Disturbing short film “The Confession” that somehow won Catholic award

From Father Z’s blog:

I was sent the link to a short film that, apparently, won and award at the International Catholic Film Festival in 2017.


It starts with some good point.  Never mind that the priest is not wearing a purple stole: validity of absolution doesn’t depend on a stole or its color.  Fluctus in simpulo.  There are some good moments in the short.

That said, there are some disturbing elements in this film.

I know that it is a short film and that short means that not every possible angle can be resolved.

The priest lies to the guy, a couple of times, in telling the penitent that he didn’t commit murder.  However, even if “murder” isn’t quite the right technical term for what happened, even if the lie that the priest told was true, the guy would still have committed a horrible sin, several, in fact.

As to the penance, it isn’t always possible to “compensate” a victim.  However, giving something to someone who is not the victim doesn’t strictly satisfy justice.   There is a twist in this case, but that remains.

What I am afraid happened here is that sentimentality trumped reason and, once again, we saw the exaltation of false mercy which betrays truth.  A “mercy” which is apart from the truth is no mercy at all.

Moreover, the film seems to make the the point of the priest’s mercy, rather than God’s mercy.   It is, essentially, about the priest, not God.

I am reminded of my feeling after I read the jesuitical horror Silence by Shusaku Endo.  It’s a story of a missionary Jesuit in Japan who commits apostasy to save the lives of others who are being tortured.   The book and the recent film from the book are much the same as this short.

Silence was simply dreadful.  Of course it was fostered by a certain Jesuit homosexualist activist as a consultant.   Hence…

False mercy leads some in the Church to say that

  • people in an objectively adulterous state and who do not intend to chance can go to Communion if they discern that they can.
  • non-Catholics, who don’t believe what the Church teaches, can admit themselves to Holy Communion if they discern that they want to, and without correction from bishops and priests.



And I hate to have to write this, but… don’t let bishops and priests lie to you.

You must must must get with your copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other great resources and learn your Faith well.   Learn it and love it enough not to lie about it and not to accept lies about it.

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8 Responses to Disturbing short film “The Confession” that somehow won Catholic award

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Fr. z: thanks for the clarification of the movie. I have not seen it, or Silence, but I doubt I will. Most movies do not portray Catholicism in a good light.


  2. Toad says:

    The sinner was repentent for his actions, and the priest absolved him. That’s it
    It doesn’t matter whether it was murder or not.
    ‘Moreover, the film seems to make the the point of the priest’s mercy, rather than God’s mercy.”
    The priest’s is the conduit for God’s mercy.
    …And it’s only a film.


  3. mmvc says:

    Thanks for your comment, Toad.

    Yes, it’s only a film, but it raises some important questions and together with Fr Z’s guidance, it may just move some souls in real life to seek absolution in the sacrament of Confession. Before it’s too late.


  4. EXCELLENT commentary, Father Z!


  5. kathleen says:

    A “mercy” which is apart from the truth is no mercy at all.

    Father Z really hits the nail on the head with this observation, doesn’t he.

    By the way, more “disturbing” news for Australian Catholics on the UK Catholic Herald today:
    Australian law forces priests to violate seal of confessional !!!

    The Freemasons and atheists ruling the secular world in our times are gunning for us, don’t we know it!? The family, our children, the unborn, our freedom of conscience in the workplace and home, the right to practice our faith, etc., are all under a virulent and vicious attack by the enemies of Christ.
    These “enemies” are not so much those wild warmongers brandishing swords and bombs – radical Islamic style – but they wear smart suits and ties (or robes) and display PC Cheshire Cat smiles.
    The former enemies are only capable of attacking our physical bodies… whereas the latter attack our very souls. Far more sinister and far, far more dangerous!


  6. Maria says:

    I wouldn’t call the film disturbing. It builds on Luke’s “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”. The priest had to forgive the sinner in order to absolve him. Never in the film there’s the idea that you don’t have to go to confession, ion the contrary, the priest tells the man that it is just not that simple as to simply go to confession just because he’s going to die soon.


  7. John Leslie says:

    Father Z, I think you missed the point of this short story. Yes, the priest lied to the man who killed his father. Yes, the priest offered false absolution. This video is what is called an open ended story. The act of mercy is not for the sinful man or the lying priest. The act of mercy is for us the viewer. What mercy do we show the priest. He is a sinner like us. Could we do any better in such harsh times as this?


  8. Matthew 5:19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven


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