Surviving Confession (2019) - full transcript

A disgruntled priest, conflicted with his faith, has his world turned upside down when an unlikely person enters his confessional.

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Confession.

The reconciliation of the
penitent.

It is one of the greatest gifts
the Church has to offer,

and must never be entered into
lightly.

To do so is to participate in the
pernicious sin of contempt of the holy.

As a priest, we are privileged
to minister this sacrament

this profound act of...

blah, blah, blah, blah.

I hate it.

I mean in practice not in
theory. In theory...

it is a beautiful act of
contrition and redemption



in reality, I am trapped inside
this tiny box for hours

sitting on a hard wooden chair

listening to the inane
regurgitation of rote sins till

my butt is numb and my mind
mush.

So... when the bishop decides
that every perish in the diocese

will have an extended three
hour session of confession every

Friday night my first reaction--

heck my secondary

my tertiary reaction

isn't yaaaay.

It's not that I find confession
boring.

It's not boredom,

it's hate.

I hate it. Hate. A genuine hate.



And it's not that I don't care about the
spiritual well-being of my parishioners.

I do.

That's partially why I hate it.

Of course I didn't always feel
like this.

In my early days I was excited
about confession.

In fact, I used to worry that I
was too excited

that I would derive some sort of
sick pleasure in hearing confession

that it'd be titillating in some way
listening to people bare their souls.

That I'd revel in it

That I'd chew on those morsel
bits of gossip.

I don't worry about that any
more.

Turns out I'm not a thirteen
year old girl

and gossip is not genuine
gossip when it's firsthand.

It's sterile, clinical.

It's the difference between a striptease and
dropping your pants in front of a doctor.

I assume.

I suppose it just starts to
wear on you.

Confess, confess, confess,

and then they're back the next
week.

And the week after that.

And the week after that. And
the week after that until...

You start to wonder, did they
even mean it?

And that makes you wonder a lot
of things...

Well at least confession is
still good for self-reflection.

Honestly, what is the appeal of
the new atheists?

Just a retreading of old arguments,
only less eloquently stated.

Try Sartre,

the arguments are still wobbly,
but it makes for a better read.

Father

Rupert Finnegan.

Successful businessman.

Well respected by those who
know him least.

Always the first to confession,
always opts for face to face confession --

a type of confession that is
actually somewhat common

a fact you may be oblivious to if your
sole source of Catholicism was the movies.

O God, who by your Holy Spirit
make perfect the elect,

pour your heavenly light into the
hearts of these your penitent servants,

that they may know and
acknowledge all -- all,

their sins -- every single one
of them...

...every sin against you,

and, confessing and forsaking
them, may obtain mercy

through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Amen

Bless me Father for I have
sinned,

it has been one week since my last confession,
I accuse myself of the following sins.

I lost my temper at another
driver.

He was merging and almost--

Not a mortal sin, no need to
give me the details.

Um...

Well... I broke the law.

I - I sped.

All week... to and from work.

Maybe five miles, perhaps ten
miles over the speed limit.

He also cheats on his wife.

I know this because his
mistress confesses it to me.

Not explicitly, but it doesn't take
Father Brown to put it together.

I was uncharitable.

Father Brown is a fictional
character by G.K. Chesterton.

He solved mysteries --

sorry -- I just thought that
reference was a bit obscure.

I didn't want you to think that Father Brown was some
highly intuitive priest in the diocese or something.

I saw a homeless man on the
street

and I thought I should give him
my spare change. But I didn't.

Um...

I also lied.

My friend asked me to help him tear
out his deck, and I said I couldn't...

I guess that's about it.

-That's it?

Yeah.

No more sins you might want to
unburden yourself with?

No.

So speeding, lying,
and not giving change to a homeless man?

Well that's all I can think of
at the moment.

Well, there may be some others.

-But those are the biggies?

Yeah, those are the ones I can
think of at the moment.

Well... I'll give you a minute.

Nothing comes to mind.

Maybe something sexual, perhaps.

Pornography for instance is a
problem in our society.

Are you, you know...

Click, click, click?

I have a content blocker on the
internet.

-Oh.

Well, who needs the internet with the way
women are dressing these days, am I right?

With their high skirts, low cut
shirts, you can see their whole...

regions.

Is that a problem for you?

Sounds like it might be a
problem for you Father.

I'm sorry Father.

It just that description was...

very vivid.

But no, I don't have a problem
with that.

I suppose I'm... just -- I'm
just blessed that way.

Right. Blessed.

But if it were a problem--

It's not.

- But if it were a problem you should confess
it, because lust is a serious issue.

You know, Jesus said anyone who lusts after
a woman in his heart commits adultery.

And we all know how serious
adultery is.

That's so true Father.

Now if you could make an
act of contrition

O dear God, I'm heartily sorry
for having offended Thee

And I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of heaven

and the pains of hell; but most
of all, for having offended Thee

Massive prick

And his wife is such a beautiful
woman, so tender nad love, and...

Well, she doesn't deserve this.

- I firmly resolve with the help
of thy grace

to sin no more and to avoid the
near occasions of sin.

Amen

Father?

Hmm?

My penance?

-Ah. Right.

Three Hail Mary's, and three
Our Father's--

Three Hail Mary's and three Our
Fathers?

-You're right--

three Hail Mary's, six Our
Father's, a decade of the Rosary.

And shove it up your anus.

Oh, shit.

