On the Seal of the Confessional

On the Seal of the Confessional July 16, 2019

Livius tells us this story:

Pilate, being sent by Tiberius as prefect to Judaea, introduced into Jerusalem by night and under cover the effigies of Caesar which are called standards.

This proceeding, when day broke, aroused immense excitement among the Jews; those on the spot were in consternation, considering their laws to have been trampled under foot, as those laws permit no image to be erected in the city; while the indignation of the townspeople stirred the countryfolk, who flocked together in crowds.

Hastening after Pilate to Caesarea, the Jews implored him to remove the standards from Jerusalem and to uphold the laws of their ancestors. When Pilate refused, they fell prostrate around his palace and for five whole days and nights remained motionless in that position.

On the ensuing day Pilate took his seat on his tribunal in the great stadium and summoning the multitude, with the apparent intention of answering them, gave the arranged signal to his armed soldiers to surround the Jews.

Finding themselves in a ring of troops, three deep, the Jews were struck dumb at this unexpected sight. Pilate, after threatening to cut them down, if they refused to admit Caesar’s images, signaled to the soldiers to draw their swords.

Thereupon the Jews, as by concerted action, flung themselves in a body on the ground, extended their necks, and exclaimed that they were ready rather to die than to transgress the law. Overcome with astonishment at such intense religious zeal, Pilate gave orders for the immediate removal of the standards from Jerusalem.

I think of that as I read of state attempts to violate the Seal of the Confessional.  The Church teaches that “no human power” can violate that Seal.  The world, being oblivious to which aspect of the Catholic tradition are mere custom and disciplines and which are integral to the sacraments, is going to be surprised as the Church throws itself on the ground, bares its neck, and says, “You are going to have to kill us before we will comply with your (literally) God-damned order.”  This is not about enablers protecting abusers.  This is about a direct attack on one of the sacraments.

God bless every priest who defies this evil attack.  We must obey God rather than men.

"It's about time that truth was uttered."

In case you missed them….
"Frank Walker brings us truth about the real Catholic Church, e.g., Mark Shea is an ..."

In case you missed them….
"Something is wrong when a Catholic writer gets obese."

In case you missed them….
"Frank Walker (Canon212) is Catholic. Mark Shea is not. That's all you need to know."

In case you missed them….

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment