Friday, April 23, 2010

Matt C. Abbott: "The sacrosanct seal of confession"

Matt C. Abbott column
The sacrosanct seal of confession

Matt C. Abbott
Matt C. Abbott
April 23, 2010

With current news stories involving priests and the seal of confession (see here and here), I'm reprinting the following excerpts from the book Go in Peace: Your Guide to the Purpose and Power of Confession, authored by Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., and Sean Brown. Thanks to Matthew Pinto and Mike Flickinger of Ascension Press for allowing me to reprint this material.

(Incidentally, the subject of the seal of confession is featured in one of my favorite movies, The Rosary Murders, filmed in Detroit at Holy Redeemer parish and school, where my maternal grandparents, both deceased, attended high school. The trailer for The Rosary Murders, starring Donald Sutherland and Charles Durning, can be seen here, with an additional scene here. From what I understand, it's somewhat similar to Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess — although I must confess — ahem — that I haven't seen Hitchcock's classic.)

Go in Peace

37. What is the "seal of confession" I've heard about?

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Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic columnist with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Media and Theatre from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an Associate in Applied Science degree in Business Management from Triton College in River Grove, Ill. He has worked in the right-to-life movement and is a published writer focused on Catholic and social issues. He can be reached at