The Case for Breaking the Seal of the Confessional

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More than at The Spectator (Oz), I have an post entitled: It’s time to finish the seal of the confessional: the religious case

I argue that Catholic clergy ought to be essential to lift the seal of the confessional and to engage in mandatory reporting of youngster sexual abuse:

It is following substantially reflection that I want to declare my assistance for the mandatory reporting of youngster sex abuse even if it demands Catholic clergy to break the seal of the confessional.

Even an advocate for religious freedom like myself understands and accepts the arguments for requiring Catholic clergy to break the seal of confession and to give mandatory reporting of youngster sex abuse. Religious freedom is an intrinsic human proper, a crucial index for gauging freedom in any state, but it is not absolute and can be restricted in situations of public security.

I know this goes against the consciences of my Catholic buddies for whom the sanctity of the seal of the confessional is tremendously vital. My social media feeds have been filled with Catholic buddies declaring that the proposed legislation is tantamount to war on the Catholic Church. Quite a few have mentioned they are prepared to go to prison or even die to defend the seal of the confessional.

Even so, there are numerous cogent arguments – religious, ethical, and legal – why the seal can be broken in the instance of reporting youngster sexual abuse, irrespective of whether by clergy or by any one else.

Lifting the seal of confession is, I submit, not only important but totally sound when thought of in light of Scripture, moral discourse, tradition, international law, and the church’s pastoral duty and missional witness.

Photo: Wikimedia commons.

 

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