Excerpts from the novel POPE: Chapter 18 - Confessions
Francis watched TV. A priest was preparing people for confession.
“Confession is to confess one’s sins directly and fully. It is not to confess one’s sins indirectly or partly."
Once a man confessed: “I have stolen a rope.”
Priest asked: “What was there at the end of the rope?”
The man replied “A cow.”
Once a boy confessed “I have stolen money.”
Priest: “Return the money to the person.”
Boy: “I will give it to you.”
Priest: “You don’t give me. You give the person from whom you have stolen.”
Boy: “If the person says he doesn’t want it.”
Priest: “You can keep it.”
The boy went happily. He had stolen the priest’s money.
Once a priest was hearing confessions from boys. Every boy was saying “I have put peanut in water.”
Priest told them “Putting peanut in water is not a sin.”
The last boy did not say that. The priest asked “You have not put peanut in water?”
Boy replied “I am peanut.”
In one parish a priest had gone to conduct a retreat. Many people confessed “I have stumbled and fallen.” The priest said to them “Stumbling and falling is not a sin.”
After confessions while preaching the priest said “The roads in this parish are not good. Many people have stumbled and fallen.”
People laughed loudly.
Priest said to a man “You are laughing. Your wife has stumbled and fallen three times.”
In that parish stumble and fall meant adultery.
In one parish many women used to confess “I have eaten papaya seeds.”
Priests used to say “Eating papaya seeds is not a sin. They are good for health. You should eat more.”
Eating papaya seeds meant abortion.
After confession if somebody does something don’t consider that is the penance given to the penitent. In one parish priests were hearing confessions. To one person a priest said to say a prayer as his penance. The person said “I work in circus. I do not know any prayer. I can do koladi.” The priest asked “What is that?” The person went somersaulting from the confessional to the altar. A woman in the queue thought “My God, what penance this priest gives.” She went and stood in another queue.
Confess sins directly and fully.”
Someone asked “If a person has not committed any sin does he have to confess?”
“If you have no sins you don’t have to confess.”
“Is it possible for a man to live a life without sin?”
“Yes. Jesus lived life without sin. Mary and many saints have lived lives without sin.”
“Is getting angry a sin?”
“If the reason is proper it is not a sin. Jesus got angry.”