Auricular Confession Destroys all the Sacred Ties of
Marriage and Human Society
WOULD the banker allow his priest to open, when alone, the safe of
his bank, manipulate and examine his papers, and pry into the most
secret details of his banking business
No! surely not.
How is it then, that the same banker allows that priest to open the
heart of his wife, manipulate her soul, and pry into the sacred chambers
of her most intimate and secret thoughts?
Are not the heart, the soul, the purity, and the self-respect of his
wife as great and precious treasures as the safe of his bank! Are not
the risks and dangers of temptations, imprudences, indiscretions, much
greater and more irreparable in the second, than in the first case?
Would the jeweler or goldsmith allow his priest to come, when he
pleases, and handle the rich articles of his stores, ransack the desk
where the money is deposited, and play with it as he pleases?
No! surely not.
But are not the heart, the soul, and the purity of his dear wife and
daughter a thousandfold more valuable than his precious stones, or
silver and gold wares? Are not the dangers of temptation and
indiscretions, on the part of the priest, more formidable and
irresistible in the second, than in the first of these cases?
Would the livery man allow his priest to take his most valuable and
unmanageable horses, when he wishes, and drive alone, without any other
consideration and security than the discretion of his priest?
No! surely not.
That livery man knows that he would soon be ruined if he were to do
so. Whatever may be his confidence in the discretion, honesty, and
prudence of his priest, he will never push his confidence so far as to
give him the unreserved control of the noble and fiery animals which are
the glory of his stables and the support of his family.
How then, can the same man trust the entire, absolute management of
his wife and dear daughters to the control of that one, to whom he would
not entrust his horses? Are not his wife and daughters as precious to
him as those horses? Is there not greater danger of indiscretions,
mismanagement, irreparable and fatal errors on the part of the priest,
dealing alone with his wife and daughters, than when driving horses? No
human act of folly, moral depravity, and want of common sense can equal
the permission given by a man to his wife to go and confess to the
That day, he abdicates the loyal—I had almost said divine—dignity
of husband; for it is from God that he holds it; his crown is forever
lost, his sceptre broken!
What would you do to any one mean enough to peep or listen through
the key-hole of your door in order to hear or see anything that was said
or done within? Would you show so little self-respect as to tolerate
such indiscretion? Would you not rather take a whip or a cane, and drive
away the villain? Would you not even expose your life to free yourself
from his impudent curiosity?
But what is the confessional if not the key-hole of your house and of
your very chamber, through which the priest can hear and see your most
secret words and actions; nay, more, know your most intimate thoughts
Are you worthy of the Name of men when you submit yourselves to such
sly and insulting inquisition? Do you deserve the name of men, who
consent to put up with such ignoble affront and humiliation?
"The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the Head
of the Church." "Therefore, as the Church is subject unto
Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything
"—(Eph. v). If these solemn words are the true oracles of divine
wisdom, is not the husband divinely appointed the only adviser,
counsellor, help of his wife, just as Christ is the only adviser,
counsellor, and help of His Church?
If the Apostle was not an impostor when he said that the wife is to
her husband what the body is to the head, and that the husband is to his
wife what the head is to the body—is not the husband appointed by God
to be the light, the guide of his wife? Is it not his duty, as well as
his privilege and glory, to console her in her afflictions, strengthen
her in her hours of weakness, keep her up when she is in danger of
fainting, and encourage her when she is on the rough and uphill ways of
If Christ has not come to deceive the world through his Apostle, must
not the wife go to her husband for advice? Ought she not to expect from
him, and him alone, after God, the light she wants and the consolation
she is in need of? Is it not to her husband, and to him alone, after
God, she ought to look to in her days of trial for help? Is it not under
his leadership alone she must fight the battle of life and conquer? Is
not this mutual and daily sharing of the anxieties of life, this
constant shouldering on the battle-field, and this reciprocal and mutual
protection and help renewed at every hour of the day, which form, under
the eyes and by the mercy of God, the holiest and the purest charms of
the married life? Is it not that unreserved confidence in each other
which binds together those golden links of Christian love that make them
happy in the very midst of the trials of life? Is it not through this
mutual confidence alone that they are one as God wants them to be
one? Is it not in this unity of thoughts, fears and hopes, joys
and love, which come from God, that they can cheerfully cross the thorny
valley, and safely reach the Promised land?
The Gospel says that the husband is to his wife what Christ is to His
Church! Is it not, then, a most sacrilegious iniquity for a wife to look
to another rather than to her own husband for such advice, wisdom,
strength, and life, as he is entitled, qualified, and ready to afford?
As no other man has the right to her love, so no other man has any right
to her absolute confidence. As she becomes an adulteress the day that
she gives her body to another man, is she any the less an adulteress the
day that she gives her confidence and trusts her soul to a stranger? The
adultery of the heart and soul is not less criminal than the adultery of
the body; and every time the wife goes to the feet of the priest to
confess, does she not become guilty of that iniquity ?
In the Church of Rome, through the confessional, the priest is much
more the husband of the wife than the man to whom she was wedded at the
foot of the altar. The priest has the best part of the wife. He has the
marrow, when the husband has the bones. He has the juice of the orange,
the husband has the rind. He has the soul and the heart, the husband has
the skeleton. He has the honey, the husband has the wax cell. He has the
succulent oyster, the husband has the dry shell. As much as the soul is
higher than the body, so much are the power and privileges of the priest
higher than the power and privileges of the husband in the mind of the
penitent wife. As the husband is the lord of the body which he feeds, so
the priest is the lord of the soul and the heart, which he also feeds.
