Pope Francis has made it clear that he doesn’t want Catholic Confessionals to be torture chambers and Interrogation Rooms, as if there was a difference for any in the Intelligence Community. Narco-interrogations can be real torture – bringing on the most intense pain bearable just this side of death – if you know how to ask questions the right way:
I’m guessing that 100% of priests agree with Pope Francis on that one.
Anyway, a Catholic FBI guy spoke to me recently about the kind of interrogations he would like to see conducted on entire classes of people, you know, shall we say, complete and coerced confessions. The FBI doesn’t mess around when they want to do interrogations, pushing the envelope on so many levels and in so many different ways. Call it torture? Enhanced interrogations techniques?
What surprised me about this was that he compared this to Catholic Sacramental Confession, saying that their methodologies bring about a cleansing of the soul. Hah, I wonder if he thinks that his little polygraph sessions he himself has been happy to go through are some sort “soul cleansing.” It is to laugh, or cry, really. The guy is Catholic.
Here’s the deal: in Catholic Sacramental Confession the emphasis is not on sins (though they are indeed to be confessed in kind and number and important circumstance), and not on some sort of psychological catharsis, but rather on the joy of being forgiven by our dear Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.
And oh, I entirely disagree with Pope Francis. The Confessional is always and each time to be a Torture Chamber and Interrogation Room, well, that is, you have to know that Jesus has done this for us, taking our place, here…
… and here:
… now having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. But, Pope Francis knows that. The FBI apparently does not. The FBI has nothing on the Romans, nor on that Jewish Good Guy, Jesus, who does it all by love, by being in solidarity with us.