The Postmodern Quaker

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The Church, the Draft Board, and Me (3 of 12)

The Church, Part 2: “The Habit Covers a Multitude of Sins”6

The priest hearing confession acted“in the person of Christ.”

I trace the emergence of depression to a day in my third year of high school when my confessor Father Alexander — who was weak in zoology as well as pastoral theology, I would later understand — withheld God’s forgiveness from me. Although I had followed his instructions to participate in Mass and confession more often, I had continued to “abuse” myself. “That’s disgusting,” he said in the confessional. “Not even the animals do that. You come in here every week and confess the same mortal sin. [Mortal means soul-damning; I’ll discuss that further in a sidebar.] Absolution requires a sincere intention to reform: clearly, you have no such intention. I will not…

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