The wife, then, has two lords and masters, whom she must love, respect
and obey. Will she not give the best part of her love, respect, and
submission to the one who, in her mind, is as much above the other as
the heavens are above the earth? But as she cannot serve two masters
together, will not the master who prepares and fits her for an eternal
life of glory, certainly be the object of her constant, real, and most
ardent love, gratitude, and respect, when the worldly and sinful man to
whom she is married, will have only the appearance and the crumbs of
those sentiments? Will she not naturally, instinctively serve, love,
respect, and obey, as lord and master, the godly man, whose yoke is so
light, so holy, so divine, rather than the carnal man, whose human
imperfections are to her a source of daily trial and suffering?
In the Church of Rome, the thoughts and desires, the secret joys and
fears of the soul, the very life of the wife, are sealed things to the
husband. He has no right to look into the sanctuary of her heart; he has
no remedy to apply to the soul; he has no mission from God to advise her
in the dark hours of her anxieties; he has no balm to apply to the
bleeding wounds, so often received in the daily battles of life; he must
remain a perfect stranger in his own house.
The wife, expecting nothing from her husband, has no revelation to
make to him, no favor to ask, no debt of gratitude to pay. Nay, she
shuts all the avenues of her soul, all the doors and windows of her
heart, against her husband. The priest, and the priest alone, has a,
right to her entire confidence; to him, and him alone, she will go and
reveal all her secrets, show all her wounds; to him, and him alone, she
will turn her mind, her heart and soul, in the hour of trouble and
anxiety; from him, and him, alone, she will ask and expect the light and
consolation she wants. Every day, more and more, her husband will become
a stranger to her, if he does not become a real nuisance, and an
obstacle to her happiness and peace.
Yes, through the confessional, an unfathomable abyss has been dug by
the Church of Rome, between the heart of the wife and the heart of the
husband. Their bodies may be very near each other, but their souls,
their real affections and their confidence are at greater distance than
the north is from the south pole of the earth. The confessor is the
master, the ruler, the king of the soul; the husband, as the
graveyard-keeper, must be satisfied with the carcass!
The husband has the permission to look on the outside of the palace;
he is allowed to rest his head on the cold marble of the outdoor steps;
but the confessor triumphantly walks into the mysterious starry rooms,
examines at leisure their numberless and unspeakable wonders; and,
alone, he is allowed to rest his head on the soft pillows of the
unbounded confidence, respect, and love of the wife.
In the Church of Rome, if the husband ask a favor from his wife, nine
times in ten she will inquire from her father confessor whether or not
she can grant him his request; and the poor husband will have to wait
patiently for the permission of the master, or the rebuke of the lord,
according to the answer of the oracle which had to be consulted! If he
gets impatient under the yoke, and murmurs, the wife will, soon, go to
the feet of her confessor, to tell him how she has the misfortune to be
united to a most unreasonable man, and how she has to suffer from him!
She reveals to her "dear father" how she is unhappy under such
a yoke, and how her life would be an insupportable burden, had she not
the privilege and happiness of coming often to his feet, to lay down her
sorrows, hear his sympathetic words, and get his so affectionate and
paternal advice! She tells him, with tears of gratitude, that it is only
when by his side, and at his feet, she finds rest to her weary soul,
balm to her bleeding heart, and peace to her troubled conscience.
When she comes from the confessional, her ears are long filled as
with a heavenly music: the honored words of her confessor ring for many
days in her heart: she feels it lonesome to be separated from him: his
image is constantly before her mind, and the souvenir of his
amiabilities is one of her most pleasant thoughts. There is nothing
which she likes so much as to speak of his good qualities, his patience,
his piety, his charity; she longs for the day when she will again go to
confess and pass a few hours by the side of that angelic man, in opening
to him all the secrets of her heart, and in revealing all her ennuis.
She tells him how she regrets that she cannot come oftener to see
him, and receive the benefits of his charitable counsels; she does not
even conceal from him how often, in her dreams, she feels too happy to
be with him! More and more every day the gap between her and her husband
widens. More and more each day she regrets that she has not the
happiness to be the wife of such a holy man as her confessor! Oh! if it
were possible! But then, she blushes or smiles, and sings a song.
Then again, I ask, Who is the true lord, ruler, and master in that
house? For whom does that heart beat and live?
Thus it is that that stupendous imposture, the dogma of auricular
confession, does completely destroy all the links, the joys the
responsibilities, and divine privileges of the married life, and
transforms it into a life of perpetual, though disguised, adultery. It
becomes utterly impossible, in the Church of Rome, that the husband
should be one with his wife, and that the wife should be one with
her husband: a "monstrous being" has been put between them
both, called the confessor. Born in the darkest ages of the world, that
being has received from hell his mission to destroy and contaminate the
purest joys of the married life, to enslave the wife, to outrage the
husband, and to damn the world!
The more auricular confession is practiced, the more the laws of
public and private morality are trampled under foot. The husband wants
his wife to be his—he does not, and could not, consent to share his
authority over her with anybody: he wants to be the only man who will
have her confidence and her heart, as well as her respect and love. And
so, the very moment that he anticipates the dark shadow of the confessor
coming between him and the woman of his choice, he prefers to shrink
from entering into the sacred bond; the holy joys of home and family
lose their divine attraction; he prefers the cold life of an ignominious
celibacy to the humiliation and opprobium of the questionable privileges
of an uncertain paternity.
France, Spain, and many other Roman Catholic countries, thus witness
the multitude of those bachelors increasing every year. The number of
families and births, in consequence, is fast decreasing in their midst;
and, if God does not perform a miracle to stop these nations in their
downward course, it is easy to calculate the day when they will owe
their existence to the tolerance and pity of the mighty Protestant
nations which surround them.
Why is it that the Irish Roman Catholic people are so irreparably
degraded and clothed in rags? Why is it that that people, whom God has
endowed with so many noble qualities, seem to be so deprived of
intelligence and self respect that they glory in their own shame? Why is
it that their land has been for centuries the land of bloody riots and
cowardly murders? The principal cause is the enslaving of the Irish
women, by means of the confessional. Every one knows that the spiritual
slavery and degradation of the Irish woman has no bounds. After she, in
turn, has enslaved and degraded her husband and her sons. Ireland will
be an object of pity; she will be poor, miserable, riotous,
bloodthirsty, degraded, so long as she rejects Christ, to be ruled by
the father confessor, planted in every parish by the Pope.
Who has not been amazed and saddened by the downfall of France? How
is it that her once so mighty armies have melted away, that her brave
sons have so easily been conquered and disarmed? How is it that France,
fallen powerless at the feet of her enemies, has frightened the world by
the spectacle of the incredible, bloody, and savage follies of the
Commune? Do not look for the causes of the downfall, humiliation, and
untold miseries of France anywhere else than the confessional. For
centuries has not that great country obstinately rejected Christ? Has
she not slaughtered or sent into exile her noblest children, who wanted
to follow the Gospel? Has she not given her fair daughters into the
bands of the confessors, who have defiled and degraded them? How could
woman, in France, teach her husband and sons to love liberty, and die
for it, when she was herself a miserable, an abject slave? How could she
form her husband and sons to the manly virtues of heroes, when her own
mind was defiled and her heart corrupted by the Priest?
The French woman had unconditionally surrendered the noble and fair
citadel of her heart, intelligence, and womanly self-respect into the
hands of her confessor long before her sons surrendered their swords to
the Germans at Sedan and Paris. The first unconditional surrender had
brought the second.
The complete moral destruction of woman by the confessor in France
has been a long work. It has required centuries to bow down, break, and
enslave the noble daughters of France. Yes; but those who know France,
know that that destruction is now as complete as it is deplorable. The
downfall of woman in France, and her supreme degradation through the
confessional, is now un fait accompli, which nobody can deny; the
highest intellects have seen and confessed it. One of the most profound
thinkers of that unfortunate country, Michelet, has depicted that
supreme and irretrievable degradation in a most eloquent book, "The
Priest, The Woman, The Family;" and not a voice has been raised to
deny or refute what he has said. Those who have any knowledge of history
and philosophy know very well that the moral degradation of the woman is
soon followed everywhere by the moral degradation of the nation, and the
moral degradation of the nation is very soon followed by ruin and
The French nation had been formed by God to be a race of giants. They
were chivalrous and brave; they had bright intelligences, stout hearts,
strong arms and a mighty sword. But as the hardest granite rock yields
and breaks under the drop of water which incessantly falls upon it, so
that great nation had to break and to fall into pieces under, not the
drop, but the rivers of impure waters which, for centuries, have
incessantly flowed in upon it from the pestilential fountain of the
confessional. "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a
reproach to any people." (Proverbs xiv.)
In the sudden changes and revolutions of these latter days, France is
also sharing; and the Church of Rome has received a blow there, which,
though perhaps only temporary in its character, will help to awaken the
people to the corruption and fraud of the priesthood.
Why is it that Spain is so miserable, so weak, so poor, so foolishly
and cruelly tearing her own bosom, and reddening her fair valleys with
the blood of her own children? The principal, if not the only, cause of
the downfall of that great nation is the confessional. There, also, the
confessor has defiled, degraded, enslaved women, and women in turn have
defiled and degraded their husbands and sons. Women have sown broadcast
over their country the seeds of that slavery, of that want of Christian
honesty, justice, and self-respect with which they had themselves been
first imbued in the confessional. But when you see, without a single
exception, the nations whose women drink the impure and poisonous
waters, which flow from the confessional, sinking down so rapidly, do
you not wonder how fast the neighboring nations, who have destroyed
those dens of impurity, prostitution, and abject slavery, are rising up?
What a marvellous contrast is before our eyes? On one side, the nations
who allow the women to be degraded and enslaved at the feet of her
confessor—France, Spain, Romish Ireland, Mexico, &c.,
&c.—are, there, fallen into the dust, bleeding, struggling,
powerless, like the sparrow whose entrails are devoured by the vulture.
On the other side, see how the nations whose women go to wash their
robes in the blood of the Lamb, are soaring up, as on eagle wings, in
the highest regions of progress, peace, and liberty!
