Father O’Reilly and Father Nolan were two Catholic priests assigned to a church in a small rural town in Ireland.
Father O’Reilly went to see Father Nolan one afternoon and said to him, “You know what Father Nolan. I am sick and tired of all this clean living. Tonight, why don’t the two of us go out and party? We’ll go to a few bars, drink and do whatever we want. What do you think?”
Father Nolan was shocked at his fellow priest’s suggestion.
“Are you crazy Father O’Reilly?” he said. “This is a small town and everyone here knows us. Besides, even if they didn’t know us, they would see our clothes and immediately know that we were priests”.
Father O’Reilly had anticipated this response.
“Don’t be silly Father Nolan”, he said. “We won’t stay here in town. We will go into Dublin where nobody knows us and we will go dressed just like anyone else. What can go wrong!”
Well, in the end Father O’Reilly managed to persuade Father Nolan to go out with him and they went to Dublin and spent the night partying like professionals.
When they got back home, not long before sunrise at 5am, Father Nolan’s face suddenly became pale. “I just thought of something”, he said. “We are going to have to confess what we did last night”.
Again, Father O’Reilly was ready for his colleagues doubts and feelings of guilt.
“Oh relax Father Nolan”, he said to try and calm him down. “I told you I had thought this all out in advance. Tomorrow, you go into Church and into the confessional. I will come in my regular clothes and confess and you absolve me. Then, I will go put on my garments, you come in and confess to me and I’ll absolve you. It’s very simple”.
Well, Father Nolan was amazed at Father O’Reilly’s brilliant solution to their problem, so the rest of the day went fine.
The following morning, Father O’Reilly went in the church, entered the confessional where Father Nolan was waiting and said, “Father forgive me, for I have sinned. My friend and I, we are both young men and last night we went out and sinned. We drank whisky, we got drunk, had carnal knowledge of prostitutes, used obscene language and we danced to wicked music”.
Father Nolan answered, “God is patient and forgiving my son and thus shall I be. Do five Our Fathers and five Hail Mary’s and you will be absolved of your sin”.
About an hour later, Father O’Reilly had returned home and got changed into his priest robes, returned to the church and was in the confessional.
Father Nolan entered and confessed everything to him in explicit detail.
There was a short pause and Father O’Reilly answered, “I find this really hard to believe. You behave like a common drunk and womaniser and yet you dare to call yourself a priest? You will do 500 Our Fathers, 500 Hail Mary’s, donate all your money to the church and also you will go around the church 500 times on your knees praying for God’s forgiveness. Then, when you are done, come back and we will discuss absolution. But, I make no guarantees”.
“What?” Father Father Nolan said in a state of shock. “What about our agreement?”
Father O’Reilly replied, “Father Nolan, what I do on my time off is one thing, but I will have you know that I take my job very seriously”.
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