You uh... you here for
confession?

Um...

isn't this supposed to be
anonymous?

Door number two.

You can go around if you want.

What would be the point of that
now?

If it makes you more
comfortable.

Nah, I'm not really...

Take a seat.

Or don't.

Alright.

So...

Like, how does this work?

Well, it's customary to begin with
"Bless me Father for I have sinned."

But you have like rules though,
right?

Like you can't tell anyone about
what is said during this, right?

Right.

Like no matter what, right?

No matter what.

Like, even if it's really bad?

Even then.

Like, even if it's like
illegal?

Even then.

Like nothing? Like not at all?
Like even if it's super illegal?

Infractions, misdemeanors,
felonies, you're covered.

Okay, even if I was like Hitler and I was telling you,
"yeah, I've been killing like a lot of Jews lately?

Like, shoving them into ovens and
shit." You wouldn't tell anyone?

The seal of confession is
absolute.

That's messed up.

And have you been,
"like killing a lot of Jews" lately?

No.

Then maybe we should stick to
your confession.

Alright.

I killed someone.

No you didn't.
- What do you mean, "no I didn't?"

I mean precisely that.
- Yeah, I did.

No you didn't.

Yes. I did.

Do you want to make a real
confession? Or not?

You cannot tell me what my
confessions are.

You could start with the sin of
lying.

What kind of priest are you?

I'm telling you, I killed a
guy.

Fine. Alright. Who'd you kill?

A man.

Just a man? Just a random man?

Yeah, like a homeless
guy.

What'd he look like?

Homeless.

How tall?

Like normal height.

Uh-huh. And why'd you kill him?

He was giving me shit.

Literally?

He was hassling me.

Ah, well that seems equitable.

How'd you kill him?

I stabbed him.

Ouch. With a knife?

Yeah, of course with a knife. What the
fuck else do you think I stabbed him with?

What kind of knife was it?

I don't know. A knife.

Was it his knife or your knife?

His.

How'd you get the knife from
him?

Just took it from him.

Wow.

Yeah. He was coming at me, so I
just--

Where?

On the street.

No, I mean where on his body.

In the throat.

Ah because you were mime
stabbing below his throat.

Are you sure that he was normal
height?

Must have been a lot of blood.

Yeah, pretty nasty stuff.
You wouldn't want to know about that.

Fair enough. So you killed him,
then what?

Then I thought I should
confess, and here I am.

And here you are. Curiously
without a drop of blood on you.

Well I washed up.

Pretty thoroughly it would seem,

and yet oddly

not well enough to remove that
club stamp from your hand.

Alright, I confess, I didn't
kill anyone.

You're pretty good.

Yeah, I'm a regular Father
Brown.

Who?

I need to ask you to leave now.

What?

This may be a joke to you, but we take the
sacrament of confession very seriously.

Well are you going to leave?

I don't think so.

Other people who actually want to participate
in this sacrament need to use the confessional.

Hello? Hello?

Is anyone there?

No one's there

-Even so.

You need to leave.

No.

-No?

No.

You're refusing to leave?

-Looks that way.

Well, this is a new one

You're just going to sit there?

Guess so.

Alright

I give her about five minutes
before she's bored out of her mind.

Doesn't that hurt?

Huh?

Your wrist. Doesn't that hurt?

Kinda.

Then why do you do it?

I don't know. I like it. A
little pain can be nice.

-Mmm. Present company excluded.

Okay. You need to leave now.

No.

There's somebody else here for
confession.

So?

So you need to leave.

You leave.

This is my confessional.

So?

In my head that was a stronger
point.

Get out.

No.

I mean it. Get out.

You get out. Take the
confession out there.

I can't. What if they're here
anonymously?

That side's open.

They're not gonna come in, if
you're in here --

I'm not arguing this with you. This is not a debate. You
are going to get up, right now, and you are going to exit.

Or what?

-Or what?

Yeah, what are you gonna do
about it?

You're gonna put a hex on me?

A hex? I'm not a voodoo priest.

Then what are you gonna do
about it?

Okay, young lady.

Oh yeah

Oh Father, yes!

-Are you insane!

Say you're sorry

What?

Oh -- oh yeah on the floor or
in the confessional

you dirty boy

You were mean to me. Say you're
sorry

Never

Oh yes. Harder. Yes! Down
sideways all over pound me!

Okay -- okay, I say I'm sorry
and you'll leave?

Yes. YES!

Okay, I'm sorry.

Father Whelan.

-Wh--what are you doing here?

Confession. What do you think?

That... that was just a prank.
A bit of a--

It's my confession Father, not
yours.

Really it is just a prank.

I believe you.

Shall we?

Father

- Bless me Father, for I have
sinned.

It has been three days since my
last confession.

And these are my sins.

Father Whelan is one of the oldest and
most respected priests in the diocese.

I've taken his confession
before and he's taken mine.

Priests confess to one another,
that's normal

though... not usually at this
hour.

We don't generally want to take away the
allotted confession time from the laity.

Recently I've had a very heavy
temptation

Deep and penetrating like it's
been gnawing at my bones.

A few months ago, a member of
my church

a very, very lovely, devout
lady -- lost a child.

A little boy.

Terrible accident and so naturally I
went to her, I tried to strengthen her

I tried to give her comfort as
best I could.

But her reception was always
just very, very cold.

That's to be expected.

Yes. Expected.

But still I prayed for her, I
prayed with her.