If legislators could once understand the respect and protection they
owe to women, they would soon, by stringent laws, prohibit auricular
confession as contrary to good morals and the welfare of society; for,
though the advocates of auricular confession have succeeded, to a
certain extent, in blinding the public, and in concealing the
abominations of the system under a lying mantle of holiness and
religion, it is nothing else than a school of impurity. I say more than
that. After twenty-five years of hearing the confessions of the common
people and of the highest classes of society, of the laymen and the
priests, of the grand vicars and bishops and the nuns; I conscientiously
say before the world, that the immorality of the confessional is of a
more dangerous and degrading nature than that which we attribute to the
social evil of our great cities. The injury caused to the intelligence
and to the soul in the confessional, as a general rule, is of a more
dangerous nature and more irremediable, because it is neither suspected
nor understood by its victims,
The unfortunate woman who lives an immoral life knows her profound
misery; she often blushes and weeps over her degradation; she hears,
from every side, voices which call her out of those ways of perdition.
Almost at every hour of day and night, the cry of her conscience warns
her against the desolation and suffering of an eternity passed far away
from the regions of holiness, light, and life. All those things are
often so many means of grace, in the hands of our merciful God, to
awaken the mind, and to save the guilty soul. But in the confessional
the poison is administered under the name of a pure and refreshing
water; the deadly blow is inflicted by a sword so well oiled that the
wound is not felt; the vilest and most impure notions and thoughts, in
the form of questions and answers, are presented and accepted as the
bread of life! All the notions of modesty, purity, and womanly
self-respect and delicacy, are set aside and forgotten to propitiate the
god of Rome. In the confessional the woman is told, and she believes,
that there is no sin for her in hearing things which would make the
vilest blush—no sin to say things which would make the most desperate
villain on the streets of London to stagger—no sin to converse with
her confessor on matters so filthy that, if attempted in civil life,
would forever exclude the perpetrator from the society of the virtuous.
Yes, the soul and the intelligence defiled and destroyed in the
confessional are often hopelessly defiled and destroyed. They are
sinking into a complete, an irretrievable perdition; for, not knowing
the guilt, they will not cry for mercy—not suspecting the fatal
disease that is being fostered, they will not call for the true
Physician. It was, evidently, when thinking of the unspeakable ruin of
the souls of men through the wickedness culminating in the Pope's
confessors, that the Son of God said:—"If the blind lead the
blind, both shall fall into the ditch." To every woman, with very
few exceptions, coming out from the feet of her confessor, the children
of light may say:—"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that
thou livest, but thou art dead—(Revelations iii.).
Nobody has yet been, nor ever will be able to answer the few
following lines, which I addressed some years ago to the Rev. Mr.
Bruyere, Roman Catholic Vicar-General of London, Canada:
"With a blush on my face, and regret in my heart, I confess,
before God and man, that I have been like you, and with you, through the
confessional, plunged for twenty-five years in that bottomless sea of
iniquity, in which the blind priests of Rome have to swim day and night.
" I had to learn by heart, like you, the infamous questions
which the Church of Rome forces every priest to learn. I had to put
those impure, immoral questions to old and young females, who were
confessing their sins to me. These questions—you know it—are of such
a nature that no prostitute would dare to put them to another. Those
questions, and the answers they elicit, are so debasing that no man in
London—you know it—except a priest of Rome, is sufficiently lost to
every sense of shame, as to put them to any woman.
"Yes, I was bound, in conscience, as you are bound to-day, to
put into the ears, the mind, the imagination, the memory, the heart and
soul of females, questions of such a nature, the direct and immediate
tendency of which—you know it well—is to fill the minds and the
hearts of both priests and female penitents with thoughts, phantoms, and
temptations of such a degrading nature, that I do not know any words
adequate to express them. Pagan antiquity has never seen any institution
more polluting than the confessional. I know nothing more corrupting
than the law which forces a female to tell her thoughts, desires, and
most secret feelings and actions to an unmarried priest. The
confessional is a school of perdition. You may deny that before the
Protestants; but you cannot deny it before me. My dear Mr. Bruyere, if
you call me a degraded man, because I have lived twenty-five years in
the atmosphere of the confessional, you are right. I was a degraded man,
just as yourself and all the priests are to-day, in spite of your
denegations. If you call me a degraded man because my soul, my mind, and
my heart were, as your own are to-day, plunged into the deep waters of
iniquity which flow from the confessional, I confess, 'Guilty!' I was
degraded and polluted by the confessional, just as you and all the
priests of Rome are.
"It has required the whole blood of the great Victim, who died
on Calvary for sinners, to purify me; and I pray that, through the same
blood, you may be purified also."
If the legislators knew the respect and protection they owe to
women—I repeat it-they would, by the most stringent laws, prohibit
auricular confession as a crime against society.
Not long ago, a printer in England was sent to jail and severely
punished for having published in English the questions put by the priest
to the women in the confessional; and the sentence was equitable, for
all who will read those questions will conclude that no girl or woman
who brings her mind into contact with the contents of that book can
escape from moral death. But what are the priests of Rome doing in the
confessional? Do they not pass the greatest part of their time in
questioning females, old and young, and hearing their answers, on those
very matters? If it were a crime, punishable by law, to present those
questions in a book, is it not a crime far more punishable by law to
present those very things to married and unmarried women through the
I ask it from every man of common sense. What is the difference
between a woman or a girl learning those things in a book, or learning
them from the lips of a man? Will not those impure, demoralizing
suggestions sink more deeply into their minds, and impress themselves
more forcibly in their memory, when told to them by a man of authority
speaking in the name of Almighty God, than when read in a book which has
I say to the legislators of Europe and America, "Read for
yourselves those horrible, unmentionable things;" and remember that
the Pope has more than 100,000 priests whose principal work is, to put
those very things into the intelligence and memory of the women whom
they entrap into their snares. Let us suppose that each priest hears the
confessions of only five female penitents every day (though we know that
the daily average is ten): it gives the awful number of 500,000 women
whom the priests of Rome have the legal right to pollute and destroy
each day of the year!
