A priest was being honored at a dinner on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his arrival in his parish.
"You will understand," he said as he started his speech, "the seal of the confessional can never be broken. However, I got my first impressions of the parish from the very 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 soon realized that my people were not all like that, and I had, indeed come to, a fine parish full of understanding and loving people."
Just as the priest finished his talk, a leading local politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make his presentation to the assembled crowd.
"I'll never forget the first day our new priest arrived in this parish 25 years ago," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession." ........