Italian journalist reports on priests’ answers in Confession

An Italian journalist has been blasted for reporting in newspapers the answers by several priests she misled in confessionals.

Laura Alari, who writes for Quotidiano Nazionale, invented stories about herself that she told priests during the sacrament of Confession.

She pretended to be a lesbian mother asking to baptise her daughter, a woman who lives with her female partner and a divorced woman who has a new partner, but receives Communion.

The newspaper series was intended as a portrait of Catholicism in the everyday lives of Italians.

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, said the articles “objectively constitute a grave offense against the truth of Confession”.

He said they also showed a “grave lack of respect for believers”.

Cardinal Caffarra recalled that the publication of the contents of a Confession is among the most grave crimes in the Church, which are under the direct competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishops’ conference secretary Bishop Nunzio Galantino said “this rubbish has already been done in the past”.

“I find this abhorrent from an ethical point of view and unspeakable from a human point of view,” he said.

The editor of one of the papers in which the articles appeared, Andrea Cangini, said protests were understandable.

But he said his paper wanted to show how the average priest reacts in such situations.

Ms Alari told the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire that she was aware that she was violating a sacrament.

“When the editor asked me to do this job I was very perplexed, because I am Catholic and I knew that I was violating a sacrament.

“ I decided that pretending to go to Confession was the only way to understand what is happening today in the Church without filters.”

She added that the problems she spoke of in Confession were real-life dilemmas faced by people she knew.

She added that she felt bad because she met “amazing priests who dedicated hours to me”.


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