rather obvious... someone who comes and says that he will.  As I have said elsewhere in this thread, a true pedophile will likely not confess his activity as a sin.  If facts were uncovered about pedophilia, it would likely not be repented of and certainly not constitute confession.  As someone else pointed out, absolution can be withheld to those who do not repent.

Fourth, I am not aware that the canons cover all pastoral communication as secret.  Some clearly are, but others are not otherwise we would have an absolute injunction, which would make things like spiritual courts virtually impossible to conduct.

Fifth, my calling the bishop does not necessarily entail revealing an identity.  I can ask for help with a situation without naming names.  If I had to put myself in a situation where I would be risking my ministry, I would certainly want to talk to the bishop first.

Sixth, were I to take such a step, I would have to be willing to face the consequences of being put out of the priesthood.  That was the point of my earlier post which was labelled 'self-serving'.  Yet, I think that priests ought to consider their actions in terms of such eventualities.  So, I would have to use this rubric: is breaking the seal worth losing the priesthood?  

Seventh, I do not think that the privacy of confession was intended by the Church to allow murderers and rapists to clean their consciences in order to go back out and commit more crimes.  Anyone who would like to take issue with that is more than welcome to.   Wink

Eighth, if your child was being molested, and you found out the molester was going to confession and confessing it to the priest, what would you want the priest to do?  


Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Father, I also have a question.  How would you know that they were planning to commit more acts of violence, as opposed to merely likely to?  Or does it matter to you, that is, if they were merely likely to commit more acts - in your opinion - would you break the seal of confession and inform the bishop?  If so, then how big of a sin does it have to be for you to feel it's ok to violate the seal of confession?
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« Reply #115 on: July 02, 2012, 03:45:17 AM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again. What about this is confidential?
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« Reply #116 on: July 02, 2012, 04:08:18 AM »

Quote
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again.

I'd like to think that this is one directive that could never be subject to economia.
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« Reply #117 on: July 02, 2012, 04:32:41 AM »

The adjective "self-serving" was used to describe what you said, not you personally.

Please explain to me how 'self-serving' is not a pejorative.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/self-serving


Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.

What a laughable, pedantic, and asinine distinction. But hey, if it means that making scathing remarks like this acceptable behavior, then I suppose I could be supportive of such pedantry.
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« Reply #118 on: July 02, 2012, 04:34:44 AM »

Quote
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again.

I'd like to think that this is one directive that could never be subject to economia.

Perhaps that should just be what happens to child molesters in general.
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« Reply #119 on: July 02, 2012, 06:25:14 AM »

Metropolitan Emmanuel of Kos, in the Exomologeteke, a manual for confessors, says that the secrecy of confession is a principle for which there is no exception.

It's Orthodoxy. There's always an exception.

If there is always an exception, then there must be an exception to that.
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« Reply #120 on: July 02, 2012, 06:25:14 AM »

First, I was speaking hypothetically.  I have never been put in such a situation.

Second, I think we have all seen where 'absolute' canonical norms have been 'broken' by our hierarchs at their discretion.  The interpretation and implementation of the canons is left to the bishops.  What a scholar says and what a bishops does often is two entirely different things.

Third, as to 'how would you know' is rather obvious... someone who comes and says that he will.  As I have said elsewhere in this thread, a true pedophile will likely not confess his activity as a sin.  If facts were uncovered about pedophilia, it would likely not be repented of and certainly not constitute confession.  As someone else pointed out, absolution can be withheld to those who do not repent.

Fourth, I am not aware that the canons cover all pastoral communication as secret.  Some clearly are, but others are not otherwise we would have an absolute injunction, which would make things like spiritual courts virtually impossible to conduct.

Fifth, my calling the bishop does not necessarily entail revealing an identity.  I can ask for help with a situation without naming names.  If I had to put myself in a situation where I would be risking my ministry, I would certainly want to talk to the bishop first.

Sixth, were I to take such a step, I would have to be willing to face the consequences of being put out of the priesthood.  That was the point of my earlier post which was labelled 'self-serving'.  Yet, I think that priests ought to consider their actions in terms of such eventualities.  So, I would have to use this rubric: is breaking the seal worth losing the priesthood?  

Seventh, I do not think that the privacy of confession was intended by the Church to allow murderers and rapists to clean their consciences in order to go back out and commit more crimes.  Anyone who would like to take issue with that is more than welcome to.   Wink

Eighth, if your child was being molested, and you found out the molester was going to confession and confessing it to the priest, what would you want the priest to do?  


Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Father, I also have a question.  How would you know that they were planning to commit more acts of violence, as opposed to merely likely to?  Or does it matter to you, that is, if they were merely likely to commit more acts - in your opinion - would you break the seal of confession and inform the bishop?  If so, then how big of a sin does it have to be for you to feel it's ok to violate the seal of confession?

