Our Church used to have small, dark confessionals - so dark that there was a moment of absurdity when the sins were forgiven and the fumbling for the door-knob, in order to get out, commenced. "Ha!," cries God "You can't escape My mercy!" True, there was something imposing about the thick blackness inside, with the faint golden glow peeping through the perforated grill. It was mysterious. Who knew what lay beyond the grill? But when the priest's voice penetrated that darkness to offer absolution or advice, you instinctively felt that it was not the voice of man speaking.
Men don't generally haul people into little dark boxes to tell them they are forgiven. Sending someone to a closet is considered punishment. Running to a closet? You'd have to be insane! Unless there is something there. Mmm. Confession. I think that I will go this morning [Addendum: yesterday] - for it is so good. [Addendum: I did go to Confession - woot!]
The old confessionals have since been replaced - they are now bigger, to allow access for the disabled. They are lighter, which is a pity. They have a little window on the priest's side, to allow people to make sure that everything is ship-shape (think of abuses). They are, to my thinking, not as inclined to inspire Pious Thoughts. It isn't that I have an immense amount of pride, that I am ashamed to have face-to-face Confession with a priest, but that I don't want to become distracted and think about someone or something (such as "Oh! What an ugly carpet/room!" - which, unfortunately, is often my reaction) other than God. But if face-to-face is the reasonable thing to do, given the time, place, priest, etc., then I won't abstain from God's mercy. Gosh.
So. Those Bay Area women who ordained themselves? Pray for them. And all women who wish to emulate them. We're not all like that. Pft. I could sing you under the table with my Vexilla Regis...and bad...singing...in Latin.