keywords: Seal Of Confession

  • 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

    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

    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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sex abuse action and the seal of confession

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 July 2011
    29 Comments

    Senator Nick Xenophon's call to protect children by ending the seal of confession was an affront to freedom of religion. But he speaks for many Australians, whose goodwill is necessary to preserve such religious practices.

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  • 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

    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

    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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  • AUSTRALIA

    The holy sacrament of coffee communion

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 August 2016
    12 Comments

    Within the first 20 minutes of my morning, I pay homage to life by partaking in that glorious gift to humanity, coffee. As well as the contested space around coffee's possible physical health benefits and purported dodgy effects, going for a coffee is good for the soul. Humans are social creatures, and coffee lubricates our communing. Over a cuppa I have shared hardships, counselled and been counselled, listened to tales of brokenness and celebrated the wins that punctuate our travails.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bob Carr's 'overlap of cultures' and the Victorian bishops on gay marriage

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 April 2012
    28 Comments

    Foreign minister Carr used the phrase 'overlap of cultures' to describe people of different cultures living together. The bishops are entitled to expect the Government not to legislate to 'smash' the sacrament and religious institution of marriage. But tolerance of other cultures and faiths must be reciprocal.

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