On your third point, I just want to reiterate that the priest in question is not actually a pedophile.  He is a hebophile. 
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« Reply #121 on: July 02, 2012, 08:02:28 AM »

One might remember that private confession was instituted by the Church to replace open confession in the midst of the Congregation.  The Church has the power to bring that back (though, given the reasons for the change, I don't she will ever change it back).  As such, privacy is not an absolute right, and the clergy are not without discretion.
First, I was speaking hypothetically.  I have never been put in such a situation.

Second, I think we have all seen where 'absolute' canonical norms have been 'broken' by our hierarchs at their discretion.  The interpretation and implementation of the canons is left to the bishops.  What a scholar says and what a bishops does often is two entirely different things.

Third, as to 'how would you know' is rather obvious... someone who comes and says that he will.  As I have said elsewhere in this thread, a true pedophile will likely not confess his activity as a sin.  If facts were uncovered about pedophilia, it would likely not be repented of and certainly not constitute confession.  As someone else pointed out, absolution can be withheld to those who do not repent.

Fourth, I am not aware that the canons cover all pastoral communication as secret.  Some clearly are, but others are not otherwise we would have an absolute injunction, which would make things like spiritual courts virtually impossible to conduct.

Fifth, my calling the bishop does not necessarily entail revealing an identity.  I can ask for help with a situation without naming names.  If I had to put myself in a situation where I would be risking my ministry, I would certainly want to talk to the bishop first.

Sixth, were I to take such a step, I would have to be willing to face the consequences of being put out of the priesthood.  That was the point of my earlier post which was labelled 'self-serving'.  Yet, I think that priests ought to consider their actions in terms of such eventualities.  So, I would have to use this rubric: is breaking the seal worth losing the priesthood?  

Seventh, I do not think that the privacy of confession was intended by the Church to allow murderers and rapists to clean their consciences in order to go back out and commit more crimes.  Anyone who would like to take issue with that is more than welcome to.   Wink

Eighth, if your child was being molested, and you found out the molester was going to confession and confessing it to the priest, what would you want the priest to do?  


Of the few pedophiles I have encountered, none of them was ever able to own up.  Most are fixated on the notion that what they are doing is 'natural' and this obsession is exceedingly hard to break.  I suspect this was also his case.

As for confession, it rests on the notion of repentence... someone who comes to talk about a sin but refuses to make restitution is not repentance.  If that person is planning to go back out and commit more acts of violence against children, then it isn't confession at all... it is bragging.  I would be on the phone with the Bishop ASAP.

When folks come to you for confession do warn them ahead of time that you reserve the right to divulge what they say if you feel they are not repentant enough? What others confessions do you divulge if you feel it is necesary?

Father, I also have a question.  How would you know that they were planning to commit more acts of violence, as opposed to merely likely to?  Or does it matter to you, that is, if they were merely likely to commit more acts - in your opinion - would you break the seal of confession and inform the bishop?  If so, then how big of a sin does it have to be for you to feel it's ok to violate the seal of confession?
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« Reply #122 on: July 02, 2012, 08:46:41 AM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again. What about this is confidential?
The penance nowadays, at least for our own Fr. Chris, is to instruct the penitent to turn himself into the authorities knowing that the penitent will almost certainly be sentenced to many years behind bars where the likelihood of him being abused, sexually or otherwise, by fellow inmates is greater than for any other crime. How is this any less public than what you just described? Even so, does the confessor ever divulge what was revealed to him in confession? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
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« Reply #123 on: July 02, 2012, 08:51:16 AM »

The adjective "self-serving" was used to describe what you said, not you personally.

Please explain to me how 'self-serving' is not a pejorative.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/self-serving


Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.

What a laughable, pedantic, and asinine distinction. But hey, if it means that making scathing remarks like this acceptable behavior, then I suppose I could be supportive of such pedantry.
If you have a problem with that distinction, then I suggest you take that up with the moderators via private message, since that's our modus operandi for deciding whether something is a personal insult or not. Otherwise, if we were to forbid criticism of what other people say, then we would end up moderating this forum into non-existence.
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« Reply #124 on: July 02, 2012, 09:09:34 AM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again. What about this is confidential?
The penance nowadays, at least for our own Fr. Chris, is to instruct the penitent to turn himself into the authorities knowing that the penitent will almost certainly be sentenced to many years behind bars where the likelihood of him being abused, sexually or otherwise, by fellow inmates is greater than for any other crime. How is this any less public than what you just described? Even so, does the confessor ever divulge what was revealed to him in confession? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I figured that, rather than merely post links to the thread Asteriktos and I both referenced earlier, it might be even better for me to quote what Fr. Chris had to say on this subject.

