Priest Removed From Post After Asking Students 2 Questions In Confession

A Catholic priest has been removed from his post after allegedly asking pre-teens some alarming questions. Parents became concerned when they learned that in the confessional booth, the priest asked 12- and 13- year old children about masturbation and pornography. A spokesperson for the church defended the priest, suggesting that the questions were taken the wrong way.

Father Nicholas Mishek had been working in St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Nebraska when he came under fire for asking middle school students if they ever masturbated or watched pornography. When the children revealed the line of questioning to their parents, concerns were raised with the church.

In Catholicism, the Sacrament of Penance involves going into a private booth with a priest and unburdening yourself by admitting your sins in confession. Priests are bound to absolute secrecy in confession and cannot reveal what was said to them. After confession, the priest instructs the person on what actions to perform for penance and absolves them of the sins.

Children usually begin going to confession around middle school age, though it’s a usually nerve-wracking process for the young. It's not uncommon for priests to encourage kids to go on when they’re stuck for words, but they aren’t supposed to ask leading questions.

According to reports, Mishek asked students probing questions about sins they may have committed. He asked if they’d lied or cheated, and went on to ask if they’d ever masturbated or watched pornography. Lustful behavior, including masturbation, is considered a sin in the Catholic religion.

After receiving complaints from some parents, all parents from the school were sent a letter about the incident. More parents came forward to say their children had experienced similar questions with the priest in the confessional.

The school praised the parents and students who came forward with the embarrassing reports. "Because of their quick response, we were able to take necessary steps immediately. We especially want to thank our brave students who knew this was inappropriate and voiced their concerns to their parents," read a letter.

Mishek was removed from his post, however he will remain a priest. The Archdiocese of Omaha says Mishek, who is only 26 years old, is inexperienced and overstepped his bounds with the questions, but they believe the priest made an honest mistake when he was 'trying to be too helpful.'

Deacon Tim McNeil believes that Mishek was asking the questions in order to help the children 'to really discern and be in touch with any sinful behavior they had'.

The Archdiocese says Mishek's behavior was unacceptable and will be dealt with, but since he's never had any prior complaints and he did not commit a serious offense, he will remain in the priesthood. “There wasn't a civil offence, not a canonical offence, not a criminal offense, none of that,” McNeil said.

At this point, the matter is remaining within the church and school. Police are not involved.

The church says that after the scandal, they haven’t yet decided what Mishek’s next assignment will be.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: Facebook

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