- Dec 10, 2019
Anyone who wants to experience the consolation and tenderness of God simply needs to go to confession, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
The Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania have become the latest in the country to pass legislation criminalizing priests who fail to report the abuse of children disclosed during confession.
Mandatory reporting of child sex abuse by religious ministers is a welcome reform, according to Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, but the seal of confession can’t be broken for any reason.
Kathleen Domingo is Senior Director for the Office of Life, Justice and Peace and Director of Government Relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She helped organize the opposition to a California bill that would have required priests to break the sacramental seal of confession in certain cases.
In a last-minute twist, a California bill that would have required priests to break the sacramental seal of confession was shelved by its sponsor amid a remarkable grassroots campaign mounted by the state’s Catholics, members of other faith groups, and religious liberty advocates from across the country.
As California is currently embroiled in a battle over whether to punish priests for not breaking the seal of confession in cases when child abuse is revealed, the Vatican has issued a statement reaffirming the “inviolability” of the confidentiality of confession, and saying political pressure in this regard is a breach of religious liberty.