Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned
Now I was raised Catholic, so I'm a bit surprised this never occurred to me before. Anyone can tell anything to a priest and the priest will essentially, keep it on the down low. That is the oath he has taken and thus, is obligated to do so. Under no circumstances is he to reveal any secrets.
Or is he?
Here's my question. Are there any circumstances were a priest's oath is overruled by the law? For instance, let's say hypothetically there is a serial killer on the loose. This serial killer confesses his sins to one person and one person only; his priest. Now under normal circumstances a priest would be sworn to secrecy, but doesn't murdering numerous people trump being faithful to God? And if not, what is God thinking anyway?
Cause see in MY mind, there are instances were a priest can and should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Little Timmy broke a vase? 2 Hail Mary's and an Our Father. Big Timmy cheated on his wife? 10 Hail Mary's, 5 Our Father's and a few dozen sessions of therapy. Big and bad Timmy killed a few guys? Hail Mary's till his death, Our Father's till he has laryngitis and a prison cell where they lock him up and throw away the key.
There's just a hierarchy that goes along with these things. Basically the punishment should fit the crime.
I know that lawyers defend guilty people all the time. But that's why there are so many jokes about so many lawyers being the scum of the Earth. You don't hear that being said about priests. Well, unless you count the corrupt priests who dig little boys, but that's another matter entirely. I'm talking about good, honest priests. A lawyer has to defend a man even if he is guilty if said man is his client...and he wants to do things like eat and pay his rent. But a priest doesn't have any material obligations to anyone. Instead he's just a man who would have all of these sins weighing on his conscience. He could be the key to solving a big crime and because of a ridiculously worded oath, unable to say anything.
Ironically, the only person the priest could go to would be...another priest.
So really, if you thinkg about it, the missing link in the undying quest for peace and justice might be priests with a high hit counter to their confessionals.