I prayed for peace. I prayed for
her strength and understanding

I spoke with her about the
glories of suffering

about...

all of the treasures in heaven,

and about the perseverance of
the saints.

And then eventually on one
visit...

She turned and she looked at me.

Straight in my eye and she said

You could never understand

-You've never had a child

you could never understand my
loss

She didn't just speak it

she snarled it

She was in pain

Don't misunderstand me, I
didn't begrudge her.

Even as she began to drift from
the church I didn't begrudge her.

You know, it's been fifty-two
years since my ordination.

I've given a great deal for the
cause.

I never had wealth.

I never had a fancy car, or a
fancy house.

I never took exotic vacations.

Never got married.

Never had children, and... and
never had grandchildren.

And for the huge deep sacrifice I
considered for the sake of Christ

my parishioner considered it a
deficit in me.

My sacrifice.

And it is a sacrifice.

We choose a life of sacrifice,
you and I.

And now as I...

near the end of my race and...
the end of my time here on earth

I'm beginning to wonder

Was it all worth it?

Well, Father...

Was it?

Of course. Immeasurably.

-Immeasurably?

I have my doubts.

And that Father, is my sin.

Your act of contrition.

I've prayed it all week.

God the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection

of his Son, has reconciled the
world to himself

and sent the Holy Spirit among
us for the forgiveness of sins.

Through the ministry of the church,
may God grant you pardon and peace.

And I absolve you of your sins,

in the name of the Father, and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Father Whelan...

Your penance.

I know my penance.

Okay, look...

Out.

That was not cool, I know that.

Out.

- Hey! Fucksake, I'm trying to
say I'm sorry, okay?

Aren't you supposed to be forgiving?
Isn't that like, the point?

Okay, I forgive you. Now get
out.

Did you see the look on that
old guy's face?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I
did.

Almost as priceless as yours.

You religious types are so
uptight about sex.

Why are you sitting?

I mean, it's just sex. It's not
a big deal.

Have you ever had sex?

You're not leaving. Why aren't
you leaving?

- I mean, other than teenage
boys?

Here we go...

Yes, of course, every priest is a pedophile. I choose
my altar boys based on their little head shots.

Do you know, the number of pedophile
priests is infinitesimally small,

but hey, let's not let facts or reason
get in the way of knocking the Church.

And I'm not minimizing what happened -- it was terrible,
it was horrible, inexcusable -- but my goodness

by that standard you must think that every college football
coach is a pedophile, or every Hollywood film director

and at least we do not give our
pedophiles awards!

It was a joke.

Sorry. You touched a nerve.

Like the way you touch little
boys?

Okay. Alright, alright, you
don't touch little boys.

But... have you ever touched a woman -- and
I don't mean recently, I mean like ever?

Have you ever had sex?

I'm not discussing this with
you.

Ugh, see? So uptight.

This is not uptight

Are you embarrassed?

No--

I won't laugh.

Why aren't you leaving!?

I'm interested.

Have you had sex?

Please leave.

Why won't you answer the question?
I promise I will not laugh.

I have asked you nicely to
leave.

And I've asked you nicely if
you've ever had sex.

No. Okay? No, I haven't had sex.

That's so weird.

-Uh-huh.

You're so old. That's so crazy.

Oh, so it's "just sex", no big deal. But it's
somehow a big deal that I haven't had it?

Well, which is it? Is sex a big
deal or isn't it a big deal?

Because if it isn't a big deal, then why
is it a big deal that I haven't had it?

I dunno. It just is.

I don't know what I'd do
without sex. I love sex.

- You shouldn't even be having sex.
You look like a child. How old are you?

Screw you, I'm twenty-one.

Yeah, let me see a license.

Does your father know you're
having sex?

No.

Well you should stop. Wait till you're married.
It's the right thing to do and it's better for you.

Married people have better sex
anyway.

-Yeah? Says who? You?

-Studies.

Bullshit.

Numerous studies.

Married people have more sex than those who
aren't, and are more sexually fulfilled.

Bullshit.

It's true. All of those sexual liberation
things -- it's a joke. Causes nothing but pain.

And pleasure.

- A little pleasure, followed by
a lot of pain.

Then you're doing it wrong.

Well not you, obviously, but
those studies are.

What about oral?

What?

Have you ever had oral?

I already told you, I haven't
had sex.

Oral's not sex.

Oh? What you're referring to...
oral hygiene?

Yes, oral sex, is sex, it's right there
in the title. It's part of the definition.

Okay. What about a hand jibber?

A what?

You know, a handjob. Stroking
the pope hat.

Stop doing that.

No.

Slight lie.

Jennifer Conner in the eleventh
grade.

I... still think about it -- her,
I still think about her from time to time.

Have you ever even kissed a
girl?

Yes.

And not just your mom?

Yes.

Awww. Who'd you kiss?

I had a girlfriend in high
school.

Awww. She dump you, is that why
you became a priest?

That's what you think isn't it?

The only way you could fathom how anyone could possibly
choose a life of celibacy and dedication to God

is in a state of crippling
emotional despair.

Well, let me enlighten you,

there is far more to life than the
shallow interrelations of boys and girls

or the world's juvenile,
insatiate obsession with carnal lust.

The very notion that the
mashing of genitals

can hold a candle to the richness that
is found in relationship to Christ

or the eternal significance of
service to his calling

is absurd and obscene, and
frankly, offensive.

