Priest and the seal of confession

Matthew 22:21 … New Revised Standard Version

“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s."

A person commits a wrong (sin) against another person or society …

My background: Brought up strong Irish Catholic and attended only Catholic schools. First mainly Dominican nuns with a brief stint with Josesphites. (a local order). From age 10 to 17 I attended the local De La Salle Academy of applied brutality.

I left the church at age 20. My journey to atheism took twenty years, and was at times painful. I have now been in recovery from Catholicism for over 50 years.

A Caveat; most of our members were once Christians , and a goodly number are ex catholics. Based on your first naive post, there are people here who will eat you alive. Many of us will have better knowledge of the bible and of Catholicism than most Catholics. Most will almost certainly have a greater knowledge of the history of Christianity . Few christians we’ve had here have more than a vague understanding of the history of their faith.

It’s my understanding that the seal of confession is accepted by law in the US. Not the case in Australia. Here, a priest or indeed a doctor or psychiatrist is required by law to report any knowledge of a crime. Failing to do so is an indictable offence. IE subject to arrest, charge, trial and imprisonment.

At first glance it would seem that priests in Australia are between a rock and a hard place. They are forced to choose between possible defrocking and ex communication and possible prison. But only at first glance

Non catholics often have a problem grasping the historical church position that canon law always trumps civil law, and always has. Civil law must prove its charges beyond reasonable doubt. As the child sex scandals have shown, no easy task. I should point out that there is no statute of limitations in Australia for such crimes.

As with all each of the seven sacraments, confession and absolution were invented by the Church. The authority for such inventions comes from a self serving interpretation of scripture not recognised by any other christian churches.

Arguably the most fatuous claim to authority is:

“On this rock, I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18).

However, the doctrine of transubstantiation is up there as far as false claims are concerned. IE that catholics claim is that during the rite of communion, the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Jesus while retaining all outward appearance of bread and wine .

All of the preceding is of course only a matter of academic interest to me. I’m an agnostic atheist. This means I an unable to believe in God(s) due to a lack of empirical evidence. This is not a matter of choice for me, but an inescapable conclusion reached after 20 years of searching. The agnostic part is because I’m unable to claim knowledge about this matter.

Current studies: Only this year I have begun to move from a conservative historical perspective on the historicity of Jesus to a mythical perspective. So far this is due to Richard Carrier’s work on the historicity of Jesus. However. I’m aware this is neither a new nor original idea. Have a lot more reading before I will be able to reach an informed conclusion.

Atheists don’t believe in any deities, so it’s not just the one you believe exists.

I don’t particularly care about church doctrine or dogma, or the alleged provenance of such beliefs.

I’m far more concerned with the pernicious effect such beliefs can have on the welfare of others, especially where it is used as an excuse to protect criminals from justice.

If a priest, or anyone else for that matter, knows about criminal behaviour, and fails to report it, putting others including children at risk, then they’re behaviours is unconscionable and immoral, and I’d hope they’d be prosecuted and where necessary jailed if caught and convicted.

I care more about stopping and preventing crimes, like the rape of children, than I do about delusional beliefs in archaic superstitions.

Anyone who think any religious belief is in anyway as important as the welfare of a single human being, especially vulnerable children, is an amoral scumbag.

Religious freedoms should never be allowed to risk harming the welfare of anyone, ever.

If a deity exists and doesn’t like it, then it can let everyone know unequivocally, instead of allegedly channelling its desires through the whining adherents of various religions. And I don’t care what deity is being worshipped either.


Not in California… I had one put in jail.


It might be worth pointing out that atheists only disbelieve in one god more than members of the abrahamic faiths. Christian superstitions*** are only special to their believers.

***I use the word ‘superstition;’ advisedly. Religious belief is based on faith, not reason nor facts. Faith may be defined as “belief in that not seen,” or superstition.