Legislators of the so-called Christian and civilized nations! I ask
it again from you, Where is your consistency, your justice, your love of
public morality, when you punish so severely the man who has printed the
questions put to the woman in the confessional, while you honor and let
free, and often pay the men whose public and private life is spent in
spreading the very same moral poison in a much more efficacious,
scandalous, and shameful way, under the mask of religion !
The confessional is in the hands of the devil, what West Point is to
the United States, and Woolwich is to great Britain, a training of the
army to fight and conquer the enemy. It is in the confessional that
500,000 women every day, and 182,000,000 every year, are trained by the
Pope in the art of fighting against God, by destroying themselves and
the whole world, through every imaginable kind of impurity and
Once more, I request the legislators, the husbands, and the fathers
in Europe, as well as in America and Australia, to read in Dens, Liguori,
Debreyne, in every theological book of Rome, what their wives and their
daughters have to learn in the confessional.
In order to screen themselves, the priests of Rome have recourse to
the following miserable subterfuge:—"Is not the physician
forced," they say, "to perform certain delicate operations on
women? Do you complain of this? No! you let the physician alone; you do
not abuse them in their arduous and conscientious duties. Why, then,
should you insult the physician of the soul, the confessor, in the
accomplishment of his holy, though delicate duties?"
I answer, first, The art and science of the physician are approved
and praised in many parts of the Scriptures. But the art and science of
the confessor are nowhere to be found in the holy records. Auricular
confession is nothing else than a most stupendous imposture. The filthy
and impure questions of the confessor, with the polluting answers they
elicit, were put among the most diabolical and forbidden actions by God
Himself, the day that the Spirit of Truth, Holiness, and Life wrote the
imperishable words—"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of
your mouth." (Eph. iv. 29.)
Secondly, The physician is not bound by a solemn oath to remain
ignorant of the things which it will be his duty to examine and cure.
But the priest of Rome is bound, by the most ridiculous and impious oath
of celibacy, to remain ignorant of the very things which are the daily
objects of his inquiries, observation, and thoughts! The priest of Rome
has sworn never to taste of the fruits with which he feeds his
imagination, his memory, his heart, and his soul day and night! The
physician is honest in the performance of his duties; but the priest of
Rome becomes, in fact, a perjured man, every time be enters the
Thirdly, If a lady has a little sore on her small finger, and is
obliged to go to the physician for a remedy, she has only to show her
little finger, allow the plaster or ointment to be applied, and all is
finished. The physician never—no never—says to that lady,
"It is my duty to suspect that you have many other parts of your
body which are sick; I am bound in conscience, under pain of death, to
examine you from head to foot, in order to save your precious life from
those secret diseases, which may kill you if they are not cured
just now. Several of those diseases are of such a nature that you never
dared perhaps to examine them with the attention they deserve, and you
are hardly conscious of them. I know, madam, that this is a very painful
and delicate thing for both you and me, that I should be forced to make
that thorough examination of your person; however, there is no help; I
am in duty bound to do it. But you have nothing to fear. I am a holy
man, who have made a vow of celibacy. We are alone; neither your husband
nor your father will ever know the secret infirmities I may find in you:
they will never even suspect the perfect investigation I will make, and
they will, forever, be ignorant of the remedy I will apply."
Has any physician ever been authorized to speak or act in this way
with any of his female patients?
But this is just the way the spiritual physician, by whom the devil
enslaves and corrupts women, acts. When the fair, honest, and timid
spiritual patient has come to her confessor, to show him the little sore
she has on the small finger of her soul, the confessor is bound in
conscience to suspect that she has other sores—secret, shameful sores!
Yes, he is bound, nine times out of ten; and he is always allowed to
suppose that she does not dare to reveal them! Then he is advised by the
Church to induce her to let him search every corner of the heart, and of
the soul, and to inquire about all kinds of contaminations, impurities,
secret, shameful, and unspeakable matters! The young priest is drilled
in the diabolical art of going into the most sacred recesses of the soul
and the heart, almost in spite of his penitents. I could bring hundreds
of theologians as witnesses to the truth of what I here say: but it is
enough just now to cite three:—
"Lest the confessor should indolently hesitate in tracing out
the circumstances of any sin, let him have the following versicle of
circumstances in readiness:
"Quis, quid, ubi, quibus auxiliis, cur, quomodo, quando. Who,
which, where, with whom, why, how, when." (Dens, Vol. 6, p. 123.
Liguori, vol. 2, p. 464.)
The celebrated book of the Priests, "The Mirror of the
Clergy," page 357, says:
" Oportet ut Confessor solet cognoscere quid quid debet judicare.
Deligens igitur inquisitor et subtillis investigator sapienter, quasi
astute, interrogat a peccatore quod ignorat, vel verecundia volit
"It is necessary that the confessor should know everything on
which he has to exercise his judgment. Let him then, with wisdom and
subtility, interrogate the sinners on the sins which they may ignore,
or conceal through shame."
