Thomas A. Droleskey
Going to Confession in All the Wrong Places, which was published on this site on March 30, 2007, discussed the tendency of Protestants and their naturalist cohorts, men who eschew the Sacrament of Penance that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ specifically instituted ("Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained," John 20: 22-23), to go to "confession" publicly by means of making their "mea culpas" to friendly radio and/or television interviewers in the hope of gaining "absolution" from the general public. This is what I wrote twenty-seven months ago at the beginning of Going to Confession in All the Wrong Places:
George Michael Steinbrenner III, principal owner of the incarnation of all evil in the world, the New York Yankees, went to "confession" during the 1981 World Series between the American League champion Yankees and the National League champion Brooklyn, er, Los Angels Dodgers. Yes, the man who led a partnership's purchase of the New York Yankees from the Columbia Broadcasting System on January 3, 1973, wen to "confession," except that it was quite public and not to a priest. The man who heard his "confession" and gave him "absolution" was none other than Howard William Cohen, better known professionally Howard Cosell.
The scene of the "confession" was a pre-game interview on the American Broadcasting Company television network prior to Game Five of the 1981 World Series on October 25, 1981, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine's Dodger Stadium. Steinbrenner had been seen sporting a cast on his right hand and wearing his arm in a sling the day after the Yankees were defeated by the Dodgers for a second straight game, tying the series at two games for each team. Steinbrenner claimed that he had slugged out two Dodger fans in an elevator who were badmouthing the Yankees, although many commentators at the time believed that Steinbrenner had slugged out some wall, perhaps in an elevator or perhaps elsewhere. No "victims" ever emerged to claim that they had been hit by Steinbrenner or to sue him for injuries they may have sustained.
For his own reasons, however, Steinbrenner claimed that he had hit the two fans, "confessing" this offense to Howard William Cohen, aka Howard Cosell, on the American Broadcasting Company television network before Game 5 of the 1981 World Series. Steinbrenner was contrite as he explained his version of how his hand got injured. Cosell listened attentively, saying at the end of the session, "It's all right, George. We understand, George. We forgive you, George." Absolution from Howard Cosell. To use the stock phrase of the late, great Mel Allen, "How about that?" Indeed, how about that? Absolution from Howard Cosell.
Actually, George M. Steinbrenner III is far from the only figure in public life to "go to confession" in all of the wrong places since the advent of the television. Indeed, "public" confessions were the bane of the radio and television program Queen for a Day, on which four women would compete with each other to tell their tales of woe. The woman with the most woeful saga (as measured by an applause meter) was awarded prizes and heralded as "Queen for a Day." Queen for a Day, however, was tame in comparison to the shameless venting of matters of internal forum (that is, matters that belong in the Confessional of a Catholic church) in public in order to receive "absolution" or "understanding" or "compassion" or "affirmation" from the hosts and studio and home viewing audiences of a variety of television talk shows that began to make their appearance in the late-1960s and thereafter (The Phil Donahue Show, The Jerry Springer Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, among many other such "programs"). "Advice" programs broadcast over various radio networks have served the same purpose over the years. And those involved in crimes, either as perpetrators or accomplices or victims, have become minor celebrities as a result of talk show appearances (see: Butafuoco-Fisher, May 13, 1992).
Scores upon scores of celebrities have "confessed" to Barbara Walters on a variety of "news" magazine programs and specials, although former President Richard Milhous Nixon flatly refused Walters's invitation to "confess" what she saw as his "cold, remote" personality with a curt and to the point, "Why don't we get serious, Barbara?" retort in a 20/20 interview in 1980. The late Diana Spencer confessed her sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments to Martin Bashir, host of the British Broadcasting Company's Panorama program. Then Arkansas Governor William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton playing the part of the understanding wife, confessed to "having caused pain" in his marriage in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft on January 26, 1992. Clinton was not so forthcoming exactly six years later, on January 26, 1998, when he denied his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who "confessed" all to Barbara Walters at a later point, having to change his story when he addressed the American public the night after he was interrogated under oath by Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, August 17, 1998, and admitted that he had an "inappropriate intimate relationship" with Lewinsky.
