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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think the Catholic practice of "confession" came about more for voyeuristic opportunities for the priests than for anything else?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42438points) October 18th, 2016

Just curious.

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34 Answers

Seek's avatar

I think that’s more a fringe benefit than the purpose.

They did add that division in the middle of the confessional booth in order to prevent hanky-panky between confessors and the members of their flock.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought it was so the confessor could feel anonymous.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I know little-to-nothing about theology, but I’d guess that confession is from the Judaic beliefs about atonement.

ragingloli's avatar

Emotional control and blackmail.
Power of the religious caste over the peasants.
That is what it all comes down to.
Everything else is nothing but rationalisation.

zenvelo's avatar

It is done because it is an emotionally healing act. Just like the fifth step in a 12 Step recovery program.

The anonymity of the confessional is mostly gone now; most of the time it is face to face. And it is now called “Reconciliation.”

Sneki95's avatar

Confessing is present in other religions, not just Christianity.

I don’t see what exactly is voyeristic there. If I remember well, voyerism is related to watching, not listening. If you meant any gossiping or any personal gain from listening to other people’s problems, it probably doesn’t work like that.

If you ask me, confessing is probably some early form of therapy: you come and tell everything that is bothering you that you can’t say to other people, with guarantee it won’t get spreaded around, since priests have an obligation not to tell confessions to anyone, or else they get thrown out of the church. In Catholicism, a priest is allowed to talk to you, offer some advice, or simply tell you to pray, and praying is a form of meditation and relaxing one’s mind. Eastern Orthodox priests are not allowed to talk to you, due to the doctrine that confessing should be exclusively between you and God.
Either way, confessing your sins, or simply telling what is bothering you, is a way of “wenting out”. The priest is just a helper.
Frankly, I would be distressed rather than entertained, if I knew all the things I was never supposed to know, but I heard or was told to because people trust me not to say anyone.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s possible. Confession in Catholicism likely came from Judaism as mentioned above, but having parishioners confess to their Priest, and having to confess to receive communion, is a little over the top for me. I don’t think it’s out of the question that confessing to the Priests had some not so nice background to it originally.

The way I understand it, in Judaism if your sin was against another person, then you are supposed to ask for forgiveness from the person, before asking God. I’ve heard it said that Erev Yom Kippur, the night before Yom Kippur, is a time to do this, but it can be done any time before I would think. Yom Kippur is the highest holy day, the day of atonement. So, the way I always interpreted it, is forgiveness is between you and those you have hurt and God. The rabbi just helps to teach and guide you through the process. I might be wrong.

The Catholic process of confessing to the Priest can be cathartic I’m sure, so I don’t think it’s all bad. I just don’t like that it seems to be the expected way. Can Catholics simply ask God for forgiveness and it suffices? Or, they are required to voice it to the Priest?

MrGrimm888's avatar

I agree with @Seek . Some enjoy hearing dirt , but that wasn’t it’s intended purpose.

Sometimes they probably hear some pretty awful things. It’s probably similar to being a heterosexual male gynecologist. Every now and then you see some hot girls vaginas, but most of the time , nasty stuff. I knew a guy who did gyno work for the Amish. He had some horror stories.

You just avoid the confession booths with glory holes, and you’re good.

JLeslie's avatar

Some hot girls vagina? Ugh.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^If you want to debate weather heterosexual men should be allowed to be a gynecologist, we can on another thread. I never understood it. Sorry you’re disgusted by men liking vaginas.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There are living, breathing, feeling human beings attached to those vaginas @MrGrimm888.

Seek's avatar

Um, this is a tempest in a teacup. Let’s just not, OK?

JLeslie's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You missed the point. Two of my best GYN’s were men.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’m so sorry. I was not trying to start anything here. I was simply making an analogy. I thought it was relevant. The question is about voyeurism in a professional setting.

I’ve worked with, and known women who were nurses ,or doctors before, and they are human. I have been around them at lunch,or on transportation, they say many ‘normal ’ things about naturally being attracted to certain patients.

I was trying to point out that although some might be entertained by hearing certain confessions, the bulk of it is probably boring, or repulsive to the person hearing these confessions.

PLEASE. Let’s not spoil the thread.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was talking to my ex on this subject. I said “How would you like if a woman was examining your privates?”
He thought for a moment then said “We’ll she’d just have a lot more to examine than a man!”

MrGrimm888's avatar

It just isn’t the same. Most men I know would prefer a female.

Seek's avatar

I thought I’d never like to have a male gynecologist, because how could he possibly understand what I’m going through?

Then this last month I went to an OB/GYN office that was like a communal thing, and you just saw whichever doctor was on duty that day. My first doctor was a woman, who gave me absolutely no straightforward information, but cooed and patted my arm and said “Well we’ll see how this goes but we don’t know anything for sure…”

I don’t do well with coddling. Can’t stand it. Give me information and I’ll decide how to feel about it.

A few days later I went back and spoke to another doctor – a guy.

He was trying really hard to do the bedside manner thing, but he was clearly uncomfortable with it. I encouraged him to speak to me clinically, told him most of my family is involved in the medical field (they’re not, but whatever) and I would understand.

He was visibly more comfortable after that, and I got the real information I wanted and finally felt like I was talking to a competent physician and not a babysitter. That meant I could make a decision for myself on how to feel about my situation and had real information to convey to my husband.

I wish I could remember the dude’s name, just in case I need to go back there.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You seem to have some kind of perverted view of what it is like to be a man in OBGYN. I can tell you, there is nothing sexy about medicine. You deal with people in need. There is nothing sexy about that, even when the patient begins to flirt, which is a rare, nervous reaction some women have. It is to be ignored. If your OBGYN friend talked about “hot” vaginas, he belonged nowhere near the field. Maybe you and your friend have been watching too much “Nurse & Doctor” porn.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888 That’s weird. Why would most men prefer a woman, and not simply the most qualified MD? Is the medicine surrounding reproductive parts more about sex to you than medicine?

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus , I said I “knew a guy,” not that he was my friend.

@Duchess_III . It’s not sexual, to me at least . I just don’t want some dude touching my butthole, or penis. Under any circumstances. I had a rectal exam once by a male doctor. The whole time i kept thinking ’ a woman would have smaller fingers.’

I’m sorry my analogy has derailed your thread.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Then it’s sexual to you.

@Espiritus_Corvus LOL! Yes we feel so flirty, so pretty, so witty and gay when dude has a finger up our butts and a cold speculum shoved in our vaginas, legs spread to the damn world, with a female nurse on standby!

MrGrimm888's avatar

How is not wanting a man to touch my genitals sexual?

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is wrong with a male doctor touching your genitals?
Your answer should answer your own question.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Ok. I’m done. Weather he’s a doctor, space commander , or Donald Trump. I don’t want dudes touching my junk.

I’m a bad person, I guess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not bad. Just silly. They are doctors. That’s their job. It’s like refusing to use a banker because he’s male. Or a plumber. Or an electrician.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Lol. OH MY….. @Dutchess_III , banking and plumbing must be done differently in your area. Neither profession should involve my genitals being touched…..

If your plummer has a speculum in you, you should try a different plummer.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My point is, it is their job. There is nothing sexual in nature about it, any more than plumbing being sexual in nature.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Completely disagree. If you don’t mind @Dutchess_III , I’ll start a thread about it so it won’t further pollute your thread?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, this thread was pretty done anyway. I look forward to the question!

MrGrimm888's avatar

Ok. I’ll try not to make it offensive. Thanks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I saw it. It was a good question. I’ll just observe for now.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yeah. It’s taking on a nature of its own. I felt I had to ask two questions, to differentiate some of the opinions.

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