The poor unprotected girl is, thus, thrown into the power of the
priest, soul and body, to be examined on all the sins she may ignore, or
which, through shame, she may conceal! On what a boundless sea of
depravity the poor fragile bark is launched by the priest! On what
bottomless abysses of impurities she will have to pass and travel, in
company with the priest alone, before he will have interrogated her on all
the sins she may ignore, or which she may have concealed through
shame!! Who can tell the sentiments of surprise, shame, and distress, of
a timid, honest, young girl, when, for the first time, she is initiated,
through those questions, to infamies which are ignored even in houses of
But such is the practice, the sacred duty of the spiritual physician.
"Let him (the priest confessor), with wisdom and subtlety,
interrogate the sinners on the sins they may ignore or conceal
And there are more than 100,000 men, not only allowed, but petted,
and often paid by so-called Protestant, Christian, and civilised
governments to do that under the name of the God of the Gospel!
Fourthly, I answer to the sophism of the priest: When the physician
has any delicate and dangerous operation to perform on a female patient,
he is never alone; the husband, or the father, the mother, the
sister, or some friends of the patient are there, whose scrutinising
eyes and attentive ears make it impossible for the physician to
say or do any improper thing.
But when the poor, deluded spiritual patient comes to be treated by
her so-called spiritual physician, and shows him her disease, is she not
alone—shamefully alone—with him? Where are the protecting ears of
the husband, the father, the mother, the sisters, or the friends? Where
is the barrier interposed between this sinful, weak, tempted, and often
depraved man and his victim?
Would the priest so freely ask this and that from a
married woman, if he knew that her husband could hear him? No, surely
not! for he is well aware that the enraged husband would blow out the
brains of the villian who, under the sacrilegious pretext of purifying
the soul of his wife, is filling her breast with every kind of pollution
Fifthly, When the physician performs a delicate operation on one of
his female patients, the operation is usually accompanied with pain,
cries, and often with bloodshed. The sympathetic and honest physician
suffers almost as much pain as his patient; those cries, acute pains,
tortures, and bleeding wounds make it morally impossible that the
physician should be tempted to any improper thing.
But the sight of the spiritual wounds of that fair penitent! Is the
poor depraved human heart really sorry to see and examine them? Oh, no!
it is just the contrary.
The dear Saviour weeps over those wounds; the angels are distressed
at the sight. Yes! But the deceitful and corrupt heart of man! is it not
rather apt to be pleased at the sight of wounds which are so much like
the ones he has himself so often been pleased to receive from the hand
of the enemy?
Was the heart of David pained and horror-struck at the sight of the
fair Bath-sheba, when, imprudently, and too freely, exposed in her bath?
Was not that holy prophet smitten, and brought down to the dust, by that
guilty look? Was not the mighty giant, Samson, undone by the charms of
Delilah? Was not the wise Solomon ensnared and befooled in the midst of
the women by whom he was surrounded?
Who will believe that the bachelors of the Pope are made of stronger
metal than the Davids, the Samsons, and the Solomons? Where is the man
who has so completely lost his common sense as to believe that the
priests of Rome are stronger than Samson, holier than David, wiser than
Solomon? Who will believe that confessors will stand up on their feet
amidst the storms which prostrate in the dust those giants of the armies
of the Lord? To suppose that, in the generality of cases, the confessor
can resist the temptations by which he is daily surrounded in the
confessional, that he will constantly refuse the golden opportunities,
which offer themselves to him, to satisfy the almost irresistible
propensities of his fallen human nature, is neither wisdom nor charity;
it is simply folly.
I do not say that all the confessors and their female penitents fall
into the same degree of abject degradation; thanks be to God, I have
known several, who nobly fought their battles, and conquered on that
field of so many shameful defeats. But these are the exceptions. It is
just as when the fire has ravaged one of our grand forests of
America—how sad it is to see the numberless noble trees fallen under
the devouring element! But, here and there, the traveler is not a little
amazed and pleased, to find some which have proudly stood the fiery
trial, without being consumed.
Was not the world at large struck with terror, when they heard of the
fire which, a few years ago, reduced the great city of Chicago to ashes!
But those who have visited that doomed city, and seen the desolating
ruins of her 16,000 houses, had to stand in silent admiration before a
few, which, in the very midst of an ocean of fire, had escaped untouched
by the destructive element.
It is a fact, that owing to a most marvellous protection of God, some
privileged souls, here and there, do escape the fatal destruction which
overtakes so many others in the confessional.
The confessional is like the spider's web. How many too unsuspecting
flies find death, when seeking rest on the beautiful framework of their
deceitful enemy! How few escape! and this only after a most desperate
struggle. See how the perfidious spider looks harmless in his retired,
dark corner; how motionless he is; how patiently he waits for his
opportunity! But look how quickly he surrounds his victim with his
silky, delicate, and imperceptible links! how mercilessly he sucks its
blood and destroys its life!
What remains of the imprudent fly, after she has been entrapped into
the nets of her foe? Nothing but a skeleton. So it is with your fair
wife, your precious daughter; nine times out of ten, nothing but a moral
skeleton returns to you, after the Pope's black spider has been allowed
to suck the very blood of her heart and soul. Let those who would be
tempted to think that I exaggerate, read the following extracts from the
memoirs of the Venerable Scipio de Ricci, Roman Catholic Bishop of
Pistoia and Prato, in Italy. They were published by the Roman Catholic
Italian Government, to show to the world that some measures had to be
taken, by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, to prevent the
nation from being entirely swept away by the deluge of corruption
flowing from the confessional, even among the most perfect of Rome's
followers, the monks and the nuns. The priests have never dared to deny
a single iota of these terrible revelations. On page 115 we read the
following letter from sister Flavia Peraccini, Prioress of St.
