THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT MIGHT NO LONGER RECOGNIZE THE SEAL OF THE CONFESSIONAL
Written by Jennifer Snow on 08/17/2017
Winchester, VA – The BBC is reporting that an inquiry into institutional sexual abuse has yielded the proposition that Australian priests and bishops should face criminal charges if they fail to report sexual abuse mentioned within the seal of the confessional. Catholic News Agency reports that Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Bishops Conference, said that confession “is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion” and that outside of the confessional, “all offenses against children must be reported to the authorities, and we are absolutely committed to doing so.” Priests who violate the seal of the confessional are immediately excommunicated and their excommunication can only be lifted by the Pope himself.
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