The Bishop was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his arrival in the Diocese. The senior US Senator from the state, who was Catholic, was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner, but he was delayed in traffic, so the Bishop decided to say his own few words while they waited.
“You will understand,” he said, “the seal of the confessional, can never be broken. However, I got my first impressions of the Diocese from the first confession I heard here. I can only hint vaguely about this, but when I came here twenty-five years ago I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first chap who entered my confessional told me how he had stolen a television set, and when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer. Further, he told me he had embezzled money from his place of business and had an affair with his boss’s wife. I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed come to, a fine diocese full of understanding and loving people.”
Just as the Bishop finished his talk, the Senator arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his talk.
“I’ll, uh, never, uh, forget the first day our Bishop arrived in this Diocese,” said the Senator. “In fact, I had the, uh, honor of being the first one to go to him in confession.”
Lifted from an email and edited to fit my preferences. - DB