As I’ve mentioned several times. Jesus himself is recorded as admonishing his believers to believe blindly. Viz:

John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (KJV)

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Transubstantation?? Jesus said this IS My Body, This Is My Blood. there is something called Eucharistic miracles where the bread has turned into actual heart muscle and this was confirmed by scientists… there are miracles where some of the wine turned into actual blood and this was confirmed by scientists… Jesus talks about in John 6… “I am the bread of life… unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you will hae no life in you”… it is kind of strange, I agree… the Roman Catholic Religion is a strange and wonderful religion… and it is the only church that has been around since the time of Jesus Christ, that is true and that is history, not my opinion… I don’t belive that anyone is truly an ‘athiest’… I think agnostic makes sense… we can never really know for sure what kind of God… or even if there is a God… but I personally do not understand how there can be all this creation around us… yes… us people of course… all the animals, insectsm trees flowers, ocean, fish, shells, sun, moon stars… no one can really believe that no one created all this creation?/ it doesn’t make sense… to me, saying you are an ‘atheist’ is a cop out… it is easier to say ‘there is no God’… then to ponder what kind of God is there ?? where did He come from?? what does He want with me???.. maybe you ‘atheists’ are ‘mad at God’… and I get that… I told a priest in confession about 4 years ago that I was ‘mad at God’… i always wanted to marry and have children and I am 57years old… and have no children, and no husband… anyway… i kind of think i might know who my future husband will be… and also. i would love to adopt children. …

Please link the peer reviewed paper. I wonder if any :dna: genes have been “captured” :thinking: - hmmm clone Jesus.

OF COURSE YOU DON’T. That’s the difference between lala “belief” and fact-based information.

BTW - you’re only one god away from atheism, unless you believe in them all

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There is also something called wishful thinking.

eeeeeewwwwww. Jesus was a Glaswegian now? Wha’s tha’ Pal?

No it wasn’t, we’ve dealt with this lie before on here.

For god’s sake why don’t theists learn to think. Can you imagine the kind of global circus that would result from scientific evidence supporting a miracle, it’s so obviously a lie I’m dumbfounded anyone would fall for such an obvious hoax.

No it certainly was not, don’t be ridiculous.

Endemic child rape, mass murder, complicit in genocide and ethnic cleansing, does wonderful mean something different to you than it does in the dictionary? I mean it’s a wonder to me that anyone still swallows their superstitious spiel of course.

I don’t believe you, especially since you can’t even spell atheist. Perhaps you looked up a different word?

I’ll bet a weeks wages you don’t understand what agnostic, means, and FYI I’m both an agnostic regarding all unfalsifiable claims, and I am an atheist, as I don’t believe in any deity or deities.

We can’t know we’re not surrounded by invisible unicorns, but like your god claims, I shall remain dubious.

That’s a begging the question fallacy, do you even know what logic is, or informal logical fallacies? That one is a very commonly used howler by theists, it means your statement is irrational by definition.

Wow you’ve used 3 logical fallacies in one sentence, a no true Scotsman fallacy, and an argument from incredulity fallacy. The tautological repetition of the word ‘creation’, apart from making me dizzy and slightly nauseated, is of course a begging the question fallacy again.

Do you even care that your spiel is demonstrably irrational?

That one is called an ad hominem fallacy. Incidentally your assertion isn’t just irrational here, it’s an obvious own goal, as it would also apply to you, since you only disbelieve in one less deity than I do.

Atheism is not a claim, I suggest you consult a dictionary, as I am an atheist and have never made that claim.

Do you waste much anger on things you don’t believe exist? What a truly asinine piece of illiteracy.

I’m 55, I married 15 years ago, trust me the only thing I’m angry at are the unfair UK divorce laws, and my avaricious ex wife.

This is a claim I will hold you to.

I will offer you three options.

  1. Admit you are full of bullshit, invented this story, and apologize.

  2. provide VALID (a scientific journal) proof on this claim

  3. be forever labelled a liar.

Anyone familiar with me knows I rarely stoop to name-calling. But this time I am calling your bluff.


Pretty sure this nonsense was touted on here before, by another theist making the same specious claim.

Spoiler alert, it turned out to be nonsense.

In the mean time here is a citation…


“DNA analysis of consecrated sacramental bread refutes Catholic transubstantiation claim”

Interesting study, but there is a weakness:

the individuals who provided us with the consecrated hosts obtained them during communion, pretending to be believers, and transferred them discretely into plastic bags instead of ingesting them.

The dogmatic defending catholic could argue that since the “hosts” were received under false pretense, they did not, in fact, transubstantiate into human flesh and blood, but remained bread and wine. And/or that they returned back to bread and wine once transferred to plastic bags instead of being swallowed. Which, of course, makes the whole transubstantiation claim unfalsifiable. But believers in the supernatural have never considered claims being unfalsifiable a reason to not use them.

Have catholics ever pondered if they got a toenail or foreskin in communion?

