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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Priest on cell phone while hearing confessions...

Yeah, you heard that right.

On Monday night, my children and I went to a local parish for Confession. There were two women before us and soon after our arrival several other people came in. When our turn came I went in first and everything was as usual- not so for my children. 

My youngest went right after me and after a few moments everyone in the pews could hear a cell phone going off.  I didn’t pay much attention to it because I thought it was coming from downstairs in the parish hall, but when my daughter came out her eyes were huge and she gave me ‘that look’ and whispered “Did you hear the cell phone?”

I nodded and shushed her, but she continued, “Father’s cell phone went off when I was confessing and I didn’t know if I should keep talking or let him finish with his call.”

My mouth dropped open.

I simply could not believe a priest would bother taking his cell phone into the Confessional with him, but since I had just confessed my own sins I didn’t want to create new ones by getting angry about it.  I shrugged it off as “He must have forgotten to turn it off” and I let it go.

My eldest daughter went in, came out, prayed and we all left the parish.  Once in the car, my youngest brought up the cell phone ringing during her confession and my eldest responded, “You think that is bad, Father was TEXTING during my confession.”

I hit the breaks on the car and turned around with a “WHAT?”

“Yeah,” she said, “I was confessing and I could see him through the screen texting on his phone the whole time.  I don’t think he really heard anything I said, he just kept mumbling “ahem, yep” and stuff like that.”

I was appalled and very, very disappointed in this priest whom I have known for a few years now and had never seen such behavior from him.

When I voiced my unhappiness at what he’d done, my oldest (always a glass half full girl) said “Don’t worry Mom, maybe he was just multi-tasking, he is busy you know.”

My youngest pipes up “Yeah, it could have been an emergency phone call  too.”

Multi-tasking?  Emergency cell phone calls in the Confessional?

In my opinion, there is NO good reason for ANY priest hearing confessions to be taking phone calls or texting people.  It's just wrong and I am considering writing to his Bishop about it.


Is this the best our clergy can offer us these days?  Is this what we want to teach the next generation about the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Confessional?


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


UPDATE:
A few things...

1) This is a GOOD PRIEST who did something he shouldn't.  It was a mistake, that doesn't make him a horrid priest, just a human one who made a bad choice.  Pray for him and others like him.

2) A forum discussion from Catholic Answers in 2010 was brought to my attention and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND EVERY CATHOLIC LISTEN TO THIS:

http://www.romans10seventeen.org/audio-files/20070930-No-cellphones-in-the-Confessional-Healing-and-making-our-souls-new-in-Christ.mp3




links:
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=459158

http://www.audiosancto.org/sermon/20070930-No-cellphones-in-the-Confessional-Healing-and-making-our-souls-new-in-Christ.html

http://www.romans10seventeen.org/audio-files/20070930-No-cellphones-in-the-Confessional-Healing-and-making-our-souls-new-in-Christ.mp3




10 comments:

Joe Potillor said...

I know that there's an app for the brivieary on the ipod/iphone/iwhatever...but I agree, phone call during confession, not a good idea.

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Joe.

This priest has always been a good priest with a strong devotion to the Mother of God, I can't understand how or why this happened, but we are just praying for him at this point. We were all just so shocked by his actions.

He's always been good priest who last night made an unfortunate BAD choice in his actions.

Hopefully next time he will leave his phone OUT of the Confessional.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


The Woman of the House said...

Julie,
If you haven't already, you need to go in and speak with him. Who cares if he's a good priest. Good means very little these days. That might be an excommunicable offenswe -- breaking the seal of confession. If anyone on the other side heard the confession or any part of it, or even if there was a possibility. You should also immediately inform the Bishop by registered letter (directly to the Bishop). It is your responsibility to do so to prevent further possible sacrileges or even loss of souls as people turn away from confession for good. This is a greater good and importance than worrying about the priest's feelings, disturbance etc. You do him no good to let this go. God bless you.

quiddity2001 said...

I think you have an obligation to let the Bishop know that this has happened. You can give the compliments you have for the priest to the Bishop, but this violates the confidentiality of the confession, because there were 2 people who could hear what was said when the priest took the call. It also says to the young people, their reconciliation needs are not really important.

Richard d Baker said...

HI Julie

In Charity this should not have been written about on a Public Blog!

The Priest should have been contacted by you the Parent! In Private, one on one!

You have done harm to this priest and to the priesthood!

As a Priest I mess up! I would hope that my parishioner would have the courage and charity to talk to me rather than condemning me before the World!

Please go to Father and talk to him…….he may be oblivious to what he has done!!

You are in my prayers.

In Christ!
NY PRIEST

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Hello "Woman of the House" and "quiddity2001" and welcome to you both. I think you are both right that I should say something to his Bishop. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your views.


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Connecticut Catholic Corner said...

Hello Richard R Baker (NY PRIEST) welcome I appreciate the prayers.

Though I disagree with you completely. I have NOT harmed this priest because I didn't give his name or the parish or diocese I visited. He is an "unknown" priest somewhere in the state of Connecticut. Now had I named the priest or even the particular parish you would be correct, but I did not because I am not that ignorant.

I see you don't seem have any problems calling people names publicly on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/srdb2331), do you? Or is that OK when it comes from a priest if he is "oblivious to what hes done"?

I will pray for you too Father, thanks for sharing your opinion with me.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Lewis N. Clark said...

The dial may be located either on the handset, or on a base unit to which the handset is connected by a cord containing wires. free cell phone spy software

Richard d Baker said...

Dear Julie

I am sorry that I had not reply to you earlier in reference to your response to my comment on "Priest on Cell phone"

In answer to your question Its never OK ........ (though I do not know what you where refer to with the youtube link)

We all make mistakes.....I am the President of that Club! It is so painful when one is judged without all the evidence. For anyone is public life it happens much too often. That is the unfortunate part of being a Priest which we are not prepared to handle. I am so grateful to those who take the time to help me learn from my failings. I am blessed to have so many.

But unlike yourself you use a persons failings to pull them down, publicly point your finger at them. Your inclusion of the link to YOUTUBE is given evidence You did not like my opinion so you took the time to seek out a way to publicly discredit me. (please remove it)

I hesitate to publicly point this out here..... for I do not seek to hurt you. Unfortunately the public saw your response to me.

Also, I question how "unknown" someone is to those who know you.

I hope this brings some understanding if not awarness.

Let us Glorify our God in all things!
Ny Priest

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