Friday, August 28, 2009

Oregon, Two Confessions & St. John Nepomucene

The US state of Oregon in the not-so-distant past violated the sacred seal of confession. In 1996, Fr. Timothy Mockaitis heard the confession of Conan Wayne Hale, an inmate who was eventually sentenced to death. Little did either of them know that the confession was being tape recorded. The state of Oregon went to great lengths to use the confession against Mr. Hale, obliterating both the first and fourth amendments. The tape was thrown out of court, but as a vivid reminder of the state of affairs in the United States, the tape and written transcript remain in tact.

In a similar move, the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire attempted to attempted to pass 'anti-seal' legislation. Hiding behind the abuse scandal, elected legislators continue to take a battering ram to the doors of our Church and personal rights as promised by our Constitution.

"naked fascism, truly the end of the line." If it were allowed to stand it would rupture the "sacredly inviolate" relationship between priest and confessor and would "[yank] at the pillars of separation between church and state."--William F. Buckley, Catholic founder of National Review

Another confession made back in the fourteenth century Prague was taken to a watery grave. Fr. John Nepomucene, Vicar General, served as counselor and advocate of the poor in the court of King Wenceslaus IV. While serving as the confessor to the queen, the king grew furious. He insisted that the priest reveal what the queen had shared in her confession. The priest refused and was imprisoned. Much like St. Thomas More, he refused to cave to the commands of the king. The king ordered Fr. Nepomucene executed by being thrown into the river. It is said that in the 18th century when his grave was opened, only his tongue remained uncorrupted.

We cannot allow the state to take away what God has provided us. We are immersed in a war, a spiritual war, yet many remain asleep in the pews. As Fr. John Corapi has so passionately said,

"This is the real war to end all wars, the consequences of which are eternal. Most people today just ignore the battle or give up, surrendering their eternal future to chance or the Enemy himself. Surrender is not an option! Fight or die."


Fr. Mockaitis's book which documents the long legal battle is now available. The Seal: A Priest's Story

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