Catharine, to Dr. Thomas Camparina, Rector of the Episcopal Seminary of
"In compliance with the request which you made me this day, I
hasten to say something, but I know not how.
"Of those who are gone out of the world, I shall say nothing. Of
those who are still alive and have very little decency of conduct, there
are many, among whom there is an ex-provincial named Father Dr. Ballendi,
Calvi, Zoratti, Bigliaci, Guidi, Miglieti, Verde, Bianchi, Ducci,
Seraphini, Bolla, Nera di Luca, Quaretti, &c. But wherefore any
more? With the exception of three or four, all those whom I have ever
known, alive or dead, are of the same character; they have all the same
maxims and the same conduct.
"They are on more intimate terms with the nuns than if they were
married to them! I repeat it, it would require a great deal of time to
tell half of what I know. It is the custom now, when they come to visit
and hear the confession of a sick sister, to sup with the nuns, sing,
dance, play, and sleep in the convent. It is a maxim of theirs that God
has forbidden hatred, but not love; and that man is made for woman and
woman for man.
"I say that they can deceive the innocent and the most prudent
and circumspect, and that it would be a miracle to converse with them
and not fall!"
Page 117.—"The priests are the husbands of the nuns, and the
lay brothers of the lay sisters. In the chamber of one of the nuns I
have mentioned, a man was one day found; he fled away, but, soon after,
they gave him to us as our confessor extraordinary.
"How many bishops are there in the Papal States who have come to
the knowledge of those disorders, have held examinations and
visitations, and yet never could remedy it, because the monks, our
confessors, tell us that those are excommunicated who reveal what passes
in the Order!
"Poor creatures! they think they are leaving the world to escape
dangers, and they only meet with greater ones. Our fathers and mothers
have given us a good education, and here we have to unlearn and forget
what they have taught us."
Page 188.—"Do not suppose that this is the case in our convent
alone. It is just the same at St. Lucia, Prato, Pisa, Perugia, &c. I
have known things that would astonish you. Everywhere it is the same.
Yes, everywhere the same disorders, the same abuses prevail. I say, and
I repeat it, let the superiors suspect as they may, they do not know the
smallest part of the enormous wickedness that goes on between the monks
and the nuns whom they confess. Every monk who passed by on his way to
the chapter, entreated a sick sister to confess to him, and—!"
Page 119.—"With respect to Father Buzachini, I say that he
acted just as the others, sitting up late in the nunnery, diverting
himself, and letting the usual disorders go on. There were several nuns
who had love affairs on his account. His own principal mistress was
Odaldi, of St. Lucia, who used to send him continual treats. He was also
in love with the daughter of our factor, of whom they were very jealous
here. He ruined also poor Cancellieri, who was sextoness. The monks are
all alike with their penitents.
"Some years ago, the nuns of St. Vincent, in consequence of the
extraordinary passion they had for their father confessors Lupi and
Borghiani, were divided into two parties, one calling themselves Le
Lupe, the other Le Borghiani.
"He who made the greatest noise was Donati. I believe he is now
at Rome. Father Brandi, too, was also in great vogue. I think he is now
Prior of St. Gemignani. At St. Vincent, which passes for a very holy
retreat, they have also their lovers—-."
My pen refuses to reproduce several things which the nuns of Italy
have published against their father confessors. But this is enough to
show to the most incredulous that the confession is nothing else but a
school of perdition, even among those who make a profession to live in
the highest regions of Roman Catholic holiness—the monks and the nuns.
Now, from Italy let us go to America and see again the working of
auricular confession, not between the holy (?) nuns and monks of Rome,
but among the humblest classes of country women and priests. Great is
the number of parishes where women have been destroyed by their
confessors, but I will speak only of one.
When curate of Beauport, I was called by the Rev. Mr. Proulx, curate
of St. Antoine, to preach a retreat (a revival) with the Rev. Mr. Aubry,
to his parishioners, and eight or ten other priests were also invited to
come and help us to hear the confessions.
The very first day, after preaching and passing five or six hours in
the confessional, the hospitable curate gave us a supper before going to
bed. But it was evident that a kind of uneasiness pervaded the whole
company of the father confessors. For my own part I could hardly raise
my eyes to look at my neighbor; and, when I wanted to speak a word, it
seemed that my tongue was not free as usual; even my throat was as if it
were choked: the articulation of the sounds was imperfect. It was
evidently the same with the rest of the priests. Instead, then, of the
noisy and cheerful conversations of the other meals, there were only a
few insignificant words exchanged with a half-suppressed tone.
The Rev. Mr. Proulx (the curate) at first looked as if he were
partaking also of that singular, though general, despondent feeling.