I chose this life from a fullness of
heart, not a broken one.

Okay. So, she dumped you.

Yes.

But that is not why I'm a
priest.

Yeah, I dumped my boyfriend too.

He didn't really seem to care
how I felt or... you know.

Yeah. Well, it's probably for
the best.

Yeah, well he was being a real
asshole.

Is that really necessary?

-What?

Your language.

What? He was being an asshole.

We're in the house of the Lord.

- Yeah, I'm pretty sure God knows
he was being an asshole too.

Even so.

So, do just plan on sitting
here all night?

What? You got somewhere you got
to be?

No.

Relax, if somebody comes in
I'll leave. Alright?

You said that last time.

Yeah, and I did leave...
eventually.

I swear okay? I swear to God.
Okay?

To God even.

Okay.

You know, you're not very
welcoming.

This is why people don't like
religion.

This is why?

Yeah.

This?

Yeah.

This? This scenario here is why
people don't like religion?

Yeah.

A priest being curt to an individual who
intentionally and maliciously tried to

falsely portray said priest as
a sexual deviant

is the reason people don't like religion? That's
what you're saying? That's your argument?

Well, I'm saying it's in the
top ten at least.

I see. So you actually liked
religion prior to this?

I'm a spiritual person.
I just don't care for organized religion.

So you're for disorganized
religion?

You dislike that we meet at a designated time,
at a designated place in a coordinated fashion?

No. What you mean is, you don't
favor doctrine.

You dislike that we make truth
claims,

that we say things about the nature of God and man,
and worse, that we make claims about right and wrong.

Because God forbid that
morality were objective,

and we actually find judgment to be a good and
useful tool for right living and a just society.

Because if that were true you might actually
have a need for this box and this place.

The empty-headed happiness of
vague spirituality is that way.

I have no idea what you just
said.

All I'm saying is that if you have no need for my
religion and my confessional, then you are free to leave.

In fact, I encourage it.

-Who's that?

My mom.

She know you're here?

Yeah. It's fine.

You fighting with her?

No.

What the hell do you want?

Is everything alright in there?

Yeah, yeah, I just missed the
kneeler thing.

Alright. There we go. Bless me
Father, yadda, yadda...

- Let me stop you right there son.
How much have you had to drink?

Two beers officer and that is
it.

You wish to be absolved of your
drunkenness?

Hells yea. You know what --
my... my friend --

I have a friend, and he says that
confession gets rid of hangovers.

And I could really use that right about now,
because I got a job interview in the AM.

Do you have any other mortal
sins you'd like to confess?

Ugh, I don't know.

Well listen, I'm going to call
you a cab.

And when you're sober you can
come back to confession. Soon.

Your penance is do without
alcohol for two weeks.

What about my penis?

Penance! Penance.

Yes, hello, I'd like a cab...

-Oh god.

-Nevermind

Oh, holy shit

You're still here? Good. You
can give me a hand.

I am not touching that.

Of course, far be it for someone of your
generation to get their hands dirty.

There's a drug store across the street.
Would you get me an air freshener?

You can keep the change.

All of it?

What's gotten you so wound up?

Are you going to do this for me
or not?

Fine.

I'll be your errand bitch.

You're not my erra--

And hurry. Please. Thank you.

Here's your air freshener.

Thank you.

What?

I dunno. You're acting funny.

-Huh?

-You're all jittery.

I'm not jittery.

You are jittery.

I'm jittery because I want my
confessional to not smell like vomit?

-No.

Are we done here?

Are you expecting someone?

Yes. Parishioners.

I think you should be on your
way now shouldn't you?

I mean you've had your fun

you've made your jokes, you've
had your kick

that's enough right?

Unless of course there's some
actual reason why you came here.

Well?

Thanks for the change Padre

Mary.

Hey.

How are you?

Good.

Come in, come in, have a seat.

Thanks.

How are you?

Good.

Good.

Mary Finnegan

the only real fault in her, is who
she chose to marry -- massive prick.

So... light traffic today?

-Mmm?

You're a bit early.

Oh goodness, am I really that
boring and predictable?

-No. I'm sorry, I didn't mean--

No, no, it's fine--

I don't think you're boring--

Certainly seems boring. Isn't variety
supposed to be the spice of life?

Well, you can substitute with
oregano.

I suppose it's not the worst
thing to be boring.

- Predictable. Not boring. Never
boring.

Can anything be predictable,
and not boring?

Of course.

-Like what?

The sunrise.

Predictable. Not boring. Never
boring.

You're just the sunrise.

So... shall we get started?

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It
has been a week since my last confession.

These are my sins.

I gossiped.

I spoke poorly about a family
member of mine.

And I enjoyed doing it.

I had feelings of jealousy over
a friend of mine. Her life...

it just... it just seems so
perfect,

I can be resentful of it.

Nobody has a perfect life.
Believe me.

-Yeah, I suppose you would know.

And uh... we all want things
that we don't have.

What is it?

I didn't want to come today.

I've been struggling with
something, and I'm...

well, I'm embarrassed.

Don't be.

I thought about confessing anonymously, but
seeing as how I'm such a creature of habit...

I'm sure you would have noticed my
absence, or recognized my voice.

Mary, this is a safe place.

You can tell me anything. It
won't leave here.

I've been having impure
thoughts about a man.

And uh... do you immediately pray to
banish these thoughts and temptations?

I enjoy them.

