Practice of Confessions in Church:
In catholic teaching, the Sacrament of Penance is the method of the church by which individual men and women confess sins committed after baptism and have them absolved by God through the administration of a Priest. This is usually conducted in a confession box or reconciliation room. This is the most ancient practice that has been observed since many generations. However, in the recent events many complaints have been received from women regarding this practice as to how it leads to blackmailing and other crimes against them.
NCW’s Demand to Reform this Practice:
The NCW has demanded to abolish the practice of the confessions in church, considering the recent events where a rape case was booked against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of Kerala. The accused where charged for sexually exploiting a married woman belonging to the church. The issue came into lime light after her husband has raised his voice against this crime. The NCW has constituted the enquiry committee to investigate the sexual assaults against women in churches. The finding has been sent to Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Women and Child Development Minister and the DGP of Kerala and Punjab.
What Can be Done?
The women members of Kerala Church Action Council have staged a protest on July 7th against these atrocities. They suggested that as this practice is being practiced since ages women find it difficult to abolish this practice. Hence the nuns should be given the permission to conduct such practices to avoid the chance of it being misused. Another method that was suggested was to reintroduce ‘Phizamoolal’ which was practiced in olden days, where the believers recount get absolved of sins by recounting them in mind and ask for forgiveness in front of priest. This can ensure safety as women won’t tell their intimate secrets to the priests.
Most of the crimes are being committed nowadays in the name of caste and religion. It is time we understand that no religion preaches violence. Any violence in the name of religion or any violence in the name of spreading violence should be condemned. The priests who are supposed to spread the essence of religion and maintain peace are indulging in criminal activities. Care must be taken by every individual as to whom we can trust and whom we cannot. Everyone, especially women should be very careful while confiding their secrets. The essence of any religion is not violence and this must be understood by the humans.