Indeed, the scorched earth policy of Clinton and his minions unearthed dirt on numerous Republican office-holders, including U.S. Representatives Henry Hyde (R-Illinois), Robert Livingston (R-Louisiana), Dan Burton (R-Indiana), and Bob Barr (R-Georgia), forcing each to make public confessions. Livingston, who was in line to succeed the neo-penitent named Newton Leroy Gingrich (R-Georgia), made a teary-eyed confession on the floor of the United States House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, during the debate prior to vote on Clinton's impeachment.
Well, the public confessions of the high and mighty and of the low and forlorn have continued over the years. As a result of former Senator Gary Hart (D-Colorado) and the infamous former President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton), candidates for public office are now forced to make public "confessions" of sins that used to be confined to the internal forum of the confessional, where they wiped away, to be revealed to one and all in the true exact context of their commission only on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. Candidates even hire private detectives to "discover" "dirt" that they may have forgotten, including not only matters pertaining to conjugal purity but to financial irregularities and to "unfortunate" "slips of the tongue" (including ethnic and racial and religious slurs). Preemptive "confessions" have become the rule of the day in public life, although there are still skeletons that come out of the closet the "old fashioned way," that is, without the cooperation of those who would prefer the skeletons to stay exactly where they have been, out of sight, if not necessarily out of mind.
Some who have yet to "perfect" the public confession include Peter Edward Rose, Sr., whose "evolving" confession of having bet on baseball games while he was managing the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1989 has come after fifteen years of adamant, defiant denials that he ever bet on baseball games, has yet to make the ultimate "mea culpa," which won't come until he is paid well enough to admit that Major League Baseball's investigator John Dowd was right and that he, Rose, owes him, Dowd, an apology for the years of denials. There is also the case of Orenthal James Simpson, who has "written" a book explaining how he might have murdered his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. Much like the case of Peter Rose, Simpson's actual confession won't come until there is a big enough payday to warrant it. The years ahead will see Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds giving interviews to "friendly" interviewers to confess their use of anabolic steroids while playing baseball.
It is thus not surprising that we have the specter at present of candidates for the presidency having to "admit" their past sins. One of the most vulnerable at present is the former Mayor of the City of New York, the pro-abortion Catholic named Rudolph William Giuliani, who has been "married" three times, and is deflecting questions about his past marital infidelities. The late Adlai Stevenson, the first divorced man to be nominated for President of the United States of America by a major political party, and the late Nelson A. Rockefeller, whose divorce from his first wife cost him lots of support in the 1964 Republican presidential primary in the State of California, would have had no difficulties with the electorate today. All they would have had to have done was simply make a "good confession" to some talk show host and they would have indemnified themselves against most further criticism. Indeed, the first divorced man to be elected as President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan, had an easy time of things with "conservatives" throughout his career, including his four presidential campaigns (1968, 1976, 1980, 1984). And he didn't even have to make any kind of public confession.
The climate today, however, demands the revelation of matters of the internal forum of the Sacred Tribunal of Penance in public. Man has to "invent" various kinds of confessionals once he rejects the plain truth that Our Lord established the Sacrament of Penance, wherein penitents confess their sins to an alter Christus and receive Absolution if they make good, integral confessions and have a sincere purpose of amendment and a truly contrite for their sins because they offend God, Who art all good and deserving of all our love, with these words, which are read during Holy Mass on Low Sunday each year:
When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.(Jn. 20: 22-23)
Reject the plain meaning of these words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and one will have to invent "confessionals" and to find "confessors" to "absolve" them. Public confession is an important part of the naturalistic "twelve step" programs that are founded in the belief that each person "defines" his own "higher power." Public confession is also part and parcel of Protestant Pentecostalism. The irony here is inescapable: people who reject the Sacrament of Penance--and thus believe that the entirety of Christendom was wrong for nearly 1,500 years--"confess" their sins openly to others from the pulpit. Among the most famous of these Pentecostalist "confessions" have been those of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. The same is true in evangelical and fundamentalist Protestant denominations when some pastor is accused of embezzlement or a sin against conjugal purity. The "penitent" comes forward and is then "forgiven" by his superiors (so much for the equality of all believers, huh?).