During the first part of the lunch he hardly said a word ; but, at last,
raising his head, and turning his honest face towards us, in his usual
gentlemanly, and cheerful manner, he said:—
"Dear friends, I see that you are all under the influence of the
most painful feelings. There is a burden on you that you can neither
shake off nor bear as you wish. I know the cause of your trouble, and I
hope you will not find fault with me, if I help you to recover from that
disagreeable mental condition. You have heard, in the confessional, the
history of many great sins; but I know that this is not what troubles
you. You are all old enough in the confessional to know the miseries of
poor human nature. Without any more preliminaries, I will come to the
subject. It is no more a secret in this place, that one of the priests
who has preceded me, has been very unfortunate, weak, and guilty with
the greatest part of the married women whom he has confessed. Not more
than one in ten has escaped him. I would not mention this fact had I got
it only from the confessional, but I know it well from other sources,
and I can speak of it freely, without breaking the secret seal of the
confessional. Now, what troubles you is that, probably, when a great
number of those women have confessed to you what they had done with
their confessor, you have not asked them how long it was since they had
sinned with him; and in spite of yourselves, you think that I am the
guilty man. This does, naturally, embarrass you, when you are in my
presence, and at my table. But please ask them, when they come again to
confess, how many months or years have passed away since their last love
affair with a confessor; and you will see that you may suppose that you
are in the house of an honest man. You may look me in the face, and have
no fear to address me as if I were still worthy of your esteem; for,
thanks be to God, I am not the guilty priest who has ruined and
destroyed so many souls here."
The curate had hardly pronounced the last word, when a general
"We thank you, for you have taken away a mountain from our
shoulders," fell from almost every lip.
"It is a fact that, notwithstanding the good opinion we had of
you," said several, "we were in fear that you had missed the
right track, and fallen down with your fair penitents, into the
I felt much relieved; for I was one of those who, in spite of myself,
had my secret fears about the honesty of our host. When, very early the
next morning, I had begun to hear the confessions, one of those
unfortunate victims of the confessor's depravity came to me, and in the
midst of many tears and sobs, she told me, with great details, what I
repeat here in a few lines:
"I was only nine years old when my first confessor began to do
very criminal things with me, every time I was at his feet confessing my
sins. At first, I was ashamed and much disgusted; but soon after, I
became so depraved that I was looking eagerly for every opportunity of
meeting him, either in his own house, or in the church, in the vestry,
and many times, in his own garden, when it was dark at night. That
priest did not remain very long; he was removed, to my great regret, to
another place, where he died. He was succeeded by another one, who
seemed at first to be a very holy man. I made to him a general
confession with, it seems to me, a sincere desire to give up forever,
that sinful life; but I fear that my confessions became a cause of sin
to that good priest; for, not long after my confession was finished, he
declared to me, in the confessional, his love, with such passionate
words, that he soon brought me down again into my former criminal habits
with him. This lasted six years, when my parents removed to this place.
I was very glad for it, for I hoped that, being away from him, I should
not be any more a cause of sin to him, and that I might begin a better
life. But the fourth time that I went to confess to my new confessor, he
invited me to go to his room, where we did things so disgusting
together, that I do not know how to confess them. It was two days before
my marriage, and the only child I have had is the fruit of that sinful
hour. After my marriage, I continued the same criminal life with my
confessor. He was the friend of my husband; we had many opportunities of
meeting each other, not only when I was going to confess, but when my
husband was absent and my child was at school. It was evident to me that
several other women were as miserable and criminal as I was myself. This
sinful intercourse with my confessor went on, till God Almighty stopped
it with a real thunderbolt. My dear only daughter had gone to confess,
and received the holy communion. As she came back from church much later
than I expected, I inquired the reason which had kept her so long. She
then threw herself into my arms, and, with convulsive cries
said,—'Dear mother, do not ask me to go to confess any more—Oh! if
you could know what my confessor asked me when I was at his feet! and if
you could know what he has done with me, and he has forced me to do with
him, when he had me alone in his parlor!'
"My poor child could not speak any longer; she fainted in my
"As soon as she recovered, without losing a minute, I dressed
myself, and, full of an inexpressible rage, I directed my steps towards
the parsonage. But before leaving my house, I had concealed under my
shawl a sharp butcher's knife, to stab and kill the villain who had
destroyed my dearly beloved child. Fortunately for that priest, God
changed my mind before I entered his room: my words to him were few and
"'You are a monster!' I said to him. 'Not satisfied to have
destroyed me, you want to destroy my own dear child, which is yours
also! Shame upon you! I had come with this knife, to put an end to your
infamies; but so short a punishment would be too mild a one for such a
monster. I want you to live, that you may bear upon your head the curse
of the too unsuspecting and unguarded friends whom you have so cruelly
deceived and betrayed. I want you to live with the consciousness that
you are known by me and many others, as one of the most infamous
monsters who has ever defiled this world. But know that if you are not
away from this place before the end of this week, I will reveal
everything to my husband; and you may be sure that he will not let you
live twenty-four hours longer; for he sincerely thinks your daughter is
his; he will be the avenger of her honor! I go to denounce you, this
very day, to the bishop, that he may take you away from this parish,
which you have so shamelessly polluted.'
"The priest threw himself at my feet, and, with tears, asked my
pardon, imploring me not to denounce him to the bishop, and promising
that he would change his life and begin to live as a good priest. But I
remained inexorable. I went to the bishop, and warned his lordship of
the sad consequences which would follow, if he kept that curate any
longer in this place, as he seemed inclined to do. But before the eight
days had expired, he was put at the head of another parish, not very far
away from here."
The reader will, perhaps, like to know what has become of this
He remained at the head of that most beautiful parish of Beaumont, as
curate, where, I know it for a fact, he continued to destroy his
penitents, till a few years before he died, with the reputation of a
good priest, an amiable man, and a holy confessor! For the mystery of
iniquity doth already work: . . . .
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume
with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power
and signs and lying wonders.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they
should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. ii. 7-12.)
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