boxed sex | 1829

anglican church pamphlet against catholic confessional sex.

this ad in the london TIMES from feb. 21, 1829, indicates a peak of anti-catholic motion, briefly before the victorian age startet in england. the “Anecdotes of the Confessional Box; or, Catholic Priestcraft Unmasked; including an authentic Account of the Cruelties practised, under the Cloak of Religion, by the Jesuits of Holy Inquisition” by William Young, Esq., seemed to be only one of several variations of that theme, published in the mid 19th century under more or less the same title.

According to the historian Susan David Bernstein* the texts were more or less based on Peter Den’s „Theologica Moralis et Dogmatica“, published in the english edition in dublin, 1832. i doubt this.

apart from the fact that sexual advances in and around the confessional box, especially by priests against young people and women, were more or less common in the catholic church, this pamphlet transports a deeper message: “women, don’t attend the confessional to share your sexual emotions with a stranger, but confess to your dear husband!” in other words: the anglican church wanted to strengthen male domination and the patriarchate.


*Confessional subjects : revelations of gender and power in Victorian literature and culture. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1997