“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” —1 John 1:9
Seven are the sacraments, and not least among them is confession. It is a believer’s refuge, to have her sins forgiven and absolved. What, then, if the confessional should itself become the seat of sin? Such is the allegation at the crux of a scandal that is simmering in Kerala’s Malankara Orthodox Church. A lay believer claims that his wife’s confessor used the details of a scandalous confession to blackmail her, and that he and several other priests went on to sexually exploit her for years. The scandal broke recently when an audio clip of the husband discussing the issue with an official over the telephone went viral on social media.