At my Catholic boarding school in the late 1950s there was a jolly priest who heard my confession in his room rather than in a vacant confessional box. After I had recited my laundry list of petty sins, he asked if I was ever tempted to ‘commit a sexual sin by myself’.
He suggested that I take out my penis so that he could examine it to see whether I was prone to sudden erections. I left the room immediately. The next year, his proclivities discovered, he was removed by his bishop to another school.
As a child barely out of infancy, I had joined the long queues in our parish church every Saturday to confess my sins. The confessor sat behind a grille inside a dark box like an upturned coffin, smelling of stale perfume and nasty body odours.
A priest at John Cornwell’s Catholic boarding school asked if he was ever tempted to ‘commit sexual sin’ (picture posed by models)
I did not realise that we child penitents were guinea-pigs in the greatest moral experiment ever perpetrated on children in the history of Catholicism.
When I started my investigation into Catholic confession I was shocked to discover that young children were not allowed to go to confession before the 20th Century – in previous eras children did not make their first confession until their teenage years.
It was the anxious and pessimistic Pius X, Pope from 1903-1914, who decreed in 1910 that children must make their first confession at the age of seven. Evidently he had taken to heart the Jesuit maxim: ‘Give me a child at seven and it’s mine for life’. Click on photo of Pope Saint Pius X for the rest of this savage pseudo-journalism.
John Cornwell has now been thoroughly discredited for his false allegations about Pope Pius XII in relation to the persecution of the Jews in Germany during the war. Click here to read more
So, having made a fool of himself once, it is incredible that he has now turned his attention to Pope Saint Pius X in an attempt to blame him for the clergy child sexual abuse scandals in our times. What a numpty. What is it with Cornwell? Is he in bad conscience about something and seeks to savage the Church as a result? We can’t tell whether or not he is malicious – that’s not for us to decide. But what we do know, from his ignorance about the way Pope Pius XII helped the Jews, and won the gratitude of the Jewish community as a result, is that he lays no claim to being an objective academic in his writings about the Catholic Church. Far from it.
Frankly, I think there’s something very wrong with a man who is so muddled in his thinking that he blames Pope Saint Pius X for the sins of bad priests in the latter part of the twentieth century, when the pontiff’s motivation was merely to allow children access to the graces of the Sacrament of Penance at the most likely age when they would know right from wrong. I mean, nobody blames Wimpey for building houses on the grounds that they have make it easy for paedophiles to molest children – do they? Crackers.
I can’t help thinking that John Cornwell needs help. And lots of it. And soon. But then, maybe you disagree?