keywords: Confession

  • AUSTRALIA

    Confidentiality, Confession and the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Victoria's government has promised legislation to force religious ministers to report information about child sexual abuse received in Confession, and called a royal commission after revelations a lawyer breached the professional duty of confidentiality to clients. The implications of these breaches of confidentiality deserve reflection.

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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

    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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  • RELIGION

    Confessions of a literature addict

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 14 August 2017
    12 Comments

    Was Harry Potter’s 20th birthday to blame? Or the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death? Or merely the ageing process? It’s hard to decide, but in a life quite possibly ruined by literature, I have started remembering some of the books I read in childhood.  

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  • RELIGION

    Why the seal of the confessional should remain in tact

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 December 2016
    18 Comments

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a priest. Some groups and individuals are proposing to the royal commission that the seal of the confessional no longer be inviolable. I was quoted in The Australian saying, 'If a law is introduced to say that a priest should reveal a confession, I'm one of those priests who will disobey the law.' Being also a lawyer, let me explain.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of a news junkie who hides the news from his kids

    • Barry Gittins
    • 10 July 2015
    8 Comments

    Fielding questions about the latest shark attack or car crash, or government culling of charities, is relatively straightforward. But not the horrific patricide committed by Cy Walsh, son of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, and the wounding of his wife Meredith. It baffled my family and I couldn’t come close to explaining it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confessions of a grumpy old man

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 March 2015
    18 Comments

    It is becoming common to describe people who offer political, economic and cultural comment in the mainstream media as Grumpy Old Men. It is a nice insult that warms the hearts of those of us whose commentary is confined to the fringe media. 'But, wait a moment', my inner self interrupts, 'Are you really so very different?' To blot out the sound of silent scepticism, I rush on, 'There is Grumpy and grumpy. There is surely a difference ...'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of an overeater

    • Isabella Fels
    • 09 April 2014
    9 Comments

    I am a wicked creature of the night. The more I munch in sinful silence the more I feel I am trespassing with the dead. Food did my head in even before I took tablets for my head. I turn into a beast with a huge midnight feast as I go wild with chocolate, cake and ice-cream. The pounds come on like thunder with all my eating blunders. I have come a long way from my bulimic teens, but I still am obsessed, and think I will always be.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Confessions of a fat, exploitative tourist

    • Ellena Savage
    • 25 October 2013
    5 Comments

    One person told me the story of going out to a gallery in a rural area and seeing the same man harvesting rice with a buffalo that they'd seen a few months earlier. When they asked the gallery owner if it was harvest time again, he was told that the man was not actually harvesting rice, he was just employed to look like he was. A spectacle for the tourists. Which I'm pretty sure is the most alienated labour possible.

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  • RELIGION

    Confessional debate is a Royal Commission red herring

    • Chris McGillion
    • 29 November 2012
    43 Comments

    It is inconceivable that Catholic authorities would countenance the state interfering in the sacramental life of the Church. And any attempt to do so would quickly turn into an issue of freedom of religion. If the Royal Commission were to go down that path it could quickly find it had bitten off much more than it can chew.

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  • RELIGION

    On breaking the seal of confession

    • Geoffrey Robinson
    • 23 November 2012
    34 Comments

    In 52 years as a priest I have never had to face a conflict situation over the seal of the confessional and sexual abuse. I pray that I never face a situation where I was convinced an innocent minor would be abused unless I broke the seal. I would find it impossibly difficult to live with that abuse on my conscience. 

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