That would probably be the ultimate relic, if recovered from the person receiving communion. It could be used over and over. Imagine the wording of the rite: “This is my Foreskin, which will be given up for you.”


Obviously that is a fantasy, but what a nasty fantasy!

Well there goes separation of Church and State

Yes, but if the human person is meant for unity with God and peace, wouldn’t a loving God want what’s best for humans, i.e. saving a life?

Yes, the epistle does indeed say 'this my body" .Hadn’t hear about the heart muscle claim, kindly cite your evidence. IE specifically which scientists and in which peer reviewed journals were such findings published? I do not believe your claim.

Almost certain this is not a claim made by the catholic church. Also pretty sure the church would shout it from the rooftops if true .

My point of contention is that the catholic church alone of christian sects teaches transubstantiation. The scriptural authority comes from one phrase, allegedly spoken by Jesus at the last supper In Corinthians 11.24 "-----do this in remembrance of Me.”. Neither I nor any christian sect apart from catholics have interpreted that as bestowing any kind of authority

The Book Of Corinthians is one of The Pauline Epistles, allegedly written by Paul Of Tarsus after one of his hallucinations. ( You speak to god, it’s praying. God speaks back, it’s hallucinations.) It is not a first person account of the last super, no such account exists.

So what? Argument from authority fallacy. The antiquity of beliefs does not make them true. The Ancient Egyptian worship of Amun lasted over 3000 years. By your argument, their beliefs must be true.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that seems to be your opinion and that of many other believers. However, it has not been demonstrated to be accurate history.

Paul never met Jesus and was not at the last supper. There are no contemporary accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus called Christ. Paul’s epistles were written ca 61-63 ce. Jesus is said to have died ca 33ce.

I’m glad for you if your faith gives you comfort an a sense of purpose. I’m unable to share your beliefs because they are based on faith, not empirical evidence. After all, Jesus himself is reported as saying:

John 20:29 " Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (JKV)


One reference:

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Cant add much to that comprehensive demolition.

Have a heart.

Only additions I would make is that only 6 of the Epistles can be wholly attributed to the same author that we call Paul ( In reality we have no idea who he was) 4 are later fraudulent insertions, (Titus and 2 Timothy for sure, obvious like dog balls) The rest appear to be a mish mash of older letters and scribblings collated and curated some time after the death of the original author.

And before our current mythological fangirl gets her knickers all knotted, uncomfortable and riding up consider this; “Not even the book of Acts – written, we are told, by Luke , Paul’s long-time travelling companion and with him even in the condemned cell (2 Timothy 4.11) – makes any reference to, or even hints at the existence of the Pauline epistles, the seminal work that defines Christian theology and makes up one third of the entire New Testament!” Kenneth Humphreys


Frankly I dont give a toss what Catholics believe about the sanctity of their infernal confessionals.
I understand the grave concerns the faithful have for this pefidious ‘secret society’ intercession between man and his favoured deity. Its the heart of the power the Church holds over its congregatioin. Its no better than the worst of the Mafia. If priests or parishoners commit major crimes and then conspire to conceal those crimes, both have broken the law of the State as surely as any boss. The mob families protected their own also.
If I were to commit a one-off string of massacres of Catholic parishoners while they worshipped, and then disappeared, the Church would immediately turn to the State to demand they find me and all who supported, harboured or knew of my actions and meter justice and punishment accordingly. They might forgive me but a religicide is not likely to care. They would display no patience to wait for their god to deal with me.

The findings of the Royal Australian Commission into Child Abuse revealed an appallingly huge number of sexual abuses committed by the clergy of all denominations who were protected and concealed from the law by their churches and congregrations.
The most aggravating episode had to be the admission of one unfortunate priest who was compelled by his vows to absolve a fellow priest, an intractable callous pedaeophile who had admitted the rape of scores of young children and only after the pressure of a lengthy internal investigation. The offender laughed in his confessor’s face while being forgiven, scoffing how the Church would continue to shelter him from the State and he would be free to rape again, which many of the sheltered offenders did until they died in some hospice somewhere.
“Suffer the little children” Jesus says and the Catholic Church makes absolutely certain of it.
I have no belief in the afterlife or the punishments Catholics think exist there for crimes committed here in this life; therefore the idea of secret confessions and absolutions are a horrendous farce that permit inhuman travesties escape without issue. If punishments aren’t metred out in ths world before death they are never going to be. Consequently acts of evil are abetted and encouraged. God’s work, is it?

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