Thursday, April 25, 2019

I have a confession to make

Well, no I don't. But it seemed like a good title for this image. A double, or is it quadruple, confessional in the church of Saint-Julien de Brioude. There are four places for sinners, but only two for priests. Is that normal? Not being a Catholic, I wouldn't know.

Bless me Father for I have sinned. No waiting.

At any rate, these confessionals were wide open, perhaps suggesting that there is nothing to confess in Brioude. At least on Saturdays. Because, you know, it's market day.


  1. Désolée, quand j'entre mon message en français, il s'affiche dans un sabir incompréhensible : ni français, ni anglais !

  2. Le prêtre avait à sa disposition un volet lui permettant d'entendre alternativement les pécheurs. De plus, en général, un rideau servait de "porte" de chaque côté du prêtre, mais il ne pas cachait que le haut de la personne car il s'arrêtait à mi hauteur!
    Voilà quelques souvenirs d'une vieille catholique ... On ne confesse plus depuis longtemps en France: il n'y a qu'à voir la poussière qui recouvre ces confessionnaux!

  3. Perhaps there are no sinners there because the priests are not there to hear them and are otherwise engaged with whatever priests do with their time.

  4. As a devout, practising Catholic up to my mid-20s (when I 'saw the light' and stopped!) I could never entertain the thought of using one of these confessionals where a priest had a confessor on each side, one waiting for the other to finish and be granted absolution for sins confessed before s/he began his/her own litany of misdeeds, most likely to be overheard in turn. I never actually ever used one of these double confessionals since my school's church (next door) had only three single booths I used only them for my entire confessing life. There were stories about what one confessor had heard another had confessed to and I wanted no part of it - though was always puzzled at the Church's sanctioning the use of such confessionals. Maybe saving time was the biggest advantage - wouldn't do to have sinners hanging around waiting when they might get a heart attack any moment and be consigned to Hell for eternity simply through bad timing!

  5. I always find these double confessionals comical. “Pay no attention to that other sinner behind the screen. He won’t listen.”

  6. growing up, my church had one of these "double wides". but we had curtains. I quit the catlick bullshit in 1977 and have never looked back. the abuse was real back then.

  7. Why wouldn't it be normal? I don't think there were people in both simultaniously, so no issue for me.

  8. These look like miniatures-- they're people size?

  9. You have to wait in line for just about everything.

  10. christiane, merci ! Très informatives, vos éxplications !

    andrew, hehe... perhaps the priests should be the ones confessing!

    raybeard, funny, the idea of sinners lining up. I suppose there's not shortage of sinners!

    mitch, oh yes he will! ;)

    anne marie, I grew up in a place with a lot of catholics and they (the kids my age) were always complaining about the nuns in their catholic schools and having to go to confession.

    jordan, as Christiane pointed out, these are probably relics anyway. She says that most French catholics don't do the confession thing anymore.

    judy, full size! Although I think the priest had a chair in his booth and the sinner knelt on that little platform on the floor.

    chris, no kidding! lol


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