Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Australian Priests Could be Forced to Breach Seal of the Confessional
The Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 11/14/12 | Jonathan Pearlman

Posted on 11/14/2012 10:52:47 AM PST by marshmallow

Australian priests could be forced to breach the seal of the confessional to report child sex abuse amid growing calls to end cover-ups involving the Catholic Church.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday slammed the use of the confessional to avoid reporting abuse, saying it is a "sin of omission" and all adults have a duty to protect children.

She announced this week the launch of a Royal Commission to investigate offences involving religious and non-religious organisations and insisted it will examine not only abuse but the role of institutions in covering it up.

Though the commission's terms of reference are yet to be decided, Ms Gillard said on Wednesday she was concerned about adults "averting their eyes" from crimes against children.

''It's not good enough for people to engage in sin of omission and not act when a child is at risk," she said.

Australia's most powerful Catholic, Archbishop of Sydney George Pell, was this week widely condemned for insisting that priests who hear confessions of child sex abuse must keep quiet because "the Seal of Confession is inviolable".

He said priests should avoid taking confessions from colleagues suspected of being paedophiles but that they cannot then report the crime to police.

"If that is done outside the confessional (it can be passed on)," he said.

"(But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession." The strict secrecy of confessions is believed to be more than 1000 years old.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-70 next last
Australian Priests Could be Forced to Breach Seal of the Confessional

How's that, exactly? No amount of "force" can oblige them to do anything should they decide not to do so. I think the writer means "ordered", which is what the government may be working towards but perhaps "force" is what the writer is hoping for.

1 posted on 11/14/2012 10:52:50 AM PST by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Why doesn’t the Pope just change the seal, an make it ok to report pedophiles?


2 posted on 11/14/2012 10:55:31 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Like hell. This isn’t going to happen. Priests will go to jail first.


3 posted on 11/14/2012 10:59:33 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oberon

How are they going to enforce this? Send agents into the Confessional wearing a wire?


4 posted on 11/14/2012 11:05:30 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

I assume the law will also require that attorney-client privilege be revoked when a client admits to sexually or otherwise abusing children. Same for any professional privilege of confidentiality when this matter is the subject of that privilege.

To really get the point across due process should be scrapped when anyone is charged with such a crime with all allegations leading to an assumption of guilt.


5 posted on 11/14/2012 11:05:58 AM PST by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
Why doesn’t the Pope just change the seal, an make it ok to report pedophiles?

When did you stop beating your wife?

6 posted on 11/14/2012 11:07:06 AM PST by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

Ok, let’s follow that thought exercise:

First a disclaimer, I’m Protestant and a Deacon in my church. However, in that capacity I often have conversations (confessions) with the church membership. Many that touch on legal and very sensitive issues. As a church leader, I am expected to have guidance and advice and most of all - to not share what has been spoken in confidence to me. I do not share it with other deacons or the pastor, not even my wife or anyone else unless the member says it is ok for me to share the details. But back to our thought exercise.

So the state first forces the reporting of Pedophiles (for the children). Then it is murder, then it is domestic abuse, then it is tax cheats, then it is cases of fraud, then theft and then ....

Well you get the point. So at some point in time, the person decides to not FULLY confess because their words could be used against them. This is in direct contravention of the scriptures which tell us to confess our sins one to another. The state is then using intimidation to censer a persons’ faith and the free exercise of their religion.

Next the person decide that confession is just not worth the risk, and then they decide that they don’t need to come to church at all. The state’s use of intimidation is now forcing the person away from a possible resource to come clean or to get help.

This is nothing more than a DIRECT attack on the Christian community and an attempt to make irrelevant one of the direct commandments from the New Testament.


7 posted on 11/14/2012 11:17:27 AM PST by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

He doesn’t have the power to do that.


8 posted on 11/14/2012 11:24:01 AM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Hear, hear! Wonderfully put.


9 posted on 11/14/2012 11:24:52 AM PST by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

That sort of thing would simply end the confessional as we and the Church know it. The confessional does provide an outlet for sinners to confess and to amend. Grave sins, especially if they are also crimes are not simply heard then the penitent gets three Hail Marys and two our Fathers. He is told that he is NOT forgiven if he does not get himself straight with God and the Law. He must cease the actions that lead to or constitute the sin and part of ceasing is to confess felonies to the authorities. In society men are to obey the law, whatever the law is, whatever is the system, except for laws outlawing Christianity. A priest must disobey any law that requires him to report a confession. If he breaks the Church law about confessions he will lose his priestly faculties and will himself have committed a grave sin.


