Saturday, November 12, 2011

Father Tim Mockaitis' Audio Interview

Fr. Tim at blessing of Kimberly's gilded frames.
This morning's in-person interview of our priest, Father Tim Mockaitis, may prove to be one of my favorites.  It was really more of a far-ranging conversation than a typical interview, exploring everything from his book, The Seal, concerning the 1996 surreptitious recording by the Lane County Prosecutor of a prisoner's sacramental confession to the larger issues regarding this sacrament as well as the morality of the death penalty--and even touching upon the thorny issue of Pro-Choice Catholic politicians.

It had my intention to transcribe the entire interview for the purpose of this post, but I came to the conclusion that this would actually make it less engaging an experience.  I suggest that you listen to the entire interview, but I also will include some time markers--in case you want to quickly listen to particular sections and return later for the rest.

Since it wasn't my initial intention to use the audio, it's been necessary for me to do quite a bit of editing via Apple's Garage Band software.  I've removed a few of our topic digressions--as well as some of my throat clearing, and even some of my "is it recording?" episodes.  All things taken into account, though, the sound is pretty good for a simple iPhone recording.  Way to go Apple!

Again, thank you to Father Tim for taking an hour out of his busy morning to answer these questions in such a thoughtful and personal way.  I hope you enjoy this month's interview as much as I enjoyed making it!

1.  What warning should all Christians, and Catholics in particular, take from the egregious taping of this Sacrament of Confession on April 22, 1996 by the Lane County Prosecutor's Office?

2.  When did you decide that you needed to write The Seal?  (4 minutes and 10 seconds) 

3.  To the best of your knowledge, does this tape still exist as evidence in the Lane County Sheriff's Office?  If so, how does this make you feel?  (8 minutes and 20 seconds)
4.  Has this experience helped form your personal belief concerning the morality of the death penalty? (13 minutes)
5.  If the opportunity to read a taped confession were to come about within a publication such as a newspaper, do you believe that a Catholic's reading of the immorally-taped confession constitutes a serious sin?  (38 minutes and 20 seconds)

6.  For the most heinous murderers, do you see a sense in which it acts as a mechanism of self defense for society at large?  In other words, these people will never escape or be released in error to murder again.  (15 minutes and 20 seconds)  
7.  I don't know the statistics, but it seems that the Sacrament of Confession is being ignored by more and more Catholics.  Have these numbers indeed fallen over the last few decades?  If so, why do you think more people don't highly value Reconciliation?  (18 minutes and 30 seconds)
8.  When did you decide you wanted to be a priest?  In a related vein, did you have a particular moment as a younger man where you experienced a second conversion, a conscious turning towards Christ?  (As a family of former Evangelical protestants who crossed the Tiber in 2005, this question is always of interest to me.)  (23 minutes and 55 seconds)
9.  Who would you say are some of your favorite authors and why?  (29 minutes and 55 seconds)

10.  In a few words, what are some of the top challenges you think are currently facing the Catholic Church?  (32 minutes and 15 seconds)

(Click Here to listen to interview.)

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