Is forced and tortuous confession not against human rights?
“It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.” – Oscar Wilde
Confessing is one of the most beautiful ways, if not the only way to overcome guilt. To a person walking around like Cain with the mark of tremendous guilt upon his head, voluntary confession is perhaps the only way to absolution. The key word here is voluntary, truly voluntary.
For over the years various organisations that seem diametrically opposite to each other in philosophy have used forced confessions (emotional, psychological and physical blackmail and torture) to keep populations under their thumbs. It is sad that something as beautiful as a voluntary confession has been degraded to something like the self-criticism of the Yan’an Rectification and the struggle sessions of the Cultural Revolution.
Unfortunately certain politico-religious organisations dictate what sin is and these definitions make people who have never harmed anybody in their lives believe they are guilty and the weight of this guilt bears heavily down upon many of those who are sensitive. These organisations now make such people believe that absolution can come only through the channels prescribed by the organisation. What a humungous scam! What a distortion of the teachings of the truly realised and concerned souls!
Absolution can only come from within. No matter how much another person may say you are absolved, you are not absolved until your conscience tells you you are. Admitting to the cause of guilt does greatly help with the process of letting go of the guilt. I think a good friend or a psychologist is a much better person to help with the process than a priest. After all, a professional psychologist or a friend is hardly like to blackmail, for favours of various devious kinds, the person confessing.