Search Results: Seal of Confession

  • RELIGION

    A new story for child abuse survivors

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 October 2018
    17 Comments

    Survivors and their families have been at the centre of this story, and now it's theirs to carry. For years, the people who maintained they were victims of abuse were told that they were trapped in a story about something that had happened to them when they were children. But that wasn't the story they were in at all.

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  • RELIGION

    Towards credibility and a clean conclave

    • Gail Grossman Freyne
    • 05 October 2018
    26 Comments

    The numbers show this is not a witch hunt, merely the tip of a conclave. Any man who becomes a seminarian, then a deacon, then a priest, then a bishop, then a cardinal, will almost certainly have bumped into, bounced off or blindfolded himself to the endemic problem within the Church of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable persons.

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  • RELIGION

    What it will take to prove the Church gets it

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 September 2018
    47 Comments

    The question of the seal is seen as proof that the church leadership is still resisting the royal commission recommendations. That impression can only be allayed if the church's record in a decade's time can be shown to be impeccable in responding to the other 98 per cent. Already 98 per cent has been shown to be a rubbery figure.

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  • RELIGION

    Circumscribing the seal of the confessional

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 August 2018
    31 Comments

    There is no way I would want to defend a seal of the confessional so widely drawn as that defined by Archbishop Anthony Fisher. However, I do think there is a case for respecting the seal of the confessional tightly defined as done by the canonist Fr Ian Waters. But to do that, the Church would need to get its act together.

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  • RELIGION

    What canon law is for

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 August 2018
    21 Comments

    Canon law, not usually a household term, has come into the public eye of late, especially in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Given this newfound prominence, it seems a good time to have a look at what canon law is — and what it isn't.

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  • RELIGION

    Breaking the seal for the common good

    • Peter Johnstone
    • 18 July 2018
    46 Comments

    The arguments for exemption ignore or deny the harm to children that can arise from failure to report. They claim the law would be ineffective because few paedophiles go to confession, and might not confess if the seal did not apply. Such conjectural arguments ignore the basic principle that all harm to a child must be forestalled.

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  • RELIGION

    Let's talk about the Catholic bishops

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 July 2018
    27 Comments

    The constitutional position of bishops is best illustrated by the Wilson case. The media releases of the hierarchy revealed their impotence. They explained their inaction by pointing out that only the Pope could force a bishop to resign and were reduced to conveying the impression of working behind the scenes to influence Wilson's decision.

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  • MEDIA

    Archbishop Wilson: Fair cop or foul?

    • Alan Atkinson
    • 13 July 2018
    50 Comments

    I have interviewed Wilson just once, while working for the ABC in Adelaide. I am not a Catholic. I abhor sexual abuse and its concealment. I do not wish to debate the rights or wrongs of resignation but simply reflect on whether the pursuit of Wilson could be described as a witch-hunt and whether he might be a scapegoat for the sins of many.

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  • RELIGION

    Let’s be less shrill about Church-State relations

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 April 2018
    48 Comments

    Archbishop Fisher's Easter warning was in part responding to the findings of the royal commission and in part to some of the submissions to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom. Being on the panel, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on particular submissions at this time. But I was shocked by the Archbishop's shrill tone.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Seal of confession should remain inviolate

    • Bill Uren
    • 07 December 2017
    34 Comments

    I suspect the royal commission will recommend the seal of confession should no longer remain absolute. I also know that all priests of my acquaintance will rather go to jail than violate the seal. I cannot then see that such a move will be anything but unproductive. Perpetrators will be less likely to go to confession and priests will go to jail.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the seal of the confessional will remain

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 August 2017
    23 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a 2000-page three volume Criminal Justice Report. One of its recommendations is that the states and territories 'create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context'.

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