In 1965, when I was seven years old, I went to confession. It took a lot of nerve, but there was no one else I could tell...so I confessed to my parish priest that my 17 year-old brother and I were having sex. I told him everything. And he knew my name, my family, my brother. My parents business was across the street from the church and school I attended.
He didn't do anything to help me because of the "seal of confession." He told me to "go and sin no more."
Today, 42 years later, I called him. We talked for an hour. He is retired...86 years old. He remembered me, my family, all my siblings. He did not remember my confession. He at least said he was sorry that he couldn't do anything because of the rules.
He did, in an underhanded sort of way, try to shame me for not being Catholic any more, and told me there was no way for me to get rid of my sins any longer (edit: because I am not practicing Catholic and don't go to confession).
Oh well...some things never change. I'm still glad that I got a chance to tell him that his lack of help angered me and that the abuse affected me the rest of my life, and that I waited another 25 years before I could tell anyone else what I told him that day. He said he would pray for me every day from now on.
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson