Spain was one of those countries that was more Catholic than the pope. And back in medieval times people had no choice but to go to mass and confession and be good Catholics –or else. Anyway, back in them days, in Spain, when someone went to confess their sins to a priest, it was face to face. The problem was that those Spanish priests were hot-blooded and lost their temper when they heard some of the sins people committed and the priest would sometimes hit or assault the person that was confessing his sins after hearing such a thing, or the sin was so bad that after the confession the sinner would get a beating from the priest -all was not lost, they worked it out.
And so they invented the confession booth with the partition so that in the event that the priest wanted to hit the penitent, the partition would prevent him from doing so –but there was a catch. On the sinner’s side of the confessional, the church installed a box with a slot to put money in. (In them days there were no hail marys or our father for penance, a sinner had to pay for his sins and that was what that box with the slot was about.
Anyway, getting back to the story, a certain man went to
the church to confess his sins and goes inside the penitent side of the
confession booth with the money box, to confess his sins to the Catholic priest,
and after the preliminary mumbo jumbo, he starts to confess to the priest that
he tried to have immoral sex with some woman and he tells the priest that was not able to – but the
priest interrupts and tells him: “Yes my son, but you intended to and it is the thought that
counts.” Hence, the priest fined the man a monetary sum that he had to insert
into the box. But the box was designed for small Spanish gold coins that could
fit through the small slot and this soon to be absolved sinner was of another
race and country and the coins he had were silver and much larger than the slot and after
several attempts to force the coin into the box, he was not able to. The priest
waiting for the payment to fall through to his side of the kiosk asks him: What
is the matter?” The man replied:” I am sorry, I tried, but it is the thought
that counts, and the man walked away without sin.