Private confession, under the "seal" of the couch, so to speak, to psychotherapists or psychologists or psychologists is one of the most common means by which those who are steeped in objectively Mortal Sins seek to have their natural sense of guilt, which God desires to use to get them into an actual confessional in an actual Catholic church, assuaged and explained away. The "high priests" of psychoanalysis make a fortune trying to assuage senses of guilt and to make "whole" the lives of lost souls who have forgotten who have never known--that the price for the forgiveness of human sins was paid by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the wood of the Holy Cross as He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood to redeem us, providing also with the means, Sanctifying Grace, to reform our lives and to grow in holiness as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
The latest public figure to make multiple "confessions" concerning his violations of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments is the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. There is no need to elaborate on the tawdry details of Governor Sanford's admissions of marital infidelity. It is enough, however, to focus on the fact that he lacked the circumspection to refrain from placing himself in the near of occasions of sin that led him to commit to those sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, thus making "necessary" for him to "confess" those sins in public to assuage his guilt and to attempt to save his marriage and his career.
Like so many other married men and women today, including many Catholics, Mark Sanford did not realize or accept the simple fact that a married person is not permitted to engage in regular, sustained contact with a member of the opposite gender. One thing really does lead to another, meaning that regular, sustained and prolonged telephone conversations between a man or a woman with a member of the opposite gender who is not his or her spouse is going to lead to some kind of emotional dependency and, ultimately a "romantic" entanglement.
Those of us who are married are called to recognize the fact that our spiritual and emotional attentions and our time are to be devoted exclusively to our spouses. We are not to engage in any kind of behavior that detracts from our duties of hearth and home. We are not to engage in any behavior whereby we transfer, perhaps even unconsciously at first, our first loyalties from our spouses and our children to others outside of the home. No one is strong enough by virtue of his "own" powers to prevent from losing his mind, so to speak, and to abandon his duties to his wife and children after having first exposed himself to the near occasions of sin by becoming emotionally entangled with a person who has no claim on his time and emotions, a person who is indeed a temptation from the devil to stray from his marriage vows and to thus give scandal to others while he harms his own soul and that of the person with whom he sins.
King David himself learned what damage he caused as a result of his infatuation with the wife of Uriah, whose murder he arranged so that he could "marry" Uriah's wife after having been unfaithful to his own wife. And the once proudly Catholic country of England was lost to the Faith because of the infidelity of King Henry VIII.
We are still suffering the consequences of Henry Tudor's infidelity to his longsuffering true wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, as the English colonies that were settled up and down the Atlantic seaboard of what is now the United States of America would have been founded by Catholics, not Protestants and out-and-out naturalists. While there were differences and distinctive cultural "accents," if you will, between and among Catholics in Europe, it is certainly the case that the settlement of the English colonies by English Catholics who were loyal to a king who was himself loyal to Christ the King might (emphasis on might) have made a rebellion against the English Crown entirely unnecessary. National independence would have occurred gradually as Catholics in the freed colonies sought to organize their civil state on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Yes, indeed, my friends, we are still suffering the consequences of King Henry VIII's infidelity to Queen Catherine of Aragon by the attention he gave to the plotting teenager, Anne Boleyn, who was all to willing to cater to the crypto-Protestants, such as Thomas Cranmer, eager to be free of "Rome" once and for all.
