HOUSE MD - scene in confession?

Just a random question. I was watching house tonight and when chase goes to confess the murder he committed the priest tells him to obtain absolution he must turn himself into the police. Would a priest tell you that you must go ‘turn yourself in’? :confused:

Just a thought. Thanks for any info!

As a precondition to showing true remorse the penitent must be willing to show some attempt to show commutative and restorative justice.

That would entail turning himself in to the authorities so that the victims and other people who suffered from the crime could have justice.

That would be my guess.

Absolution would be conditional on him fulfilling the conditions set for his penance.

I liked the confessional scene for its authenticity. It was believable and the priest didn’t just give Chase the absolution he wanted. Chase wasn’t truly contrite, and he believed that killing the man was a good thing. Essentially, the priest turned him away because Chase thought what he did was the right thing when it wasn’t. Well done, “House” producers. :slight_smile:

Right, Chase isn’t actually repentant in that scene. To the contrary, as noted above, he thinks he did the right thing - kill one man, save thousands.

I like the series, but I wish they would move beyond the standard formula a little bit. The writers are allowing some growth in House’s character, but it still comes down to an epiphany House has towards the end to save the day.

I thought I had heard or read somewhere (on this forum, I think) that priests aren’t allowed to require a criminal to turn himself or herself in as a condition for absolution.

Any priests out there who can answer this?


I asked my pastor this very question about 5-6 years ago and he said a priest could not make absolution conditional on the penitent turning themselves in. I was really surprised therefore to see this scene in House last night, especially as I was watching with two non-Catholic friends…I spent the next 5 minutes explaining what my priest had told me about the subject.

Or, they wanted to help expedite Chase’s breakup with Cameron, who is being written out of the show. All the good characters are being written out of the show (e.g., Amber, Kutner, Taub, 13) and Cameron’s next.

What about Foreman–? He covered for Chase. He fibbed at the board’s hearing on the matter and created a story to cover their tracks, which was a far more grave and far more premeditated act than simply swapping some vials.

That question has beed answered here in the past and no, it is not allowed. I do no watch House, but as the Fox schedule was messed up I caught this scene. I immediately told my wife that such a requirement is not allowed. The reason for this is that the information is revealed inside the Sacrament of Confession. Therefore, everything said is bound under absolute seal and can not be revealed, or be coerced into being revealed by any party. Require public pronounciation of sin would violate this seal.

that might be a penance…

(in which case the person would need to do the penance in order for absolution to be effective)

I didn’t know chase committed murder!! lol it’s been a while since i’ve watched this show…

oh I didn’t know that!

I stopped watching House because of an early episode where they did an abortion on an adolescent girl. I’m surprised they chose to do a Confession scene–and not a bad one at that.

Hey, what happened this week? Baseball prempted my Tivo recording and I only saw the first half. Apparently Chase is still struggling with guilt.

I am wondering if the priest where to have this be his penance. If you do not fulfill your penance isn’t the absolution void? I will have to go back to my kids baltimore catechism to check this out.

The priest didn’t give him absolution. Chase isn’t forgiven. THAT part is legit and could really happen that way. The priest saw that Chase was obviously not repentant for the crime, so he was correct in witholding absolution.

But as others mentioned, the priest can’t require Chase to confess to the cops.

Now if Chase had had a JESUIT education, he’d go to the STATE department and turn himself in. They’d probably give him a medal and tell him to keep his mouth shut before letting him go. Then he could go back to the priest and honestly say he’d confessed his crime to federal authorities. :smiley:


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