10 posted on 11/14/2012 11:26:53 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Aside from religious issues: Is what a potential criminal said in confession really good evidence for a trial?


11 posted on 11/14/2012 11:28:10 AM PST by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
Why doesn’t the Pope just change the seal, an make it ok to report pedophiles?

how many pedophiles would confess to a priest under that circumstance? Confession would pretty much cease if there were any category of reportable confession at all. If one thing then sooner or later something else and on and on to everything. Reporting any confession defeats confession and would only happen once. What is the profit to the state of that, other than bringing Religion more under state control?

12 posted on 11/14/2012 11:30:23 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

I agree, really?

A better headline would be Australian Government May Persecute Priests Who Maintain the Seal of the Confessional.


13 posted on 11/14/2012 11:32:42 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol
Then it is murder, then it is domestic abuse, then it is tax cheats, then it is cases of fraud, then theft and then ....

It would never go that far. The first exemption to the seal would end Confession. Then the state would maybe think it has to decreeenact a law that required frequent confession. It would then be another in a series of absurd laws that would serve to put the government right inside the Parish to regulate every facet of religion. Religion would then split into the Government church and the underground Church.

14 posted on 11/14/2012 11:35:35 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: lastchance

To really get the point across due process should be scrapped when anyone is charged with such a crime with all allegations leading to an assumption of guilt.


Obama voter i presume.


15 posted on 11/14/2012 11:38:17 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Ok, let’s follow that thought exercise:


Exactly.


16 posted on 11/14/2012 11:41:40 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: arthurus

except for laws outlawing Christianity.


It would probably be staggering to count all of the laws that outlaw Christianity.

Of course depending on what the Gospel to different people are, if some one considers Pauls writing as the Gospel then you should not mind getting a ticket for breaking the speed limit.

But Jesus said do unto others as you would have them do unto you, which puts a little different light on things.


17 posted on 11/14/2012 11:54:11 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf

Actually, no. Do unto others refers to personal actions.


18 posted on 11/14/2012 11:57:43 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: massgopguy

“How are they going to enforce this? Send agents into the Confessional wearing a wire?”

There’s that. They could even wire up real molestors like they use real drug dealers I suppose.

The other possibility is to get discovered child molestors to narc on priests in exchange for reduced sentences I guess. Not sure how anything would be proved, especially if the confession is heard behind a screen, which should be the way they all are done in my opinion.

Another one I can think of is simply have every confession monitored and recorded, keyed up to a program that alerts for certain key words. Of course once the word gets out less would confess that sin, so it would have to be a secret operation, or keep the priest’s trials secret or something.

Truly something for the state to work on and perfect, har har.

Freegards


19 posted on 11/14/2012 12:00:39 PM PST by Ransomed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

Why doesn’t the Pope just change the seal, an make it ok to report pedophiles?


If something like that could be changed on a whim it would not be much good in the first place.


20 posted on 11/14/2012 12:01:26 PM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
If I was the senior Cardinal in Australia I'd issue a statement that said something like “we won't obey any such order for many,*many* reasons..including because of the potential impact such revelations might have on this nation's governing Party”.Of course that would be a pretty risky strategy,but...
21 posted on 11/14/2012 12:04:13 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Benghazi: What Did Baraq Know And When Did He Know It?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

It won’t happen.

And if the priest refuses, I doubt whether there could be any convincing proof in court that he was covering anything up.


22 posted on 11/14/2012 12:14:59 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol
This is nothing more than a DIRECT attack on the Christian community and an attempt to make irrelevant one of the direct commandments from the New Testament.

Well said. The Church is a social organization and authority structure independent of, older than, and not entirely subject to the State. Tyrants cannot tolerate such.

23 posted on 11/14/2012 12:29:16 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
Why stop at pedophiles? Why not all crimes and misdemeanors, including running stop signs and J-walking in rural areas?

Better they become martyrs than that. Plus if the government can do that why not also force lawyers to still out thier knowledge of crimes too.

24 posted on 11/14/2012 12:41:32 PM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

Why not require defense attorneys to report to the prosecutor, during the “discovery” process, whatever their clients have told them?


25 posted on 11/14/2012 12:43:06 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: arthurus

Actually, no. Do unto others refers to personal actions.


Every thing you do is a personal action, you can not say the devil made you do it.


26 posted on 11/14/2012 1:02:05 PM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Very interesting.

