THE CONFESSION

THE CONFESSION

The confession queue was long on that Saturday evening, but I wasn’t deterred. I was going to go through with this. One thing I usually did whenever I went for confession was to be selective of the priest that would hear my confession. I usually looked out for the younger men; with younger priests, I imagined I could be freer and more open about my confession.

While surveying the church, I sighted him just beside the altar, with his well-trimmed afro, chocolate complexion and a bespectacled strong gaze. There was this serene aura about him that told me he was the one I’d like to unburden myself to. Wanting him however meant that if it got to my turn and he was still hearing someone else’s confession, I would remain on the line. I didn’t care. I would wait until he was free to listen to me.

The queue kept on shuffling forward, and when it was almost my turn, I checked out his section to see that he was still with someone. I turned to the woman beside me and whispered that I wasn’t ready, so she could have my spot as the next person. After her, I gave up my space to about three more people, before I finally saw the priest making the sign of the cross – which meant that he was done with the person he was with. I quickly stood up and went closer to mark my territory, and as soon as the parishioner stood up, I darted forward and knelt on the kneeler.

After making the sign of the cross, with somber tones, I began”

“Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.

“Here are my sins…”

Let me just say here that I don’t go for confession in my parish. I usually go elsewhere, sometimes to a nearby parish or a faraway one. Yes, I know that priests take a vow of silence and are sworn to not divulge whatever they hear at the confessional to anyone else. But no, I don’t ever take chances.

And so, where I currently was about to confess my sins was at a church not close to my area. Which made it even more possible for me to say the first thing I did.

“… I have committed the sin of homosexuality and masturbation. I have lied. I have been disobedient. I have disrespected my elders…” I was speaking fast, going from one transgression to another, both those I had committed and those I hadn’t, saying a lot of things with the hope that the priest would forget to dwell on the first thing I said.

Moreover, I thought, he was young. Even if he did want to dwell on what I’d first confessed, I didn’t think he would make a big deal out of it, or make me feel guiltier than I already was.

“… Father, for these and those I cannot remember, please forgive me. I have finished.”

For some moments after I was done, a silence descended between us, engulfing us, stretching the bounds of what was normal to what was uncomfortable. I could even hear the clock on the altar ticking, so thick was the silence in our corner.

Then he finally spoke. “You said you committed the sin of homosexuality?”

My heart constricted slightly. Typical, I thought. Of everything, homosexuality never fails to get the average Nigerian’s attention.

“Yes, father,” I replied.

“With who?” he asked.

Hian! Abasi! What’s all this one na? I thought wrathfully. Please absolve me, let me go mbok!

“Someone I met at school,” I replied, still solemn.

“Were you penetrated or did you do the penetration?” he queried.

At this point, I wasn’t sure what emotion to give in to – anger, fear or even amusement. I was frankly astonished by this priest. I hesitated for some time, and then in a near-whisper, I said, “I was penetrated.”

He stayed gravely silent for a short while, as though to digest this testament of my de-masculinization. Then he asked, “For how long has this gone on?”

Now I was getting supremely uncomfortable. Frustrated and mad too. But I kept my calm and answered, “Two years.”

With a shake of his head, he sighed. The sigh of a judgmental older priest. The sigh that young priests were not supposed to heave. The sigh that caused my heart to drop as I realised what he was going to say even before he said it.

He began speaking in a voice that was rigid with unchristian censure: “People like you are the problem this world has. Honest to God. I wish people like you could be wiped off the surface of this Earth, so that this world will learn to do well. You people don’t deserve to live. Just look at the handsome young man that you are, wasting your life. It’s just so unfortunate. You must stop this! For your penance, say…”

It was at this time that I tuned him out, so shocked was I by the utterances of this man of the cloth. I could not believe the things I’d heard him say. I knew homophobes existed in the church – but this?! People like me should be wiped off the surface of the earth? We don’t deserve to live? I was wasting my life?

In one long breath, this man representing God to His people had advocated for a genocide and attempted to snatch back the gift of life that Christ had given mankind with his death!

I couldn’t believe it. My head was spinning. I felt dizzy. I could also feel the tears welling in my eyes. I stopped listening to him. By the time I was jolted back to the present, he had finished talking and asked me to recite the Act of Contrition, which I did, after which he absolved me.

I quickly stood up and all but ran out of the church. Outside the church premises, I stopped an okada and got on it. As the bike man zoomed off, I quietly sobbed as the crushing weight of the priest’s judgment weighed heavy on my soul.

Written by Peace

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40 Comments

  1. Pete
    January 20, 07:49 Reply

    Em em. You didn’t do your penance. 😁😁😁

    • Peace
      January 20, 21:40 Reply

      Hehehehehe I can’t even remember, I didn’t hear the penance, I probably just gave my self penance after a day or so

  2. Black Dynasty
    January 20, 07:58 Reply

    I’m sorry for the way he made you feel, no one deserves to be spoken to in that manner.

    Hmm, this is a lot to unpack but I hope you get to a stage in your life where these 2 points become your truth:
    1) Being gay is not a sin
    2) No man on this earth can forgive you for sins (in general), that’s between you and God.

    Hopefully you can understand this, that priest is not representing God. He was full of absolute hate & contempt, when God is love…literally.

    • Mailin
      January 20, 11:01 Reply

      It really depends on your faith and he doesn’t forgive he absolves you of your sin you still have to ask God for forgiveness the priest has to as well. As for being gay well we cant know for sure its a sin or not until judgement. All we have to do is live our life’s as decent as possible and hope mercy is forever benevolent. So you can not tell a person what they want to hear and make it all seem dandy its not fair to him or anyone else reading.

      • Black Dynasty
        January 20, 15:30 Reply

        Those are my truths and I stand whole heartedly by them. I say those as someone who once served as an usher in the church for quite a while who’s taken the time to research and read extensively.

        I respect your opinion but i disagree and I most definitely do not tell people what they want to hear, I say it as it is.

      • Mandy
        January 20, 15:38 Reply

        Mailin, we do know for sure that being gay is not a sin. We don’t need the judgment day to tell us that. What are you even saying? So you’re a Christian who harbours in your mind that your identity could be a sin? How do you live with that and still manage to worship God?

    • Peace
      January 20, 21:43 Reply

      My dear, it was some years back. But now I know that being gay is not a sin. It isn’t at all, I just feel somehow sha, when I go a whoring spree and become a cheerful giver. It doesn’t feel alright.

      • Black Dynasty
        January 21, 15:37 Reply

        Excellent! I’m happy you know that and are working on yourself.

        🙂 “whoring” has nothing to do with being gay, tons of str8 people do the same thing…. that’s a personal choice. Being gay is not a sin, what you decide to do however might be a different case depending on your moral dispensation.

        I personally believe each man to his own but being gay does not come with a pre-defined lifestyle nor is it something to become the centre of your existence.

        Tons of accomplished and established professionals who happen to be gay. Some in long term relationships, some in situationships and others enjoying as much fish as the sea has on offer.

        I think what’s most important is learning to love yourself, who you are and move forward from there.

  3. Buddha
    January 20, 09:35 Reply

    Peace, imagine I’m a priest right now and listen. Imagine you’re at a confession and there’s a demarcation separating the both of us. Of course, I almost was ordained. Too bad you met a judgemental breath-and I’m sorry.

    But listen: the only person you have to ask for forgiveness is you, yourself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself, everyday, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself “I am enough”.

    Forgiveness of self involves a change in how you view yourself. Instead of feeling a lot of guilt, shame, and anger toward yourself, you begin to replace those feelings with empathy, compassion, pride and love toward yourself. Your view of self begins to shift.

    This will cushion your view of yourself: my past hook-ups were priests; and present partner is a priest, and when I watch him celebrate Mass every morning I cringe. I have since stopped receiving that wafer. I hope to share the ups and downs of that here someday. But in the moment you should know that God, the Universe, is in you. You need not confess to a priest. Confess to yourself.

    • that dark-fair guy
      January 20, 12:03 Reply

      All of this.
      Especially the last line, when you have made up your mind to leave the church.
      Penance and reconciliation is a major part of the catholic doctrine, so you can’t say you are a catholic without doing it.

    • Tenzian
      January 20, 12:17 Reply

      Must you hook up with a priest? People look up to them to help them grow in faith and help them Speak to God. It really not cool having an affair with a priest be it heterosexual or homosexual affair. They took an oath of celibacy and you should help them keep that oath. If they can no longer keep it then they should resign or however it is called in the Catholic community. Same goes with pastors. Please it’s not right to have an affair with a priest or pastor. You can always say No and change your worship place if it becomes persistent or you are the one in love with him. It’s not just right.

      • Mandy
        January 20, 15:41 Reply

        Catholic priests, I can understand, because of their oath of celibacy.
        But what exactly is wrong with having a love affair with a pastor, especially if he’s unmarried? Please do tell.

      • Buddha
        January 22, 07:26 Reply

        @Tenzian, people look up to them because they think priests are divine. They are NOT divine. They can be RIGHTEOUS but NOT DIVINE. You can’t tell anyone who to have an affair with. You shouldn’t ever! Namaskar!

    • Peace
      January 20, 21:54 Reply

      Buddha Hun, these words you’ve written here mean a whole lot to me. I decided this year that, I’m going to work on myself specifically. At least know what I want for myself and also channel positive energy too. I guess the relations I had in the past are what broke me and put me on a whoring spree. But I hope this changes Sha, I hope to view myself in a different light. It would be nice to talk more to you. Pink panther has my contact. Kisses 😘😘 😘 hoping to hear from you.

      • Buddha
        January 22, 07:35 Reply

        @Peace, thank you for finding solace in my words. Thank you for hoping to view yourself in a different light. I’m grateful.

    • Pink Panther
      January 20, 12:15 Reply

      An absolutely beastly priest. That man does not deserve to serve as the face of God on earth.

      • Peace
        January 20, 21:57 Reply

        You can say that again!

  4. that dark-fair guy
    January 20, 11:56 Reply

    Sorry you have to go through this man. I no longer go to Church. I like to think I am nonreligious now. But Jesuit priests are the best I have ever come across. Educated and compassionate.You find them in Universities mostly. And believe me, majority of them understand homosexuality and are willing to listen. One I had confession with in the chaplaincy here did (Ah! The Lord be with that man).
    Why am I writing this? If you want your peace of mind in the catholic church,make sure you are with Jesuit priests.They are kind and want to even know about your sexual health.If you can’t find any, I suggest you leave,for your peace of mind biko.
    Peace and love.

    • Peace
      January 20, 22:01 Reply

      I love the Jesuits eh! Like kilode! The ones closest to me are in Gidan mangoro, Loyola Jesuit college, not so far but quite some distance. But then I haven’t been to confession since last year, not sure I’ll go sef. Still working on myself! In the Catholic Church, the Jesuits and the Dominicans are like the Koko for me😂😂

  5. Mandy
    January 20, 15:45 Reply

    As I was reading, I actually thought the priest was programming the guy. Setting the P. I didn’t know he was warming up to be a judgmental prick.
    I wonder if his reaction would’ve been different if Peace had said he was the one who did the penetrating during sex. Cos that question sounded like it had bearing on his bias.

    Look, Peace, how about you start by stopping the thinking that there’s such a thing as the “sin of homosexuality”?

    • Patrick
      January 20, 18:00 Reply

      I swear, I thought he wanted to codedly chyke brother Peace. And Yes, he probably thinks being penetrated is a worse form of homosexuality, which is unsurprising since he ignored the other sins and latched onto one. This business of ranking sins by magnitude has no basis in Christianity.

      I wouldn’t put it past him to be internally homophobic, overcompensating for his ‘celibacy’. I mean, what priest concerns himself with the details of anal sex.

      You could have just jejely gone to one of the older priests who have been wearied by confessions of homosexuality.

      • Pink Panther
        January 20, 20:35 Reply

        😂😂😂😂😂 @ wearied by confessions of homosexuality.

        I swear, you no lie.

      • Peace
        January 20, 22:12 Reply

        Hehehehehe but older priests are a no no ahhhh!!! I even have one older priest confession gist. It’s not funny at all.😂😂😂😂😂

    • Peace
      January 20, 22:07 Reply

      At all o! Setting the P eh kwa! Infact my mind didn’t even go there as I heard the question. I was busy begging the ground to open up and swallow me whole. And yes I’ve stopped thinking of it as sin.

  6. flame flame
    January 20, 21:54 Reply

    As a priest, it is an immoral thing for him to do. Honestly, I would have the time to write a petition against him to whatever is their disciplinary board. If it takes writing Rome! That a priest whom is supposed to ‘absolve’ people of their sin, does not understand the import of empathy in his trade speaks volumes of his incompetence!
    I am sorry you had to go through that.

    • Peace
      January 20, 22:10 Reply

      It sure is! I wouldn’t have thought of writing a petition, even if I did I would not even go through with it. I no get their power. Thanks so much nna.

  7. J
    January 20, 21:57 Reply

    What were you expecting? A tap on the back? Please don’t confess anything to any priest. Why are gay people punishing themselves so much eh?

    • Peace
      January 20, 22:15 Reply

      My dear I wasn’t o, I was expecting it to just happen sharp sharp. Being gay and Catholic is a serious struggle. I’m gradually letting go, I haven’t gotten there yet but I will soon.

  8. J
    January 20, 22:13 Reply

    If you’re religious, learn to fall in love, be sincere and honest. There’s nothing wrong with loving the same-sex , it’s something we can’t help, we’re are born this way. I really wish family members are supportive and gay people keep meaning relationships that can boost their self-esteem. Going to the church to confess to close minded priests will only hurt you.

    Love and respect yourself, don’t allow anyone to use or manipulate you. Stay away from sex addicts and anything that can make you to feel worthless. There are so many creative and intelligent gay people that have contributed a lot to this planet, don’t feel bad about who you love or get attracted to. Love is a beautiful thing when it’s sincere and honest. Watch YouTube videos of gay marriages and relationships, it will give you hope on homosexuality. A time is coming when everyone will be free to express themselves.

    • Peace
      January 20, 23:49 Reply

      I swear you’ve said it all ! Everything just as I imagine it in my head. Infact I need to speak to you more mbok. Pink panther has my contact.

      • J
        January 21, 07:18 Reply

        Okay, Pinky can you please send me Peace’s contact?

        • Pink Panther
          January 21, 07:22 Reply

          Shoot me an email and I’ll reply with his contact.

    • Kelvin
      January 23, 15:09 Reply

      Nice words J it seems you are A very cool person and we both might be on same page here, I would love to know you more in any possible way therein.?

      • J
        January 23, 22:14 Reply

        Thank you Kelvin, you can always get my contact from Pink Panther.

  9. fineman
    January 21, 09:48 Reply

    I swear down when I used to go for confession, that’s how I line up my sins. dropping the bomb first and then saying a plethora of other little sins so that by the time I’m done, baba would have forgotten the first.
    It never works. first person I confessed being gay (or having gay’s sex) to was our Associate Priest. The guy shook physically. that one is a story might share here.

    I am in a point in y life where I don’t know what I believe in. I live the church, it’s a big part of my life, I love the liturgy and especially the music. Even though the church doesn’t count me human, leaving is difficult.
    I don’t go for confessions no more and I’m fine not receiving the Holy Eucharist (partly because seminarians were hitting on me and even rooting for me to join them and be husband and wife in the seminary, lol no jokes. I got admitted into 3 different congregations, bless God I didn’t go. some niggas for suffer am) . I just go to mass and enjoy singing and conducting the choir. it’s now my spiritual role to take solos while people go for communion until every chorister returns and them we sing. I no send person papa.

    there’s a priest I came out to in a confession too. kinda. well, he asked. he’s like a spiritual father. he was trying to change me. for 3 years now. he has come to accept it. he asks about my lover everything we talk and recently, asked me to come handle his parish choir (for pay) and stay in the parish house. (of cause I rejected, don’t want CCTV eyes on my business 24/7).

    Peace, Las Las, it’s inner peace that matters. make peace with yourself and be true to yourself.

    • Peace
      January 21, 20:37 Reply

      Dear fineman, I’ll be a liar if I say I don’t see you through me, honestly I don’t know what to believe again , and yes religion is a major part of my life too. I’m also in the choir too, an alto converted by force tenor singer , I haven’t received the eucharist in like for ever too, I sing solos during communion too, that’s if my choir master permits it. I only conduct psalm at mass. Singing is like part of the major thing that pulls me to church! Take mbok 😘😘😘😘 . We should connect too you know .

  10. E
    January 21, 15:49 Reply

    If you didn’t want to be judged viciously, then maybe you shouldn’t have confessed aka divulged private information, to a hyper religious stranger who has no business hearing it. Seriously though, any gay person that still hangs on to organized religion is a traitor, if you think about it. Donating funds and a platform to people that will use your denigration and potential destruction as yet another fundraising tool, and then use THAT money to form ‘big man’. Tsk tsk, y’all.
    Atheism is the way. If lightning hasn’t struck me after 10 years (I’m 25 now) all that God shit na buga.

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