From an anonymous contributor to our blog
It was a long time since I had found myself up in London, and remembering a lovely “Day with Mary” in Westminster Cathedral that I had enjoyed a few years ago, I decided to join the long line for Confession that day in this magnificent cathedral.
The priest arrived a bit late gesticulating and grinning at the waiting penitents. I continued my examination of conscience and prayers of preparation as the line began to move up, to my surprise, amazingly fast. Perhaps just these two facts alone should have alerted me to the horror that was in store for me. Only afterwards did I remember noticing a man a few places before me leave the confessional shaking his head and raising his eyes to heaven.
Then it was my turn to go in. I closed the door of the confessional behind me and even before I had knelt down I got a cheery “hello” from Father. Unperturbed, I joined my hands and as I started: “Bless me Father for I have sinned, it is *** weeks since my last Confession”, I got a very large “Harrumph” from Father behind the grill! Now I began to realise that this was not going to be easy, but I was still determined to try to concentrate on making a good confession and reminded myself that the priest was taking the place of Jesus.
As I began to confess a summary of what I knew were my most important sins I was interrupted by an increasingly impatient Father in a way I shall try to recount as truthfully as possible.
Father: “Now, now, let’s not get too dogmatic. God is love. Anything else?”
Me: “ Yes. I have had impure thoughts and…”
Father: “O come, come now, these things are nothing to worry about. No sin there. We all have bodies and can’t help such things.”
Me: “But Father they are sins. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly says…”
Father: “Oh dear me, you have a problem with rigidity. Pope Francis says…”
At this point I let him pour out a description of the supposed wisdom of Pope Francis without comment, until he suddenly went straight into some hurried prayers of Absolution without even asking me to make an Act of Contrition – a vital part of the Sacrament of Confession. I started to say it out loud nonetheless, much to his annoyance, as he had already finished his gabbled prayer.
Then came the most embarrassing part of the whole Confession. I asked him what penance I should do as he was already trying to get rid of me before giving me one.
Father: “Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father!”
A few seconds of silence followed.
Me: “Father, I’m very sorry, but that is something I simply cannot do. I am very worried how truly Catholic the Pope’s intentions are.”
Father (angry now): “So who do you think you are to judge the Pope?”
Me: “Only God can judge him, but with everything I see happening in the Church that he does nothing to rectify I fear his intentions may not be for her greater sanctification.”
Father: “Well, pray for the Church then. Now go,”
Me (relieved): “Thank you Father.”
I left feeling visibly upset, and after praying fervently for the Church in her passion I included prayers for the poor priest, a sad product of the Church post Vatican II. I also prayed for the many unsuspecting penitents who would be going to him for Confession and would be told that their sins were not real sins after all.
My background story:
I am a Catholic baby boomer, one of that famous post war generation that was given an entrancing taste of a beautiful and reverent Liturgy and a properly thorough religious education as a small child before it all disappeared. This included monthly Confession where messy sins were wiped away in this holy Sacrament, and a firm purpose of amendment made in childish earnest to start afresh once more. Then came that diabolical “spirit of Vatican II” that took away from me, seemingly in the blink of an eye, my whole world thanks to the destroyers of that hyjacked Council. Still far too young to take in and understand that the errors of Modernism had temporarily taken hold of the Church, I wandered through a “valley of darkness” for a time searching unsuccessfully for my “lost treasure” until, eventually totally disillusioned, and like most of my contemporaries, I wandered from the practice of my Catholic Faith.
The pathetic and boring show the New Mass was in those early days, and the joke that Confession had become (nothing was a sin anymore), with all those beloved Marian devotions assigned to dusty archives, beckoned in growing doubts of faith until I finally closed the doors on that lost world that had once been the centre of my universe. I was left with a heavy sense of loss all the same that I tried to fill with the ephemeral attractions of the world around me, but which only left me emptier than ever.
“Where are you, my dear Lord? Do you exist? Can you not hear my little voice crying out to you?”
After a painful period of testing, the Good Shepherd came looking for His lost sheep.
Fast forward to the mid eighties when, now married and with young children of my own, the Papacy of Pope John Paul II slowly started to reawaken my dormant faith. Together with some unexpected and extraordinary religious experiences that I later realised were Our Lord’s loving hand reaching down to save me from the waves threatening to engulf me, I started the journey homewards. I was blessed to meet true Catholic “apostles” on my journey, wise and understanding, who guided me faithfully back into the real Catholic Church. No words could ever describe my immense joy and overpowering sense of peace at the rediscovery of my Catholic faith.
Nevertheless, I was fully aware that the errors of the heresy of Modernism that St Pius X warned the Church about with great fear and trembling, and which had poured in at the time of the Second Vatican Council, were still very much alive and kicking in the Church as my above story of that scandalous Confession describes. The false “Nu-church”, IOW a watered down un-Catholic interpretation of the Faith favoured by the so-called liberals, but which dissents from the Church’s Magisterial teaching on Faith and Morals, continues to have her followers determined to undermine the true faith. Under this current like-minded papacy liberals are enjoying a gush of worldly approval, but one that will, inevitably, be short-lived.
Pray for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised to us at Fatima, a house-clearance of her enemies, and a renewed “era of peace for the Church”.