I assume that lawyer, doctor, spousal privacy laws will be revoked also.


27 posted on 11/14/2012 1:13:39 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf

I thought the sarcasm would shine through. Perhaps not.

But you correct that Liberals do get annoyed at the whole due process requirement when it holds back their demigod.


28 posted on 11/14/2012 2:34:47 PM PST by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: lastchance

I thought the sarcasm would shine through. Perhaps not.


The sarcasm came through quick enough, it is just me in one of my slow days, sorry.


29 posted on 11/15/2012 4:53:42 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

Instead of the state forcing it, why doesn’t the church just do the right thing, and say it’s ok? Why does the church fight this? They certainly don’t support pedophiles and I’m sure they think it’s illegal.


30 posted on 11/15/2012 6:06:02 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Why? What kind of power does it take to just say we should help put pedophiles away?


31 posted on 11/15/2012 6:07:40 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: arthurus

What’s the purpose of confessing to a priest anyway? God already knows if someone is a pedophile and if that person is sincerely sorry.


32 posted on 11/15/2012 6:09:46 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf

I don’t understand the value of it anyway. The pope can’t change something that his priests do, yet a priest can tell someone to do penance, and then it’s ok?


33 posted on 11/15/2012 6:12:42 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

I thought we hated lawyers that defend scum? Besides, that’s 100% legal, this issue with priests, is different.


34 posted on 11/15/2012 6:25:02 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

I don’t hate lawyers that defend scum.

Breaking “Attorney-Client” privilege is NOT 100% legal.


35 posted on 11/15/2012 6:34:15 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

So much ignorance, so little time.


36 posted on 11/15/2012 6:38:14 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

See #7

The church fights it because it is an attack on one of the direct commandments from the New Testament.


37 posted on 11/15/2012 6:39:04 AM PST by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

So what is the purpose of going through a human? Doesn’t God already know all this?


38 posted on 11/15/2012 6:54:01 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

What was the original reason for this commandment?


39 posted on 11/15/2012 6:55:44 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

You’ll have to take that up with Jesus; He’s the one who gave priests the authority to forgive sins.


40 posted on 11/15/2012 6:59:13 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

You’ll have to take that up with Jesus.


41 posted on 11/15/2012 7:02:36 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Good answer


42 posted on 11/15/2012 7:03:33 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

I don’t understand the value of it anyway. The pope can’t change something that his priests do, yet a priest can tell someone to do penance, and then it’s ok?


The Catholic Church have been telling every one for many years that the Pope is the VICAR of CHRIST if that is true which i think not then they would have more power than any Government on this earth, or at least should have, in fact for many years they did.

Just as the Bible tells us, keep your self, that is your sins unspotted from the world but we are to confess our sins to one another.

Most of us would not be willing to turn one of our brothers in for something, at least if we thought they would repent and we would not even think of doing that to our father or mother.

Those who follow Jesus are his brothers, sisters and fathers and mothers and they are also each others of the same.

Personally i think there are many people wants other people to think the only sins are those of the church, and as bad as it may be i don,t think they are any worse than the average people, and saints compared to the people who are now running this nation.

So even if i don,t agree with the catholic church and do not entirely agree with most of the other churches.

If not for them i would not even know the gospel of Jesus which is more important to me than all of the laws in the whole wide world.


43 posted on 11/15/2012 7:31:18 AM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf

So what is the value of confession?


44 posted on 11/15/2012 8:07:58 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

So what is the value of confession if God already knows what you did and what is in your heart?


45 posted on 11/15/2012 8:56:01 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

What’s the value of a marriage ceremony if God already knows what’s in the hearts of the principals?


46 posted on 11/15/2012 8:59:04 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Besides not even being an answer, that isn’t even related. If ya can’t answer just say so or at least guess.


47 posted on 11/15/2012 9:03:30 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

It cleans your soul of sins so that you may spend Eternity somewhere other than in the Fires of Hell.


48 posted on 11/15/2012 9:08:45 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr

Forgiveness of sins requires their formal acknowlegement and repentance.

That’s the position of the Roman Catholic Church, derived from the teachings of Jesus.

If you don’t like it, too bad; take it up with Jesus.

You remind me of a two-year-old, endlessly and mindlessly asking Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?


49 posted on 11/15/2012 9:11:59 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Pedophiles don’t go to hell if they’ve gone to confession?


50 posted on 11/15/2012 9:17:20 AM PST by stuartcr ("When silence speaks, it speaks only to those that have already decided what they want to hear.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-70 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson