The Confessional Unveiled, or, The Truth about the Confessional
Los Angeles: Published by the author? 1914. First edition. 8vo. (20.5 cm); stapled, illustrated wrappers; 79,  pp.; five illustrations.
A scathing expose “of the awful abomination known as Auricular Confession, the most degrading species of tyranny ever foisted on civilized humanity." The author, a self-described ex-monk, decries the "bachelor priest of Rome [who] debauch[es] the minds of women and children by the filthy, polluting, degrading, vile questions that are allowed to be propounded in the Confessional Box." He provides a history of Auricular Confession, reprints the Examination of Conscience for a General Confession taken from the “Mission Book” and publishes the experiences of other ex-priests. To provide the reader with an example of the imprudence of confession, he cites a case where a priest unknowingly divulged a young wife’s infidelity to her husband who then murdered her.
Although Sullivan appears to have been a somewhat insignificant historical figure, he authored another similar book titled, "Convent Cruelties, or How Girls Become the Brides of Christ” and lectured on these topics. In her 1908 book, “The Question of Romanism,” Jane Woodworth Bruner describes Henry and his sister's consecration to the the Roman Catholic Church by their devout Irish Catholic parents. Henry was then "brought to the United States a working slave of the corporation of Rome” while his sister was forced to become a Discalsed Carmelite Nun, "the hardest, cruelest fate that could be visited upon a human being, even forced to go barefoot." If true, Sullivan’s declaration in the Preface can hardly be surprising: “I hate Popery! I do hate it with a perfect hatred! And while God gives me a brain to think, and a heart to feel, and a voice to speak, I shall cry out against that damnable system, the Church of Rome, and its vile, filthy Confessional.”
Some wear and chipping to wrapper edges, but a well-preserved copy of a fragile and scarce item. We find five copies located in WorldCat institutions. Item #05139