The not-so-funny problem of Priestly Boredom

Urgent! Your typical parish priest has a serious problem, especially on Saturday afternoons. He is bored out of his mind. He sits in the Confessional, with nothing to do, waiting for penitents to confess their sins to God and receive forgiveness. Everyone goes to Mass. Very few go to Confession. What can be done about the boredom that weighs heavily upon the minds and hearts of priests all over the world, as they sit alone in the confessional room? I have a few suggestions.

1. Every diocese should issue each confessor a Kindle for reading ebooks in the confessional. They have nothing else to do in that room, since no one goes to Confession. Maybe the diocese could spring for some ebook versions of classic literature, like Mark Twain and Ian Fleming.

2. Or else the parish could take up a collection, so that they can install a wide screen flat TV in the confessional room. Then the confessor can lift his spirits by watching classic comedy shows, like “I Love Lucy” and “Gilligan’s Island”, while he waits hopelessly for someone, anyone, to repent of their sins and confess.

3. Given the vast amount of time that priests spend waiting in the confessional, perhaps priests should be encouraged to take up a hobby, and practice it in the confessional. I suggest juggling, and also magic tricks. He could practice complex illusions, like those of Penn and Teller, or that trick where you pull a quarter out of someone’s ear.

4. Better still, while don’t we put out a call for volunteers to line up and take turns, going into the confessional to tell the priest an interesting story — about the sins you have committed since your last confession and how sorry you are. Then he could reply with some witty remark, like: “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

Problem solved.

It is very distressing to my soul to read constant complaints about how divorced and remarried persons are not worthy to receive Communion, when the vast majority of Mass-going Communion-receiving Catholics rarely, if ever, go to Confession. If you have not been to Confession in the last 3 to 4 months, then, in my humble opinion, you also are not worthy to receive Communion. It is not hard. Get off your fat lazy butt and go to Confession. I think that Catholics who never go to Confession are not faithful Catholics. Unless you are the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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2 Responses to The not-so-funny problem of Priestly Boredom

  1. Dad says:

    What a refreshing change of pace, this article! And of course, how true.

  2. Awesome, but so true! It is alarming how many Catholics do not go to confession, but are receiving Holy Communion. I even have family members that haven’t gone to confession in ages. When I ask them why they haven’t gone, they tell me that they are “good people” and don’t need the sacrament. This is what happens when the word “Hell” is taken out of most homilies today and that is why so many don’t go to confession.
    Where I go to Church, Confessions are heard 7 days a week, and one is lucky to get into Confession because the line is so long at times.
    Our Parish has been blessed with two wonderful, holy priests, that care about the souls of it’s parishioners.

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