This is what I wrote thirty-nine months ago in a series on the Ten Commandments that was posted on this site, revised, sometimes slightly, sometimes substantially, in a few places for the purposes of this present article:
There is no need to belabor the fact that the Sixth Commandment forbids any action contrary to the virtue of Chastity as it pertains to married couples. Pope Pius XI commented on this at length in Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930:
Therefore the sacred partnership of true marriage is constituted both by the will of God and the will of man. From God comes the very institution of marriage, the ends for which it was instituted, the laws that govern it, the blessings that flow from it; while man, through generous surrender of his own person made to another for the whole span of life, becomes, with the help and cooperation of God, the author of each particular marriage, with the duties and blessings annexed thereto from divine institution.
Now when We come to explain, Venerable Brethren, what are the blessings that God has attached to true matrimony, and how great they are, there occur to Us the words of that illustrious Doctor of the Church whom We commemorated recently in Our Encyclical Ad salutem on the occasion of the fifteenth centenary of his death: "These," says St. Augustine, "are all the blessings of matrimony on account of which matrimony itself is a blessing; offspring, conjugal faith and the sacrament." And how under these three heads is contained a splendid summary of the whole doctrine of Christian marriage, the holy Doctor himself expressly declares when he said: "By conjugal faith it is provided that there should be no carnal intercourse outside the marriage bond with another man or woman; with regard to offspring, that children should be begotten of love, tenderly cared for and educated in a religious atmosphere; finally, in its sacramental aspect that the marriage bond should not be broken and that a husband or wife, if separated, should not be joined to another even for the sake of offspring. This we regard as the law of marriage by which the fruitfulness of nature is adorned and the evil of incontinence is restrained."
Fidelity to one's spouse involves more than an avoidance of any illicit actions with a person of the opposite gender (or, it must be added in today's culture of perversity, with a person of the same gender). Fidelity to one's spouse involves the loving and patient fulfillment of the duties, both spiritual and temporal, imposed by the married state. Fidelity to one's spouse involves seeing in him or her the very image of the Divine Redeemer, recognizing that it is that person, for better or for worse, who has been given to him or her to sanctify and save his soul. Not even a single thought is to be given to how "life would be different" with someone else (the Ninth Commandment). Each person comes with his own sets of strengths and weaknesses. Someone who is unhappy in one marriage will be unhappy in another. Unhappy marriages are the result of unhappy people, of people who do not accept the will of God and thus embrace the Cross by forgetting themselves in the recognition that the situation they have is exactly the one that God has fashioned for them from all eternity.
Additionally, fidelity to one's spouse involves avoiding even the appearance of scandal and the near occasion of sin. That is, a married person is not free to spend his time conversing on the telephone or engaging in e-mail chats or in having lunches or dinner with a person of the opposite gender, whether married or not. After prayer to Our Lord before His Real Presence and to His Most Blessed Mother, one's spouse is meant to be the sole source of a married person's emotional support. One is to recognize that the graces are present within the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony itself to handle all of the daily difficulties that might arise, to say nothing of the extraordinary and unexpected difficulties (economic loss, natural disaster, accident, chronic disease) that God has known from all eternity will occur. A married man or a married woman is simply not free to seek emotional support and consolation from a member of the opposite gender. One thing really does lead to another. Emotional ties lead to emotional infidelity, to a denial of the time, care and attention that are due our spouses alone and to no other person.
Pope Pius XI spoke directly to this matter in Casti Connubii:
It follows therefore that they are destroying mutual fidelity, who think that the ideas and morality of our present time concerning a certain harmful and false friendship with a third party can be countenanced, and who teach that a greater freedom of feeling and action in such external relations should be allowed to man and wife, particularly as many (so they consider) are possessed of an inborn sexual tendency which cannot be satisfied within the narrow limits of monogamous marriage. That rigid attitude which condemns all sensual affections and actions with a third party they imagine to be a narrowing of mind and heart, something obsolete, or an abject form of jealousy, and as a result they look upon whatever penal laws are passed by the State for the preserving of conjugal faith as void or to be abolished. Such unworthy and idle opinions are condemned by that noble instinct which is found in every chaste husband and wife, and even by the light of the testimony of nature alone, -- a testimony that is sanctioned and confirmed by the command of God: "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and the words of Christ: "Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." The force of this divine precept can never be weakened by any merely human custom, bad example or pretext of human progress, for just as it is the one and the same "Jesus Christ, yesterday and to-day and the same for ever," so it is the one and the same doctrine of Christ that abides and of which no one jot or tittle shall pass away till all is fulfilled.
