I was sent the link to a short film that, apparently, won and award at the International Catholic Film Festival in 2017.
It starts with some good point. Never mind that the priest is not wearing a purple stole: validity of absolution doesn’t depend on a stole or its color. Fluctus in simpulo. There are some good moments in the short.
That said, there are some disturbing elements in this film.
I know that it is a short film and that short means that not every possible angle can be resolved.
The priest lies to the guy, a couple of times, in telling the penitent that he didn’t commit murder. However, even if “murder” isn’t quite the right technical term for what happened, even if the lie that the priest told was true, the guy would still have committed a horrible sin, several, in fact.
As to the penance, it isn’t always possible to “compensate” a victim. However, giving something to someone who is not the victim doesn’t strictly satisfy justice. There is a twist in this case, but that remains.
What I am afraid happened here is that sentimentality trumped reason and, once again, we saw the exaltation of false mercy which betrays truth. A “mercy” which is apart from the truth is no mercy at all.
Moreover, the film seems to make the the point of the priest’s mercy, rather than God’s mercy. It is, essentially, about the priest, not God.
I am reminded of my feeling after I read the jesuitical horror Silence by Shusaku Endo. It’s a story of a missionary Jesuit in Japan who commits apostasy to save the lives of others who are being tortured. The book and the recent film from the book are much the same as this short.
Silence was simply dreadful. Of course it was fostered by a certain Jesuit homosexualist activist as a consultant. Hence…
False mercy leads some in the Church to say that
- people in an objectively adulterous state and who do not intend to chance can go to Communion if they discern that they can.
- non-Catholics, who don’t believe what the Church teaches, can admit themselves to Holy Communion if they discern that they want to, and without correction from bishops and priests.
GO TO CONFESSION!
And I hate to have to write this, but… don’t let bishops and priests lie to you.
You must must must get with your copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other great resources and learn your Faith well. Learn it and love it enough not to lie about it and not to accept lies about it.