St. Joseph Church in Dayton, Ohio is the unofficially designated urban parish in the city offering confession 6 days a week, Mon-Fri 11:30-12 and also on Saturday afternoons. The confession line is always a steady stream of demographically diverse Catholics.

Having noticed a blurb online in the weekly bulletin that confession yesterday was instead going to be at 11, I figured it would be sparsely attended, given the deviation from its normal time, and the closeness of the holiday. To my surprise, not only was the confession line already full upon my arrival, but the never-before-seen-used confessional booth on the other side of the naive was also being used, it too had a full line. It was quite a beautiful and fitting end to Advent.

Also observed in line for confession was a local pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage politician/elected public official. Usually such discussions involve said-individuals presenting themselves for Holy Communion, but this made me wonder about such individuals presenting themselves for absolution when no public renunciation of support for such causes had ever been issued. In this instance, while doubtful but still possible, the individual observed may have indeed been there yesterday to repent for those public positions involving non-negotiable matters of faith, and as part of the counsel he received in the booth was the necessity on his part to publicly retract his support, which is coming at any moment. But it all begs the question, of how do you receive absolution, if you don’t also confess your support for these immoral causes given the fact one is a publicly elected official?

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