Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Leading French bishop discusses confessional seal with nation’s interior minister

October 13, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: Commenting on French law on the mandatory reporting of the sexual abuse of children, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French bishops’ conference, told a reporter that “the seal of confession imposes itself on us, and in this, it is stronger than the laws of the Republic.”

“I told him what I say to all religions: there is no law that is superior to the laws of the National Assembly and the Senate,” said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who summoned the prelate to a meeting. “The French Republic respects all religions from the moment they respect the Republic and the laws of the Republic.”

“Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort was able to discuss with Gérald Darmanin the clumsy wording” of his remark, the bishops’ conference said in a statement following the meeting. “The state has the task of organizing social life and regulating public order. For us Christians, faith appeals to the conscience of each person, it calls to seek the good without respite, which cannot be done without respecting the laws of the country.”

The conference’s statement led Reuters to report, “France’s top bishop acknowledges that law takes precedence over confession secrecy.”

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