Tuesday 3 September 2013

Bishop admits lying!!!

According to the "Telegraph" there has been an increase in people going to Confession over recent months.  Attributed to the influence of Pope Francis in the media and to the continuing effect of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.  Also according to the "Telegraph", in commenting on this phenomena Bishop Kieran Conroy says that when he was a child he "made up" sins to confess. When asked if that itself is not a sin he says, "Probably."  
“For many people now it is a much more significant, meaningful, personal experience rather than just a weekly ‘I’ve got to go to confession and think of some sins’.But he went on to confess: “We used to make them up as kids, we had to say something … it might be ‘I hit someone’ or ‘I kicked the dog’ – if had a dog.“I would make up anything just to occupy a couple of minutes and get sent away forgiven.”Asked if making up sins in confession was itself a sin, he said: “Yes probably, you probably committed more sins in there than you committed in the week leading up to it – you were lying your head off.”

I would have thought that every priest knows that it is sinful to lie in Confession.  I was sent to Confession as a child. 

Did I like it?  
No, I did not, but I can't recall ever making anything up.  

Is it good that more people are going to Confession? 
Of course it is.  

Is it good that some people find it helpful to discuss their sins in context and in a deeper way?  
Of course it is.

Is it necessary to be forever bad-mouthing every part of the Church's practice and belief from before the Second Vatican Council?  No it is not.  

Have those people who confess - and still confess - in the "old-fashioned" way been wasting their time? Surely not.  For a bishop to publicly characterise the Sacrament of Confession as it was celebrated for so many years and as many people still use it seems to be... well, very unseemly. Although I can't believe that people did not experience Confession in a deeply prayerful and spiritual way through the older format as well as the newer.  The re-writing of our understanding of the past in is one of the most distasteful things about so many "liberal" attitudes.  More than distasteful, it always makes me suspicious, reminding me of George Orwell's "Animal Farm".  Repeat the mantra, "Trad-it-ion bad.  Mod-ern good."  "Trad-it-ion bad.  Mod-ern good."  "Trad-it-ion bad.  Mod-ern good."

Eccles has some more reflections on the bishop.


Anonymous said...

And this man is one of our bishops - ye gads and little fishes! Next he'll be telling us that bishop's should have lady friends or maybe man friends and that it is all ok!

"who will rid me of this troublesome priest?"

Genty said...

Oh, that's why he dissed the Sacrament not so long ago. A paragon of virtue he must have been as a child not have committed any sins. It must be why he is so shameless.

Damask Rose said...

Well said, Fr Henry.

OK, so somehow Pope Francis can pull off the poverty living-in-the-hotel thing and carrying his own bag, but I really don't know what type of image Bishop Conry is trying almost too hard to emulate. He always comes across to me as not befitting his station.

Maybe if he just kept his hair trimmed really short, always, and wore a purple-trimmed cassock, he'd look more bishopy.

I shouldn't really criticise. Perhaps I just can't get used to a bishop not wearing clericals or cassock.

Damask Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aged and Confused said...

Father, I am confused. You mention confessing 'in the old fashioned way'. Is there a new fashioned way? I ask this in all seriousness because I attend confession in the way I have always done: except, of course, in a more adult way. Although my knees are shot I still refuse to use the comfy chair with the cushion. Am I the subject of smirking behind the curtain (I will not countenance 'open' confession) if a young priest is hearing my 'old fashioned' confession.
I never hear 'Ego te absolve' any more but everything else seems to be fairly normal. Please enlighten me? Is it time to throw away my Penny Catechism?

Fr Simon Henry said...

Dear Aged and Confused. I was speaking in shorthand terms. My very point is the same as the one you make.

Hermit Crab said...

Does Bishop Conry also do jokes about the Eucharist ?

GOR said...

This is scandalous, literally - giving scandal. If a bishop has such a cavalier attitude to a Sacrament of the Church, how can he expect the faithful to take it seriously? What kind of example is being given here?

While the bishop can’t complain that his early formation was ‘post Vat II’, it seems he imbibed the laissez faire attitude of the post-conciliar period pretty readily.

I blame much of it on the change in terminology in this period. While the ‘Sacrament of Reconciliation’ is theologically correct, it obscures the pre-requisites for that reconciliation – sorrow for sin, penance and the ‘purpose of amendment’.

Of course, we don’t even talk about sin – merely ‘erring’ or ‘making a mistake’ as if we just said 2 +2 = 5.

So too the ‘Mass of Christian Burial’ has become the ‘celebration of the life of…’ instead of prayer for the repose (Requiem) of the soul of the deceased.

Perhaps we need a ‘new translation’ of the Sacraments…

Patrick said...

Well said Father, we have to many Bishops in the Church who are politicians and not pastors.

In Domino,


Celia said...

Bishop Conry has form, I'm afraid. I remember a few years ago he criticised people who go to confession regularly and confess the same sins, which he said suggested that the people concerned weren't genuinely penitent. He seemed to have no notion that sin can become a habit that takes much prayer, regular confession and grace to overcome.

No wonder people don't bother.

Rhoslyn said...

I find this absolutely amazing. Did it every occur to anyone else to 'make up' sins when they were children? I had enough sins to confess just taking into account those committed from the time I walked out the front door to my arrival at church! That's what happens when you have brothers and sisters.

I wonder if this bishop just made up this story on the spot for something entertaining to say? Sounds like it to me. I think children might lie when they're put under pressure or caught out, but generally I don't remember being cunning enough to actually make up a lie in advance or to anticipate a situation where I would lie. Children are generally brutally honest, if you think about it.

johnh said...

Is that picture really Bishop Conry ?
I thought it was a PE teacher .


Sixupman said...

Might I suggest that such might well be the least of his sins?