Nothing told to Christ in Confession and witnessed by me can be divulged. Full stop.

However, there is always the counseling after the confession. Yes, if/when criminal activity is confessed, I do my best to reinforce to the penitent the importance of being repentant, part of which is setting the record straight.

Yes, I've driven children to stores to apologize to the store owner for stealing something, but it's the child who does all the talking; I say nothing.

If a person confesses something criminal to me that would be such as murder, child molestation, etc I would do all I could to help the penitent go to the legal authorities and help the victim or family have peace of mind. Thank God nothing like that has occurred yet....I have enough trouble with 'incense getting in my eyes' when hearing the pain caused to my parishioners from "every day" sins, and nothing as demonic as violent crime.

But, nothing said in Confession can be divulged. Ever.
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« Reply #125 on: July 02, 2012, 09:35:26 AM »

Quote
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again.

I'd like to think that this is one directive that could never be subject to economia.

Perhaps that should just be what happens to child molesters in general.

Yeah, they aren't exactly the most well-loved people in the world.
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« Reply #126 on: July 02, 2012, 01:18:21 PM »

Wasn't a woman possessed of seven demons in the Bible?  Anyway a person can be exorcised if it is within their will, but is it within their will?  I know in the Netherlands they found that one out of twenty five people hear voices speaking to them.  Would it be so difficult for someone to succumb to those voices if they are weak and want certain benefits or gratifications?  I don't think so.  Shocked

Hearing voices does not a possessed man make.  Hearing voices is most likely the result of one (or more) of the many psychiatric disorders that can cause auditory hallucinations.  There is no reason to believe, in most cases at the least, that demons are to blame.

A man is to blame for the crime he commits, whether he has willingly subjected himself to a demon, or whether he did it through his own will.  It's important though for possession to be recognized and that it does exist, and people, especially Christians, should be warned about the consequences it has to their eternal soul. Smiley    

And it is important for you to recognize that mental illness is not possession.  Or when you get the flue do you blame demons?

Oh, so you are denying the existence of demons and of possession?  Is this a new Church belief, or is this scrupulous adherence to  current 'Western'  attitudes and modes, simply an individual opinion?  Just curious!   Huh

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« Reply #127 on: July 02, 2012, 01:23:06 PM »

Quote
Oh, so you are denying the existence of demons and of possession?  Is this a new Church belief, or is this scrupulous adherence to  current 'Western'  attitudes and modes, simply an individual opinion?  Just curious!
No, he does not think that. What I believe he saying is that demons arent responsible for everything. Alot of times, the Devil doesnt have to do anything. We help him just fine all by ourselves sometimes.

PP
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« Reply #128 on: July 02, 2012, 01:40:36 PM »

The adjective "self-serving" was used to describe what you said, not you personally.

Please explain to me how 'self-serving' is not a pejorative.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/self-serving


Why are you insulting me?   Huh
Nice self serving statement,
FatherGiryus, with all due respect, that's not an insult.

What a laughable, pedantic, and asinine distinction. But hey, if it means that making scathing remarks like this acceptable behavior, then I suppose I could be supportive of such pedantry.
If you have a problem with that distinction, then I suggest you take that up with the moderators via private message, since that's our modus operandi for deciding whether something is a personal insult or not. Otherwise, if we were to forbid criticism of what other people say, then we would end up moderating this forum into non-existence.

Point taken. I was being somewhat facetious, though maybe that was not apparent.
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #129 on: July 02, 2012, 01:43:08 PM »

Wasn't a woman possessed of seven demons in the Bible?  Anyway a person can be exorcised if it is within their will, but is it within their will?  I know in the Netherlands they found that one out of twenty five people hear voices speaking to them.  Would it be so difficult for someone to succumb to those voices if they are weak and want certain benefits or gratifications?  I don't think so.  Shocked

Hearing voices does not a possessed man make.  Hearing voices is most likely the result of one (or more) of the many psychiatric disorders that can cause auditory hallucinations.  There is no reason to believe, in most cases at the least, that demons are to blame.

A man is to blame for the crime he commits, whether he has willingly subjected himself to a demon, or whether he did it through his own will.  It's important though for possession to be recognized and that it does exist, and people, especially Christians, should be warned about the consequences it has to their eternal soul. Smiley    

And it is important for you to recognize that mental illness is not possession.  Or when you get the flue do you blame demons?

