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Catholic World News

Irish government, Church should end debate on confessional seal, editor argues

August 31, 2011

Editor Gary O'Sullivan of the Irish Catholic argues that Cardinal Sean Brady and Frances Fitzgerald, the government's minister for children, should end their public debate about a proposal to require priests to report sexual abuse even if they learn about it in the confessional.

The Irish government cannot seriously intend to battle the Church over the integrity of the confessional seal, O'Sullivan reasons. And the Church has no objection to mandatory reporting in other cases (in fact the Church instituted a mandatory-reporting policy 15 years ago, long before the government). He argues:

A Church/State conflict over the confessional seal will not serve either party. Could both of them actually focus on the 99.9 per cent of the problem which exists outside of the confessional in order to try and make some progress on this deeply ingrained issue in our society?


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