Sunday, 18 November 2012

Privilege in the Confessional

There is considerable debate about  the secrecy of the confessional.  Whilst a number of priests have stated that they have never had anyone disclose child abuse in the confessional I think the issue is symbolic.  The perception is that the Catholic Church has not protected children and has kept the identity of the abusers secret not to mention paying their legal costs and moving them around to escape prosecution. 
In a society where there is mandatory reporting of child abuse it is important that there is one rule for everyone. It is important that the rule of law in a secular society is seen to override religious practices. This is not purely about what information may be given in confession but a statement of a societal expectation.

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