A former professor of mine from Saint John's University (and one of the legions of my former friends) noted over thirty years ago that men and women cannot be "friends." They can be "friendly" to each other. However, they cannot be "friends" without one or both of the parties developing an emotional and perhaps even a physical attachment to the other. This is true, which is why one of the most diabolical aspects of Calvinist capitalism has been the removal of men from their families during the "work day" to be placed alongside women. It was bad enough when women served as secretaries. Now, however, women are serving in every capacity, taking time away from their own families and running the risk of serving as temptations to the men, both married and unmarried, who work around them, especially by how they dress and speak. Pope Pius XI's warnings about co-education, contained in Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929, apply equally to the mixing of the genders in the work place.
Thus it is, you see, that the economic effects of Protestantism, which is responsible for the industrialism and corporatism in the world today, include threats to marital fidelity. Many millions of men spend more time each day with other women in the work place than they do with their own wives and children. Many millions of women do the same. The availability of agents designed to frustrate the first end of human conjugal intimacy make infidelity more and more possible. Although the reality of our economic situation is what it is, Holy Mother Church has long preferred that men should seek the rural life, whereby they could work on their own family farms (or in their own family run business) without having to be far from their wives and children. Obviously, this is not possible in most cases now as a result of the forces unleashed in the world by the Protestant Revolt's overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King.
No matter what the Modernists in the Church contend to the contrary, the Church has taught traditionally that men belong with their families and away from any means of temptation. And meaning not to denigrate the capabilities of women in any way, shape, or form, nor meaning to overlook the realities facing mothers who have been abandoned by their spouses and must seek employment outside of the home, a married woman of child-bearing age belongs at home with her family to imitate Our Lady herself, who did not seek to "fulfill" herself outside of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Pope Pius XI discussed the revolutionary agenda of feminists and their allies in Bolshevism in Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937:
Refusing to human life any sacred or spiritual character, such a doctrine logically makes of marriage and the family a purely artificial and civil institution, the outcome of a specific economic system. There exists no matrimonial bond of a juridico-moral nature that is not subject to the whim of the individual or of the collectivity. Naturally, therefore, the notion of an indissoluble marriage-tie is scouted. Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity. Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right.
It has been quite wrong for the late Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II and now Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI to encourage women to work outside of the home unnecessarily.
Yes, the Church has recognized traditionally that there are circumstances that necessitate such work outside of the home, e.g., the death of a husband, a husband's disability or dereliction, abandonment. Such work, however, as Pope Pius XI noted in Casti Connubii, must be consonant with the dignity of their femininity and not interfere with her maternal duties.
It is simply not so that women must work so that they can be "part" of society, something the Marxist-trained Barack Hussein Obama believes. Women are the most important part of society by fulfilling their roles as wives and mothers. An abundant reward awaits those wives and mothers who have sacrificed themselves endlessly for the sake, both spiritually and temporally, of their husbands and children. The rise of the modern "work place" outside of the home is bad enough. The influx of women into a work place that should not exist to begin with has hastened the Masonic desire to breakdown the family and to make children more and more dependent upon the largesse--and the social engineering--of the State. Indeed, a legislator in The Netherlands wants to enact legislation to penalize educated women who "waste" their education by staying at home to raise their children. Please tell me that The Brave New World is not here.