Often times I don't even feel
guilty.

What should I do Father?

Well uh, this man is he a -- a fantasy figure,
that you're having these thoughts about?

Is he a model or an actor,
or... someone in your life?

He's someone in my life.

I see.

Well then it would be prudent
to banish those temptations.

Don't be around him, if you
can.

I'm obliged to be around him.

I see.

Well, it's going to be very important
then to avoid any compromising situations.

Don't be alone with him.

That also, might be problematic.

- There's no temptation to act on
these thoughts.

I mean, it's really ridiculous,
and I would never cheat on my husband.

It's just that... I can't seem
to stop the thoughts.

We all struggle with forbidden
thoughts.

How are things with your
husband?

They're fine.

No they're not. I don't know
why I said that.

We haven't been good in a long time.
Rupert, he's been very busy. And...

it seems, it sort of seems like
he's uninterested in me.

I mean we haven't...
connected...

we haven't -- we haven't felt
connected in a long time.

And I just can't change it...
I...

Has he said anything to you?

Mary, your husband--

I'm sorry I shouldn't have asked.
That's completely inappropriate.

It's just that, I don't feel like
I know what's going on anymore.

And what is it, that you think
I would know?

I don't know.

Yes you do.

That he's having an affair.

And why would you think that?

Because I'm insecure, and
silly.

No you're not.

I mean -- I mean it's not silly
to be jealous about your husband.

It means that you care.

Thank you Father. You always know
exactly what to say to help me.

Well, about these thoughts, we
should keep them in line.

We should not allow them to take root.
To fester. To grow. Lest we... stumble.

Okay

Anything else?

No.

Well then let me pray for you.

I recommend to your most Sacred
Heart who have now confessed to me,

asking that you guard her from
relapse.

After the misery of this life lead her with
me into the joys of eternal life. Amen.

A Hail Mary, and a decade of
the rosary.

Thank you Father.

What are you doing?

Good confession Father?

What are you doing?

- I saw her as she came in. Oh my
god!

What?

You dirty little rascal.

- What are you blathering--
- You like her

What?

That woman that was just in
here.

What are you talking about--

You were counting down till she
got here.

You're out of your mind.

- You were fixing your hair.
- Would you keep it down?

- You like her!
- She's a married woman.

Oh my god! You like a married
woman!?

Stop saying that.

You have the hots for a married
woman!?

You're being ridiculous, I'm a
priest.

Dirty priest.

You're being ridiculous.

So what's it about her that does
it for you?

Nothing.

It looked like she had a pretty
nice bod for an old lady.

Does she now?

Oh, don't pretend like you
didn't notice.

Commenting on the physique of one of
my parishioners is not appropriate.

Yeah, well fantasying about screwing them is probably
even less appropriate, and I bet you do that.

I do not.

Hey, look, I get it. Like I
said sex isn't a big deal.

Yeah, well it would be a big deal. It
would be a very big deal. If it were true.

So you don't fantasize about
fucking her?

Don't talk about her like that.

-Sorry. Must be true love.

Or maybe your spank bank is
just rated PG-13.

You fantasize about kissing her? Holding her
hand, whispering sweet Bible verses in her ear?

Absolutely not.

- You know it's a sin to lie.
- I'm aware.

It's like, one of the ten
commandments, I'm pretty sure.

- And you're under oath.
- Not true.

And the big man is listening.

Telling the truth. It's like
really important.

It's probably one of the most
important things. Honesty.

Oh really? Okay so...

truth is important to you?

It's important to God, Father.

Well then God must be very
disappointed in you.

Just in the time you've been
here you've fabricated stories--

-That was a joke--

You have outright lied.

-When!?

Alright. Fine.

You're right.

So I'll tell you what -- you
can ask me any question, I swear

I'll answer honestly, if you
do the same.

It'll be like truth or dare.

I never much cared for that
game.

You know you just can't have
truth without trust.

That's the only way this works.

How do you know you can trust
someone?

You can't know for sure. You
just have to try first.

Okay. So let's try. Truth or
dare Father.

Okay just truth, but I get to
go first.

Fine.

Why did you come to confession
tonight?

Because I wasn't ready to go
home.

That's it?

Your question is
up. My turn.

Do you like that lady that was
just in here?

Yes.

I knew it!

I like most of the people in my
parish.

No -- no do you "like" her like
her?

Your time is up.
My question: Why don't you want to go home?

Cause.

That's not an answer. Why?

Cause I don't really wanna see
my mom, or her boyfriend.

So do you like her, like her?

And don't act like you don't know
what the hell I'm talking about.

Yes. I do.

But I'm not proud of that fact,
and I would never act on it.

I think it's sweet.

It is not sweet. It's not
appropriate.

That is like your favorite word
or something.

What?

Appropriate. Everything is either
appropriate or not appropriate.

Or appropriate this,
appropriate that.

Inappropriate.

You like the girl, so why can't you just like
the girl? Why do you have be ashamed about it?

Because it's inappro-- it's not
right.

You don't believe that.

-No?

No.

Because if you thought it was a shit thing, you'd
call it a "shit thing." Not "inappropriate".

You're right, unless of course I had a moderate
vocabulary, in which case I just might use those terms.

If someone does something I think is wrong, that
pisses me off, because it's wrong -- you know?

Your point being?

You don't seem bothered by it,
so it can't be wrong.

I see.

Well, the Church has moved past
flagellation.

