by John Yeo
Roger was a parish priest, who had many secrets entrusted to him by the congregation. His parish took in the local prison and many prisoners unloaded their secrets on to his broad shoulders. One day his code of ethics was put severely to the test.
One eloquent embezzler, a lawyer who had been jailed for stealing funds from his client account, asked to speak to him. Then followed many interviews over a period of many months, as the prisoner took him into his confidence and confessed to many other unsolved crimes. Hiding behind the cloak of priestly confidentiality, the man's claims seemed to get wilder and wilder.
Nothing much had ever come anywhere near to shocking the priest before but this man's confession penetrated his consciousness and affected him badly.
Father Roger wrestled with his revulsion of what he was exposed to by this continuous stream of evil, and he requested a meeting with the prison governor, asking to be relieved of his position.
"Why this sudden decision?" Asked the governor anxiously.
"I am unable to reveal the real reasons, but suffice to say. I will be a changed man in the future!" the cleric replied.
The governor nodded as the sudden realisation came across to him, that this was a professional man who was clearly at the end of his tether.
The priest went on to say to the prison governor;
"Maurice, I feel as if I have been taking part in a revolting nightmare. I can't believe some of the secrets that have been entrusted to me, even with my experience and my long period of training, I am profoundly shocked. I intend to go on a long retreat to expunge this evil from my mind. It is as if I have been playing a role in a disgusting movie. I need to take a huge pair of imaginary scissors and cut the last last few frames of this film, and tread the memories into the dust of the cutting room floor and destroy them forever."
Then there was something of a role reversal, as the prison governor calmly said.
"Go in peace and use your scissors with care!"
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved