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Australian archbishop rues legislation against confessional seal

October 22, 2021

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CWN Editor's Note: Archbishop Timothy Constelloe of Perth has objected to new legislation in Western Australia that requires Catholic priests to disclose confessions of the sexual abuse of children. The new rule repeals the legal recognition of the confessional seal.

The archbishop said that it was “particularly concerning and troubling” that the legislation was advanced, ignoring a committee recommendation that would have retained the protection of the seal of confession.

Archbishop Costelloe also remarked that the legislation seemed to be based on a supposition that priests would do nothing when they heard of abuse in the confessional. In fact, he said, confessors would certainly urge the penitents to report the abuse, and any other suggestion is “either an ignorant or a deliberately misleading presentation of the way confession is practiced in the Catholic Church.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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