Oh, so you are denying the existence of demons and of possession?
No, he is not saying that.
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Zenovia
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« Reply #130 on: July 02, 2012, 01:58:05 PM »

Quote
Oh, so you are denying the existence of demons and of possession?  Is this a new Church belief, or is this scrupulous adherence to  current 'Western'  attitudes and modes, simply an individual opinion?  Just curious!
No, he does not think that. What I believe he saying is that demons arent responsible for everything. Alot of times, the Devil doesnt have to do anything. We help him just fine all by ourselves sometimes.

PP

I would like to answer his question on whether the flu is caused by demons by saying both yes and no.  The  virus itself is not a demon, but the directing and influence a person had in coming  in contact with the virus could have been caused by a demon.      

Elder Porphyrios said that everything we do affects others in some way, and that we should never curse, or even wish something bad towards anyone.  Every evil within a person sends out demons, but look these things are very mystical and spiritually deep.  They are not something that can be readily understood by people who have been raised in a society as 'tangibly' disposed as ours.  Smiley      
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 01:59:39 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #131 on: July 02, 2012, 02:38:52 PM »

Has the priest confessed to this yet?  I'm glad that the Bishop is taking this seriously but, innocent until proven guilty, yo.  The police have confiscated electronics from his home to search for evidence.  If he confesses or evidence is found then perhaps I will condemn his actions and the mockery made of his office.  Until then...


Lord have mercy.  (A better, more multipurpose prayer does not exist.)

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Michael36
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« Reply #132 on: July 02, 2012, 02:57:15 PM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again. What about this is confidential?
The penance nowadays, at least for our own Fr. Chris, is to instruct the penitent to turn himself into the authorities knowing that the penitent will almost certainly be sentenced to many years behind bars where the likelihood of him being abused, sexually or otherwise, by fellow inmates is greater than for any other crime. How is this any less public than what you just described? Even so, does the confessor ever divulge what was revealed to him in confession? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
But he didn't turn himself into the police and the majority don't, which makes that penance useless unless it's enforced.

Also, they usually don't put child molesters in with the general population nowadays. They're basically put in solitary confinement for their own protection.
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Michael36
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« Reply #133 on: July 02, 2012, 03:00:20 PM »

Has the priest confessed to this yet?  I'm glad that the Bishop is taking this seriously but, innocent until proven guilty, yo.  The police have confiscated electronics from his home to search for evidence.  If he confesses or evidence is found then perhaps I will condemn his actions and the mockery made of his office.  Until then...


Lord have mercy.  (A better, more multipurpose prayer does not exist.)


He's absolutely guilty. Multiple witnesses and they found pictures.
Trust me, if I had any doubts I would be sticking up for him.
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PeterTheAleut
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #134 on: July 02, 2012, 03:28:13 PM »



In general with perverted priests, I wonder if while doing these vile deeds, if they ever own up to their perversion and confess it. Could they have been in deep denial? Had they confessed their perversion, their own spiritual fathers would have asked them to turn themselves into the authorities. Or perhaps not, especially if they had confessed to another pervert priest.
I honestly have no idea. I don't know if he justified it to himself, if it drove him insane with guilt, or if he somehow disassociated himself from it. I have been wondering what he did with his Confessor. If he didn't confess, then he was consistently eating and drinking damnation unto himself for nearly twenty years (I can't fathom how he could do that in the Church, and how he could bring himself to serve in the altar without cowering in fear). If he confessed the sin, then either his confessor didn't say anything to the diocese or was covering it up. Either way, if this man confessed the sins he had committed then his confessor should be defrocked immediately. Confessor confidentiality doesn't extend to the abuse of children.
Actually, yes it does. If you want, I can redirect you to the many threads where our immediately past admin, Fr. Chris, has stated very clearly that UNDER ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES is a priest to EVER reveal to others what is revealed to him in confession and that the penalty for violating this rule is defrocking.
The penance according to St. Basil for a Priest or Monk who seduces children is for them to be publically defrocked, spit on by the laity, bound in chains for months, submitted to manual labor for years under the auspices of a spiritual father, to be always accompanied by a brother anywhere he goes, and to never be allowed around children again. What about this is confidential?
The penance nowadays, at least for our own Fr. Chris, is to instruct the penitent to turn himself into the authorities knowing that the penitent will almost certainly be sentenced to many years behind bars where the likelihood of him being abused, sexually or otherwise, by fellow inmates is greater than for any other crime. How is this any less public than what you just described? Even so, does the confessor ever divulge what was revealed to him in confession? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
But he didn't turn himself into the police and the majority don't, which makes that penance useless unless it's enforced.

Also, they usually don't put child molesters in with the general population nowadays. They're basically put in solitary confinement for their own protection.
You're missing my point. My point is that, regardless of how public the penance may be, A PRIEST IS TO NEVER DIVULGE WHAT IS REVEALED TO HIM IN CONFESSION. How much more clarity do you need?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 03:30:22 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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