keywords: Confessional

  • 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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  • 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

    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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  • 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

    Confidentiality in the confessional and psychiatrist's rooms

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 August 2012
    19 Comments

    The news that Aurora accused James Holmes had sought psychiatric help may broaden the Australian discussion of the secrecy of confession. The exemption of certain privileged conversations from the duty of disclosure may be justified on the grounds of the public good.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Lying in the confessional

    • Brendan Ryan
    • 01 September 2009
    2 Comments

    inventing sins to keep the peace .. Were the priests cheated too, as I was? .. Or did they come to trust a congregation .. by the stories told in confession?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Delhi's spirit resists divisive ideology

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 05 March 2020
    8 Comments

    The divisive and foreign Hindutva ideology goes against the culture and spirit of Delhi. Recently Modi’s party were trounced in local elections. Almost always the violence and hatred is caused by outsiders and resisted by the Dilli-walas.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hope and trepidation amid Lebanon unrest

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 07 November 2019
    3 Comments

    Like many Lebanese Australians I've been watching the mass protests in Lebanon with hope and trepidation. Hope that government reforms, or a change of government, will bring about meaningful transformation in economic management, transparency and public services. Fearful because of the possibility of civil war.

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  • RELIGION

    Child safety reforms still progressing slowly

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 October 2019
    8 Comments

    The royal commission concluded that child safety, in all its organisational ramifications, raised questions of culture and governance for the church. If the Plenary Council 2020 doesn't take such issues seriously then it will be one indicator that the momentum around last year's official national apology has slowed.

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  • RELIGION

    Philip Wilson's dead letter day

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 December 2018
    41 Comments

    The show trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson has backfired badly causing hurt to many people, most especially victims of child sexual abuse who thought the law was being rightly applied to put an errant Catholic bishop in the frame. Section 316 of the New South Wales Crimes Act is a dead letter and it causes nothing but trouble to everyone involved.

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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
    28 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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