After Gearoid O Donchu says he would do nothing different as a result of hearing the confession, so he would let the people who drank the poisoned wine after him drink it and die.
Michael responded [5:40]
I think anybody listening to this will understand that that is a deeply immoral position – that on the basis of what you believe the creator of the universe is saying to you that you would allow another innocent priest to die by drinking altar wine that you are knowingly leaving there that’s poisoned – or more seriously, because it’s an actual case that we’re talking about, you would leave vulnerable children to be raped on the basis of not giving information that you know that could protect those children from being raped – it’s absolutely shocking and it shows that religion corrupts our natural sense of morality.
The priest explained about the super-special role of the confessional.
In confession the priest is acting as facilitator or mediator between god and the sinner, giving forgiveness, giving god’s forgiveness.
Just parenthetically – the absurd arrogance of that. I know that’s old news, but still. What makes them think – even accepting the god claims, even buying the notion that there’s a god – that they can “give” god’s forgiveness? The whole idea is ridiculous any way you look at it, including even goddy ways.
Michael asks then why do you try to persuade them to go to the authorities? If all you do is listen and give god’s forgiveness, why try to persuade and counsel them? The priest says he never said his only role is to listen, he also advises, but it all stays in the confessional. Joe Duffy says “In fairness, this is canon law.”
I stopped there – 8:23 – because I want to expostulate. So the fuck what?? What makes anyone think “canon law” is allowed to flout secular law? Why does anyone bother to say such a thing?
It’s exactly the same as the Mafia and other criminal organizations you know. They too have their own internal laws, especially laws mandating silence, and loyalty to colleagues at the expense of everyone else, and concealment at all costs.
Next Michael gives a good summing up of how warped Catholic morality is, and there’s a fraught little pause, and then the priest says, “All I can do is repeat” and I laugh loudly and hit the pause button [9:48] and that’s enough for now.