Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Australian priest "hears confessions" on call-in radio February 04, 2005

A controversial Australian priest "heard confessions" on a call-in radio show on Sunday night.

The Melbourne Herald-Sun reported that during an appearance on a youth talk show, Father Bob Maguire agreed to hear the confessions of callers. Three listeners did call in, confessing their sins on the air, and received a token penance from the priest, the newspaper reported.

The vicar general of the Melbourne archdiocese, Msgr. Les Tomlinson, told the Herald-Sun that the radio conversations were not sacramental confessions, because Father Maguire did not use the required words of absolution. He also pointed out that the Church does not allow confession by radio or telephone. Thus the sins of the call-in penitents were not forgiven.

However, Msgr. Tomlinson observed that hearing confessions over the radio violates the Church's norms requiring priests to preserve the secrecy of the penitents. Violations of the confessional seal can bring severe punishment, including excommunication. It was not clear whether Father Maguire could be subject to such disciplinary action, since he was not hearing real confessions. However, making a mockery of the sacraments can also bring severe punishment.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod 1 hours ago
Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried 2 hours ago
The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy 3 hours ago
Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All July 28
Introducing the Church Fathers July 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21