Many years ago before I left Colorado, Fr. James Jackson gave a moving homily on the sacrificial beauty of the Seal of the Confessional. The reason this had come up is because the Fraternity of St. Peter had just been given custody of L’église Saint-Zéphirin-de-Stadacona in Quebec City, a truly gorgeous church, which was very famously used for the filming of the ARSH 1953 Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece, “I Confess”.
“I Confess” is a film noir thriller which tells the story of a priest framed for murder and unable to defend himself because the killer immediately confessed his crime to the priest and then leveraged the Seal of the Confessional to frame the priest for the murder, knowing the priest could neither defend himself nor implicate in any way the killer. And yes, in the end, the killer exposes himself, tries unsuccessfully to kill the priest, is shot by police, and the mortally-wounded killer asks for and receives pardon in extremis from the priest as he dies. To say that it is moving is understatement, to put it mildly.
Montgomery Clift (a truly tragic figure in real life) gives a heart-wrenching performance as the good priest, who is manfully willing to be hanged rather than violate the Seal.
One thing that I learned from my short time in Rome many years ago now is that wicked clerics and laymen, upon the arrival of a new priest who is solid, pious, and NOT “on side” with the sodomites, will immediately ask said priest to hear their confession, wherein they will reveal all of their wretched sins, not because they are sorry or have any intention of reforming their lives, but IN ORDER TO BIND THE GOOD PRIEST BY THE SEAL OF THE CONFESSIONAL. It’s luciferian. So the good priest becomes helpless to move against the sodomites.
Years ago, Fr. Jackson said to me once that I was somewhat intimidating to have in the nave while preaching because I was always listening with intense focus to every word that was said. And that is true. When someone is speaking, I watch and listen. Intently. I consider it a simple courtesy. And I remember.
I’m not saying that I have any more information about Fr. Jackson’s arrest than I had yesterday, or when we recoded the half-Podcast immediately below a few hours ago, but I do remember vividly that “I Confess” was one of Fr. Jackson’s favorite films, which he urged everyone to watch.
And I also know that Fr. Jackson, like the priest in the film, would almost certainly die to protect the Seal of the Confessional. IF a priest pleads “not guilty” to a crime, and then seemingly inexplicably clams up and refuses to defend himself, IT MUST BE CONSIDERED A POSSIBILITY that the Seal of the Confessional is being defended. Remember, in such a circumstance, the priest CANNOT EVEN BRING THE TOPIC OF THE SEAL UP.
This is just presented as something to keep in mind. Again, I have no more information than I had yesterday.
I just checked, and yes, “I Confess” is available on iTunes.
Pray for priests.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.