A priest’s sock puppet has been caught secretly hearing confessions in a downtown Philadelphia Catholic Church.

The puppet, introduced to the church during a homily six years ago by Fr. Michael McBrien has recently become a mainstay of Mass. “Father Doozy” wears a Roman collar and speaks in a high pitched shrill voice and often reminds everyone not to eat too much candy.

The dozens of parishioners who said they’ve gone to confession over the past six years all said they all still like “Father Doozy” but feel he definitely crossed a line.

Fr. Doozy would often be taken out of his drawer during homilies, especially those sermons which were focused towards children. “The kids love the puppet,” said Fr. McBrien. “Look, our church has to stay relevant and Fr. Doozy helps us do that. Sometimes I bring out my guitar and me and Fr. Doozy sing duets of old Peter, Paul and Mary songs but I change the lyrics up a little to make them more hip.”

The puppet confession scandal would seem to date back years as Fr. McBrien said he actually hasn’t heard a confession in six years. “I didn’t think we did that anymore,” admitted Fr. McBrien. “I thought Vatican II did away with all that stuff.”

The priest assured parishioners that the confessions heard by Father Doozy are still valid though. “You know it’s like those people were talking to God and yeah Father Doozy isn’t really a priest but as long as those people found truth in what Father Doozy said then that’s cool.”

The local bishop put out a statement to parishioners: “If you confessed your sins and the priest screeched, ‘Whoa that’s a doozy’ (which is the puppet’s catchphrase) then it was probably the puppet. Or if your penance was three cartwheels and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese then your confession was probably heard by a sock puppet.”

Fr. McBrien said the puppet would surely apologize to the congregation but not during the homily. “The homily is a little too important to interrupt,” said Fr. McBrien. “Fr. Doozy will likely make an announcement right before Communion.”