Pope Pius XI summed up the matter of conjugal fidelity and the submission of the wife to the husband this way in Casti Connubii:
This conjugal faith, however, which is most aptly called by St. Augustine the "faith of chastity" blooms more freely, more beautifully and more nobly, when it is rooted in that more excellent soil, the love of husband and wife which pervades all the duties of married life and holds pride of place in Christian marriage. For matrimonial faith demands that husband and wife be joined in an especially holy and pure love, not as adulterers love each other, but as Christ loved the Church. This precept the Apostle laid down when he said: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the Church," that Church which of a truth He embraced with a boundless love not for the sake of His own advantage, but seeking only the good of His Spouse. The love, then, of which We are speaking is not that based on the passing lust of the moment nor does it consist in pleasing words only, but in the deep attachment of the heart which is expressed in action, since love is proved by deeds. This outward expression of love in the home demands not only mutual help but must go further; must have as its primary purpose that man and wife help each other day by day in forming and perfecting themselves in the interior life, so that through their partnership in life they may advance ever more and more in virtue, and above all that they may grow in true love toward God and their neighbor, on which indeed "dependeth the whole Law and the Prophets." For all men of every condition, in whatever honorable walk of life they may be, can and ought to imitate that most perfect example of holiness placed before man by God, namely Christ Our Lord, and by God's grace to arrive at the summit of perfection, as is proved by the example set us of many saints.
This mutual molding of husband and wife, this determined effort to perfect each other, can in a very real sense, as the Roman Catechism teaches, be said to be the chief reason and purpose of matrimony, provided matrimony be looked at not in the restricted sense as instituted for the proper conception and education of the child, but more widely as the blending of life as a whole and the mutual interchange and sharing thereof.
By this same love it is necessary that all the other rights and duties of the marriage state be regulated as the words of the Apostle: "Let the husband render the debt to the wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband," express not only a law of justice but of charity.
Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that "order of love," as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: "Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church."
This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.
Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact .
With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: "The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church."
These, then, are the elements which compose the blessing of conjugal faith: unity, chastity, charity, honorable noble obedience, which are at the same time an enumeration of the benefits which are bestowed on husband and wife in their married state, benefits by which the peace, the dignity and the happiness of matrimony are securely preserved and fostered. Wherefore it is not surprising that this conjugal faith has always been counted amongst the most priceless and special blessings of matrimony.
The fulfillment of the duties of fidelity and exclusivity involves a desire to spend one's time with his or her family. Those seeking to be married should understand that it must be their joy to spend time to with spouses and the children God chooses to send them. Apart from an annual retreat or some genuine family emergency, men should not be seeking "time with the boys" and women should not be seeking "time with the girls." Children watch, folks. Children will come to believe that it is normal and natural and desirable to take "time off" from their own families when they grow up if their parents are off in ten different directions with meetings or get-togethers outside of the home while leaving them in the care of baby-sitters on a regular basis. The place for a husband and a wife to be is called the home. No escape from the home should be sought under any pretext whatsoever.
What applies to the exclusivity of the married state applies as well to confidentiality. That is, instances of true and serious physical abuse notwithstanding, what goes on in the home is to stay in the home. It is not to be the fodder of conversations or-mail or discussions in "chat rooms." We are to accept whatever crosses come our way within our homes, recognizing that we are frequently the "cross" that our spouses must bear as a result of our sins and our failings and multiple. The difficulties, if any, encountered within our homes are to be offered up to the Most Holy Trinity through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we bear with each other as Our Lord Himself, who was so wounded by our sins during His fearful Passion and Death bears so patiently with us recidivist sinners.
This is what I wrote three years ago about confidentiality in the context of the Sacrament of Matrimony:
Excepting cases of real physical and emotional abuse involving threats to one's very life and limb, the Sixth and Ninth Commandments oblige married couples to keep the details of their married lives to themselves. That is, the normal problems of daily life are not meant to be discussed on the telephone or in e-mails with one's family members and friends. No wife or no husband is demonstrating himself to be a faithful spouse by complaining about anything to anyone that goes on in his household. People who do this are seeking to throw off whatever crosses they are asked to carry, desiring to seek consolation from others as they hearts grow embittered frequently from all of the complaining. As imperfect beings, each of us is a cross to our spouses. The difficulties we face in the course of the routine of daily living are offered up to God through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. If these difficulties become the source of conflict, then the place to handle them is in the confessional. Period. No one outside of a nuclear family needs to know anything about any of the details of whatever problems exist in that family.
