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Absolution

"My father's tutor, Monsignor Contini," the actress Stella Vitelleschi once recalled, "was hearing a confession. At the end, the penitent who was kneeling before him said, 'Oh father, I was forgetting to tell you that I have stolen a pair of silver buckles.' 'Well, my son,' said Contini, 'you must promise to give them back immediately, or I cannot give you absolution.' 'Oh father,' replied the penitent, 'won't you have them?' 'Certainly not. I absolutely refuse.' 'But father, what if, when I give them back to the owner, he refuses to accept them?' 'Then, in that case you will be able to keep them,' and he gave absolution to his penitent, who went away happily.

"When, some time later, Contini left the confessional, he found that his shoes were minus their silver buckles."

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