Who’s that on page 180 of that book?
This is Sister Mary Benjamin, IHM. Sister Mary Benjamin got involved with us in the summer of ‘66, and became the victim of a lesbian seduction. An older nun in the group, “freeing herself to he more expressive of who she really was internally,” decided that she wanted to make love with Sister Mary Benjamin. Well, Sister Mary Benjamin engaged in this; and then she was stricken with guilt, and wondered, to quote from her book, “Was I doing something wrong, was I doing something terrible? I talked to a priest—” Unfortunately, we had talked to him first. “I talked to a priest,” she says, “who refused to pass judgment on my actions. He said it was up to me to decide if they were right or wrong. He opened a door, and I walked through the door, realizing I was on my own.”
This is her liberation?
How excited they were, to be delivering someone into God’s hands! Well, instead they delivered her into the hands of nondirective psychology.
But to mitigate your own guilt, Dr. Coulson, psychologists don’t know what they are doing when it comes to the inner depth of the human person; and one would think the Catholic Church, with 2,000 years’ experience, does know what it is doing. This priest was a co culprit. Had he nipped this in the bud—but he sounds like Rogers: “Well, it seems to me that perhaps you might perhaps do this or that.”
“What does it mean to you?” not “What does it mean to me?” Or to God. The priest got confused about his role as a confessor. He thought it was personal, and he consulted himself and said, “1 can’t pass judgment on you.” But that’s not what confession is. It is not about the priest as a person, making a decision for the client; rather it’s what God says. In fact, God has already judged on this matter. You are quite right to feel guilty about it. “Go thou and sin no more.” Instead he said she should decide.