Once again, cases of abuse are an exception to the bond of confidentiality that must exist in the home. However, it needs to be stressed that nothing can undermine the integrity of a marriage more than the harping criticisms that are uttered behind a spouse's back to third parties, criticisms that are bound to find their way back to one's husband or wife. A Christ-like love for one's spouse means to supernaturalize whatever petty problems that exist in a marriage and to prosper beneath the cross. A Christ-like love for one's spouse means to embrace even the larger problems and differences so that His love may flow all the more into the marriage. Those who say that they are divulging details of their marriage to "seek advice" from others are really looking for an excuse to gossip and to complain.
There are people who love to broadcast all of their problems. The wonderfully funny Car 54, Where Are You? featured actress Beatrice Pons playing Lucille Toody, who was married to Officer Gunther Toody. Whenever things got too crazy in her household, Lucille Toody would open the window to their tenement apartment in the Bronx and yell out with her thick Bronx accent, "Listen, Bronx! I, Lucille Toody, could have had any man in the Bronx. I got Gunther Toody. I am married to Gunther Toody! I am married to a nut!!!!" It cannot be that way with a Catholic, understand?
The state of the Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal is such that differences might arise between a husband and a wife over where to assist at Holy Mass. Many Catholics are suffering greatly today because of such differences. Some have been divorced and denied access to their children. Others live under the same roof with their spouses but in a state of estrangement. This, of course, is one of the many diabolical consequences of conciliarism and its Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service. The advice of a good, solidly traditional Catholic priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism whatsoever must be sought in these instances, recognizing that love of God comes before love of one's spouse. We must give God the honor and glory that are His due in the catacombs where no concessions at all are made to conciliarism and its false shepherds even if this causes difficulties in a marriage. However, this is a matter that must be discussed with a true bishop or a true priest in confidence. He alone has the Grace of State to offer the advice that his best suited to each individual circumstance
Mark Sanford was never taught these things. Protestants and naturalists must, as I noted last week, make it all up as they go along. Most Catholics attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have never been taught these things and, most sadly, it is the case that Protestants and naturalists and most Catholics attached to the counterfeit church of conciliarism do not have the Sanctifying Graces that are necessary to see the inherent dangers caused by the near occasions of sin and to thus refrain from violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments by rendering unto members of the opposite gender what belongs exclusively their spouses: their total fidelity of mind, body, soul and heart without any equivocation whatsoever.
Acquaintances of ours who are in need of counseling can receive it by means of spiritual direction from a true bishop or a true bishop and/or in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance. It is not the obligation of a married man or a married woman to "save" a member of the opposite gender who is encountering various difficulties by giving of his or her own time, energy and effort. While one can direct a person in need to get help from a true bishop or a true priest, we must thereafter commend that person to the mercies of the Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we ask Saint Michael the Archangel and his or her own Guardian Angel to protect them and to guide them in the midst of their difficulties.
The devil stands ready to ensnare us by trying to convince us that we are "special," that what has happened to others will not happen to us. The devil seduced Eve with this same lie. We cannot lie to ourselves by thinking that we can place ourselves in the near occasions of sin and not fall into sin because our motives are "purer" than others. We must be faithful to our spouses at all times in all things as we give them, both in good times and in bad, our all, remembering that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has given us His all by shedding every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to redeem us so that we can forgive others and as He has forgiven us--and as He forgives us in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance as the merits of His Most Precious Blood are applied onto our souls by a true priest acting in persona Christi Absolves us of our sins.
Although, yes, individual circumstances may vary, those of us who are married must be circumspect at all times when dealing with members of the opposite gender, thanking God for the gift of our spouses, who have been given to us to help us to get home to Heaven as we assist with them at Holy Mass and pray our Rosaries with them as a preparation for an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise, please God and by Our Lady's graces each of us perseveres until the end in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints