Skip to comments.Priests Could be Ordered to Report Confessions of Sex Abuse to Police [Australia]
Posted on 07/18/2012 6:56:52 AM PDT by marshmallow
UPDATE: THE prospect of government forcing priests to report what was said in confession is the sign of a "police state mentality", says a priest and law professor.
Hundreds of years of Catholic tradition in the confessional could be overturned by Victoria's inquiry into child sex abuse.
Priests would be ordered to reveal crimes told to them in private confessions under one proposal before the inquiry.
But priests say they will resist being forced to reveal secrets of the confessional.
Priest and law professor Father Frank Brennan said the move would be a restriction on religious freedom.
If a parliamentary inquiry were to recommend a law by parliament saying that priests were forced to disclose anything revealed to them in the sacrament of confession I think that would be a serious interference with the right of religious freedom, Father Brennan said today.
Indeed it would be a very sad day if we moved to a police state mentality, its almost of Russian dimensions to suggest Catholic priests would have to reveal to state authorities what went on under the seal of the confessional.
I am one of the priests who, if such a law were enacted, would disobey it and if need be I would go to jail.
Father Brennan said disclosures to priests in the confessional were different to those made to doctors or counsellors, or even when a priest was acting in a counsellor role.
If it were in the sacred realm of the sacrament of confession which in Catholic theology is akin to the penitent being in conversation with God, where the priest is simply an agent, then definitely the state has no role of interference in that.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
What, when they talk to each other?
The political authorities surely realize all this. Which is why I can't see it as anything other than making a show of pointlessly bullying clergy in order to score politically with the bigot constituency.
What is the official direction given to priests that receive confessions that are criminal?
Then the police came for the people that covered for the child rapists, and I...
Nope. Can't come up with a scenario where I see any reason to make religious exceptions on criminal accessory laws.
If it’s a real crime, they are supposed to refuse absolution until after the penitent turns himself in to the authorities.
. . .
You are wrong. You ignore the Truth that is the Catholic Church. The Church that Christ founded. No priest can be required to report this.
So on the list of advocates for abolishing age of consent today:
I'd add one more point to your bulleted list.
The seal of confession allows those who are tempted towards sexual crimes or have entertained thoughts of them but have not yet physically committed one, to be spiritually helped and counseled in complete confidence. Confession therefore becomes a source of help and crime prevention for those who otherwise might not avail themselves of such an opportunity due to the fear of police being alerted.
Read post #4.
"Criminal accessory laws", as they apply to the confessional are counterproductive, unenforceable (absent wiretapping) and entirely unnecessary.
Confessors are canonically required, in the case of a confessed felony, to tell the penitent that he can't be absolved unless he confesses to the police. Under ordinary circumstances, the priest wouldn't even know who the offender is anyway, since confessions are anonymous.
You knew that, right?
A priest should rather die, than do that.
Not yet. But it will. Eventually. Prevention is better than cure, right?
Therefore, in the interests of preventing crime and to help the children, we feel it has now become necessary to not only identify those who have previously committed such crimes but also to identify and monitor those who have an admitted inclination towards such actions.
Do I hear an "Amen"?
If it doesn’t and hasn’t happened, then the edict is merely stating the obvious for effect and there would be zero reason to think much about it.
You knew that, right?
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