Like farts and shit?

-What?

-Nothing.

-What?

-Nothing. Nevermind.

So all I'm saying is there's no shame in
sexual desire. The heart wants what it wants.

"And the heart is deceitful above
all things and beyond cure."

-What the hell does that mean?

It means it's my turn.

Your mother's boyfriend, do you
dislike him?

No it's not like that. I like
him.

He's cool.

So what do you fantasize about
when you think about your lady?

Is this going to be your only
line of questioning?

Yup.

I try not to.

That's not my question.

But if I do dwell on such
impulses

then a thought that keeps recurring deals primarily with
punching her husband in the face and running away with her.

It centers on some desire to
rescue her.

She's a sweet woman, and her
husband is...

He's just not a very good man.

Why don't you want to see your
mother?

Because I hate her.

What's wrong with this lady's
husband? Is he cheating on her?

You are entitled to honest answers
about my life, not someone else's.

Got it. He's cheating on her.

I didn't say that.

-Didn't have to.

Why do you hate your mother?

-I dunno.

She doesn't even deserve it
really

she's been alright, like she's
not gonna win awards or anything,

but she lets me do what I want
I guess.

And she's been dealt a pretty shit hand too.
So, all things considered, it's fine.

It's just... when she's happy I
can't be.

What do you mean by that?

Does the lady know you like her?

No. What did you mean by that,
if your mother is happy then you can't be?

That's just the way it works
out. Does the lady like you?

She might.

Why are you at odds with your
mother?

You think she actually likes
you?

I can't discuss that.

What do you mean you can't
discu--

She told you in confession!?

I didn't say that.

Holy shit.

Again, I did not say that.

Why does she like you?

I mean, you're a priest.

I'm also a man.

Yeah that can't even fuck.

I can. I have the parts. I
choose to abstain.

Oh. Oh okay so she wants to ride your parts because
you're hard to get. That's the attraction.

I wouldn't say that,
and I certainly wouldn't use those words.

There might be some forbidden
fruit kind of attraction.

Also, I'm an authority figure...

...of sorts. The relationship between priest
and parishioner can be somewhat intimate.

Lots of people fall in love with their
psychiatrists, it's much the same.

Hearing their troubles, helping
them.

Yeah, makes me wet.

Okay so you like her, she likes you, she's
married to a dirt bag, so what's the problem?

Vows, for one. Mine to the
Church, her's to her husband.

So you would rather be in this box
everyday than be out there with that girl?

I'd be lying if I said I
haven't thought about it.

I've thought about it.
Increasingly.

It's not that simple.

Yes it is.

You know you're so lucky. What you want is right
there, all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Not everybody has that.

- At what cost? Do you even
consider such things?

Like what? Like their marriage?
He's cheating on her. It's over.

Not just that. The cost to the
Church, the cost to Christ.

The cost to everything I've dedicated
my life to and lived in service of.

So you're saying no priest has
ever quit before?

-No good priest.

So what? You're not a good priest,
that doesn't make you a bad man.

You can still believe in God or
whatever.

It's not giving up everything.
Just this box.

And maybe a few other things.

You're a pretty sharp kid.

You're intuitive.

Yeah. Ricky -- that's my mom's boyfriend
-- he says that I'm very mature for my age.

Oh, someone's coming.

Ah, could you stick around for a while?
I want to talk to you some more.

Oh. Really?

Yeah.

Okay. Glad this session was
helpful for you Father.

Let me help you, here.

There you go, there you go

Thank you.

Okay.. Just give me a minute...
to catch my breath...

And this is what I mean.

This is why I don't hang it all
up.

Because every once in a while some lost soul
at the end of his days reflects on his life

and realizes how desperately he
needs forgiveness and a Savior.

And that's how I can stomach this box, because
in those moments, this is a place of redemption.

And that's worth seeing.

It makes everything else seem
silly and trite.

I'm so glad you have chairs in
here.

I don't think I could've done
those kneelers.

I thought this was suppose to
be anonymous.

Oh, we have another booth for
that.

We really should mark them
better, shouldn't we?

Yeah.

But it has kneelers, so...

This is a safe place.

Do you want me to say a pray
for you?

No, no, no.

Forgive me Father, uh, for I
have sinned, uh

It's been... thirty, thirty some
odd years since I've done this.

Long time.

Yeah, it just never really
suited me.

Things change.

Yeah, they do.

The doctors they uh...

told me I got a month.

Maybe less -- in case you're wondering.
I know people usually tend to wonder.

So I just figured I'd get my
house in order. You know?

That's a very common sentiment,
I've heard it many times.

Facing our mortality does tend to help us
understand our need to get right with the Lord.

Yeah, well that's what I'm doing,
just trying to cover my bases.

-Your bases?

Yeah. Like you said, just
getting right.

Right.

So... your sins are?

Many.

I guess I should just start
with my favorite.

Prostitutes.

I just can't get enough of
them. I mean... I just

I got a taste, you know what I
mean?

Drugs.

Prostitutes and drugs kinda go
together. You know what I mean?

I've done them all.

Peyote, weed, mescaline, coke,
heroin, tar heroin, meth.

I mean you name it, I've done it. If I ain't
done it, it probably ain't worth doing.

Light adultery.

"Light adultery" what is that?

- Heavy petting. I was drunk,
she was drunk.

Several occasions.

Petty felonies... theft -- mostly theft. You know it's the
kind of stuff when you're exploring. Kid stuff, you know.

Strip clubs. You guys got a
problem with that too right?

That reminds me, I always
wondered about that.

You know if lusting after a woman and
wanting to fuck her -- excuse me, screw her

Well I mean, if that's the same,
if it's going to cost against me the same

Then I might as well get my
dick wet right?

-Um...

-Street fights. Mostly.

With a few people that deserved
it.

Spent a couple of nights in
jail.

I don't suppose that's a sin,
but maybe what landed me in jail was.

Got to do what you got to do.

I read my neighbors mail. I mean I'm out
here I'm done. I think that's about it.

Yeah.

Pretty full life huh?

Well.

Oh.

And I lied.

Oh sure everybody lies, but
some are worse than others.

And what was the worst one?

Probably about my cousin.

And what was the lie that you
told to your cousin?

Not to her.

She said I molested her.

I would not have said that.
I would not have called it molesting.

But she was a drama queen.
And she went running and told the family,

they confronted me and I told them she
was lying, that she was full of shit,

and that she was batshit crazy.

And now...

well I wasn't entirely,
completely truthful.

But they believed me, and she
was a drama queen.

She was always playing the victim. She
just needed to be the victim. She just...

Was always pulling shit like,
so they didn't believe her.

Well, maybe some of the family
members did. But...

She was always a drama queen
though.

Killed herself like ten, twelve years ago, which
is just the kind of person she is. You know?

Always needed to be the center
of attention.

Just drama, drama, drama,
drama, drama

Always drama.

So, what can you do, right?

So do your thing.

My thing?

Yeah, absolve me.

There is no absolution without
contrition.

- Huh?

You don't seem like you regret
the choices that you've made.

Uh, well, uh, I'm just trying
to cover my bases here padre.

You know I...

I don't know what else to do.

So you just, do whatever it is you got
to do to absolve me if there's a God.

If?

If there's a God?

I don't know.

You asking me?

Yet you're deeply, profoundly, sorry for all
of the wrongs you have caused to this person

who may or may not exist?

Yeah. Sure.

Whatever, I'm just trying to make things
right between me and the man upstairs. So...

Let's do that.

I can't help you if there is no
contrition.

- I'm sorry. Okay?

- Genuine contrition.

I'm very sorry. Okay? I will do
some Hail Mary's.

I will cross myself, I'll drink the
wine, I'll bathe in the holy water.

Get out.

What?

GET OUT!

-You've got to be kidding me.

Get the hell out of my
confessional.

You can't do that.

HEY! HEY!

-Not now!

-Gees, what's up your butt?

What did I say to you!

Excuse me?

Uh... sorry.

I--

Please proceed.

Bless me Father for I have
sinned.

It has been a month since my
last confession

- and I accuse myself of the
following sins.

I've committed adultery Father.

I slept with a married man.

No kidding.

I'm a home wrecker.

- Well, you certainly seem
distraught over it.

I am Father, I am.

- And I'd believe that, and have
hope for you,

if for a single minute you would
actually stop screwing Rupert Finnegan.

You still in there Charlotte?

Charlotte. I asked you a question.
Are you still in there?

Yes Father.

-Good.

- Now listen to me closely Charlotte, you have
been playing this little game far too long

-and I'm getting sick of it.

You come here all contrite,
on your knees pleading for forgiveness

only to turn around, drop to your
knees and service Rupert Finnegan.

I don't know, do you just like being
on your knees, Charlotte? Is that it?

You like being on your knees?

-No.

-What's that?

No.

- See, now then the only alternative
is that this is a big joke to you.

It isn't.

- No?
- No.

You slander the sacrament, you treat
it like a get out of jail free card.

Shed a few crocodile tears,
make yourself feel better between trysts.

- Your sins are not forgiven
Charlotte.

- You are not absolved. You're
a bad actress.

- Did you even considered Mary
in any of this?

Yes Father, that's why I'm
asking her forgiveness.

-Not the Holy Virgin.

Finnegan. Mary Finnegan.

The one you're stabbing in the
back.

A beautiful, wonderful, lovely woman,
who has done absolutely nothing to you.

-You're going to hell Charlotte.

Help me Father. Help me.

-You want absolution?

Yes Father.

-Then you prove it with action.

I'll end it. I swear I'll end
it.

-That's not enough.

And what should her penance be?

Can I just allow myself to do
this?

Yes. I think I will.

This is what you're going to do.

You're going to go to Mary.
Now.

It's out of my hands now.

What the hell has been going on
in here?

I'm quitting the priesthood.

What?

I quit.

No shit?

No shit.

Okay.

So what now?

I could use a drink.

There's nothing cheaper.

What the hell?

I'm twenty-one.

You got ID?

Fine.

-See?

- Pretty good. Give me a couples
hours, it'll start looking real.

- What, are you auditioning for a
job as a bouncer or something?

- Not a bad idea. I need the
work.

My old guidance counselor says you
need skills in this marketplace.

You have any skills?

Nope.

Well I work at SafeWay.

I could put in a recommendation.

You could work as bag boy.

I don't know what I'm going to
do.

I guess I didn't really think
this through.

Think what through?

The cost.

What about her? You're still
going to go for her, right?

Well you better.

You can't chicken out now, that's what
this whole thing was about. Right?

No.

Not just that. It's more than
that.

I don't see the point of this
anymore.

I'm not helping anybody, and
nobody wants to be helped. So..

Why should I sacrifice? Why
should I be alone?

Well... it's not all bullshit,
is it?

I mean, some people might need
confession, right?

Do you?

-No. But that's me.

It's not like everyone.

If you don't think you're a sinner,
then you don't need a Savior,

and you don't need this box,
and you certainly don't need me.

So, this isn't exactly a
celebration?

No. It's not.

Sorry.

Thanks.

Really?

Well alright.

Is that how it normally tastes?

Yuck, no wonder people don't go
to church.

So why'd you want me to stick
around?

Huh?

Well you asked me stay.

Oh. Yeah.

-What did you want?

Ah...

It doesn't matter anymore.

- I'm sorry Father, I didn't
see--

-No, no, no.

It's fine. We were just
finishing our session.

Don't forget your penance.

Thank you, Father... sir.

- I uh...

I needed to talk to you.

-Of course.

Charlotte came to see me.

Did you know?

Mary, the sacrament of confe--

Did you know?

Yes.

I must look like a complete
idiot to you.

No. Of course not.

I'm so embarrassed. I'm so
ashamed.

Don't be.

It's not your shame. It's his.

Have you talked to him?

I called him.

Screaming.

He denied the whole thing. He said
she was crazy, and that I was crazy.

He just kept lying

one big lie.

My marriage... my marriage.

What do I do Father? What do I
do?

Divorce him.

Divorce him?

Mary, you deserve someone
better than him.

You deserve someone who can love
you the way you should be loved.

Who won't hurt you. Who won't
lie to you.

You're an amazing woman. And anyone who
doesn't see that isn't worthy of you.

What are you doing?

I--

What did you think you were
doing?

-Mary--

I thought -- your confession--

My confession?

Mary I -- I love you.

You love me?

-Yes.

I have for a while now.

Mary--

-Please don't touch me.

- I'm sorry, it shouldn't have
happened like this--

-I need to leave now.

- No please, please, please,
just listen to me

- Please just let me go
- I'm sorry.

- Please just listen to me and I
can explain.

-Please get out of the way.

- Let me explain.
- I just want to go.

Mary I'm leaving the priesthood, okay,
I am not a priest anymore? I'm quitting.

What?

We can do something. We can be
together.

- Please stop. I just--
- Listen, listen

If you don't let me go, I'm
going to scream--

-I don't understand

you like me, I know you do.

Mary, Mary, please

-What the hell is going on here?

-What are you doing here?

I came to have a word with the
Father.

He's putting ideas in people's
heads.

-Mary please listen to me--

What the hell is going on?

Mary?

Answer me right now.

-He tried to kiss me.

He what?

-He's in love with me.

You tried to kiss my wife?

What do you care?

Did he tell you?

he sent Charlotte to say those
things to you?

He told her she'd burn in hell
if she didn't.

He manipulated that poor woman
into lying to you.

- Oh come on Rupert. How about for
just once you confess your sins?

Rupert! Rupert!

Hey!

-Rupert! Rupert!

He's lying to you Mary.

You're full of crap.

Mary! Mary!

You're through buddy, you know
that?

I'm gonna get your ass
defrocked.

Get the fuck out of here.

Dick bag.

Get out.

Let me help you up.

I don't want your help. Just
leave me.

Look I think that what--

-Get out!

Are you deaf! Are you stupid!
Just get out!

This whole night you haven't
listened to a word I've said!

You've just been sitting here,
pestering me,

bugging me with your goddamn stupid
made-up stories and your niggling questions

and your idiotic advice!

And I must be a goddamn fucking idiot, to even remotely
consider listening to whatever insipid inanity

spewing forth from your stupid
mouth, and stupid lips!

You don't know anything about
anything!

You're a fucking teenager, with
teenager problems.

You have a silly crush on your mother's boyfriend and you
think understand everything about real love and loss!

Yeah, that's right! I pieced that retarded puzzle
together, I'm a regular Father fucking Brown!

Oh Ricky, yeah he's cool. Ricky
says I'm very mature for my age.

I can't be happy if my mom is
happy.

Grow up!

You treat your mother like garbage because
you have a childish crush on her boy toy?

You think that gives you depth?

You think that gives you a deep
understanding of the human condition?

Get out.

You think you know me?

You don't know shit.

Fine. Now get out.

You're wrong about me. You were
wrong from the start.

Fine. Whatever. Just get out
now before I throw your ass out.

I did kill some one.

Yeah, that's right, the
homeless guy.

No.

My kid.

- And you're wrong about another
thing too.

Me and Rick.

It's not a childish crush.

I love him.

And he loves me.

And I slept with him.

Did you hear that Father?

I fucked him.

And not just once.

I slept with him... I slept
with him, many times.

And then I got pregnant.

And I wanted to keep it.

I wanted to have a family. But
Ricky...

Ricky couldn't have that.
Couldn't let me mom find out.

So he took me down, he helped
me fill out the paperwork.

He even paid for it.

And I didn't want him to be
unhappy. So I did it.

I did it.

And I wish to God I could take
it back and...

And you know what?

You know what?

The bitch is, now, Ricky won't even
look at me in the fucking face.

I can't even look at myself in
the face.

I feel like I'm such a -- I'm
such a fuck up.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry Father.

-No, no

Your sins are forgiven.

Now go, and sin no more.

Good luck.

-Thanks. You too.

-Come by any time.

Forgive me Father for I have
sinned...