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  #1  
Old Apr 28, '12, 10:22 am
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CatholicTrekkie CatholicTrekkie is offline
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Default Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Iri...#ixzz1tMAr1AA5

Quote:
Irish priests have vowed to defy a new law forcing them to report details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional box.

Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter is to introduce new legislation which will force the clergy to reveal all details disclosed in confession.

But priests have vowed to defy the law despite the threat of a 10-year jail sentence after the introduction of the mandatory reporting legislation.
I can honestly say I haven't heard of this law. If this is true, which, considering the source, is likely, then it presents yet another attack on freedom of religion.
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  #2  
Old Apr 28, '12, 11:06 am
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The_Scott The_Scott is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

A couple things:

1) This law assumes that the child abusers will confess their crimes at all to a priest.
2) It assumes that the confessional was part of the cover up, which none of the reports have said.
3) This law is inconsistent: why are the priests required to report child abuse, and not murder, theft, embezzlement, etc? I'm not sure of the statistic, but I assume that there are more murders and thefts per year than child abuse.
4) If this law continues, then the abusers will know that the Church is required by law to report the crime (even if they don't). This will take away their only chance to talk to someone about their problems; the priest can talk to the abuser, ask him to turn himself in. Not to mention, if the abusers don't go to confession, then that puts their eternal soul in peril.
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  #3  
Old Apr 28, '12, 11:18 am
Rence Rence is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatholicTrekkie View Post
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Iri...#ixzz1tMAr1AA5



I can honestly say I haven't heard of this law. If this is true, which, considering the source, is likely, then it presents yet another attack on freedom of religion.
It was bound to happen as a result of all the coverups and shuffling of abusive priests, and I think many will disagree that it's an attaack on freedom of religion. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened in the US as well. In fact, I'm actually shocked that more voters aren't lobbying for it, especially those whose life focus is on protecting children.
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  #4  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

They tried to pass a similar measure several months ago. I will repost what I posted then. All the priests have to do is to make sure that the penitent's right to an anonymous confession is met. Then they can comply with the law thusly:

Priest to police: I need to report that someone confessed to me that he or she had inappropriate contact with a child.

Police: what is this abuser's name?

Priest: we don't ask for names in the Confessional

Police: was this one of your parishioners?

Priest: I don't know.

Police: didn't you recognize him?

Priest: No

Police: Can you give us a description?

Priest: I only saw him through a screen.

Police: well, when did the abuse happen?

Priest: he didn't say

Police: when did the Confession happen?

Priest: I hear Confessions every Saturday afternoon
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  #5  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:04 pm
Kasama Kasama is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatholicTrekkie View Post
I can honestly say I haven't heard of this law. If this is true, which, considering the source, is likely, then it presents yet another attack on freedom of religion.
I think this may be some kind of an attempt to a counter an old document called "Crimen Solicitations" that addressed this same issue:

http://www.advancedchristianity.com/Pages/CBS/CBS.htm

The Catholic Church already addressed this, by implimenting new proceedures that were put in place after the scandal. Anyhow, how can they inforce the new law? Post 5 shows how it is impossible.
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  #6  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:14 pm
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saveusfromhell saveusfromhell is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

only a matter of time till a priest gets set up, the crimes that the priest has to report is not limited to child abuse, the minister for justice yesterday claimed the law already has in effect made it mandatory for a priest to report any common laws broken.
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  #7  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:14 pm
Rence Rence is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corki View Post
They tried to pass a similar measure several months ago. I will repost what I posted then. All the priests have to do is to make sure that the penitent's right to an anonymous confession is met. Then they can comply with the law thusly:
Right. They'd have to do it without lying though. And many priests know the name of their parishioner and what they look like, many have face-to-face confessions too, and of course they'd know when they came. Also, it may be another priest who is coming to confession.

Police: what is the abuser's name?
Priest: we don't ask for names in the confessional
Police: do you know the abuser's name?
Priest: (that would be a yes or a no).

The priest would be better off just saying he can't devulge it, and live with the consequences, rather than create a tangled web of lies if he does know the abuser.
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  #8  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:25 pm
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CatholicTrekkie CatholicTrekkie is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corki View Post
They tried to pass a similar measure several months ago. I will repost what I posted then. All the priests have to do is to make sure that the penitent's right to an anonymous confession is met. Then they can comply with the law thusly:

Priest to police: I need to report that someone confessed to me that he or she had inappropriate contact with a child.

Police: what is this abuser's name?

Priest: we don't ask for names in the Confessional

Police: was this one of your parishioners?

Priest: I don't know.

Police: didn't you recognize him?

Priest: No

Police: Can you give us a description?

Priest: I only saw him through a screen.

Police: well, when did the abuse happen?

Priest: he didn't say

Police: when did the Confession happen?

Priest: I hear Confessions every Saturday afternoon
Huh, you make a good point. Perhaps I should have thought this through before coming to such hasty conclusions. It makes sense when you think about it. He would report it, but give nothing of value, because he honestly wouldn't know anything of value (if he set up an anonymous confession).

My other concern would be: Would the priest be breaking the Seal of the Confession by telling the police this? I know the Seal exists, but I don't know to what extent or what information the priest can divulge without breaking it.
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  #9  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

All he has to do is keep his mouth shut.

How would anyone know who confessed what in the Confessional? And in any case, it would be hearsay evidence - the priest is not a witness, and the nature of Confession is not such that he would know any details.
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  #10  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:44 pm
Bexatron5000 Bexatron5000 is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Doesn't breaking the seal of confession lead to excommunication?
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  #11  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatholicTrekkie View Post
Huh, you make a good point. Perhaps I should have thought this through before coming to such hasty conclusions. It makes sense when you think about it. He would report it, but give nothing of value, because he honestly wouldn't know anything of value (if he set up an anonymous confession).

My other concern would be: Would the priest be breaking the Seal of the Confession by telling the police this? I know the Seal exists, but I don't know to what extent or what information the priest can divulge without breaking it.
The seal of confession is broken when you betray the penitent by word or deed. Priests use vague examples from Confessions all the time in homilies. As long as it's not traceable back to the penitent, it doesn't break the seal.
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“Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” Saint John Paul II

"It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life." Pope Francis
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  #12  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bexatron5000 View Post
Doesn't breaking the seal of confession lead to excommunication?
Yes and I believe it is one that can only be lifted by the Pope.
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“Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” Saint John Paul II

"It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life." Pope Francis
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  #13  
Old Apr 28, '12, 12:54 pm
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CatholicTrekkie CatholicTrekkie is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corki View Post
The seal of confession is broken when you betray the penitent by word or deed. Priests use vague examples from Confessions all the time in homilies. As long as it's not traceable back to the penitent, it doesn't break the seal.
Ahh, ok, I see. Makes sense. Thank you for your help.

I think I mixed up being compelled to testify against a penitent with being required to report abuse, which are two completely different things. Moreover, even if a priest did testify, he could give the same vague answer (though, I don't know how the priest or district attorney would find out if the abuser went to confession otherwise).
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  #14  
Old Apr 28, '12, 2:07 pm
trials trials is offline
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Two questions:

- I wouldn't know where to start to look for which sins can only be absolved by a Bishop. Could someone inform me? I never heard of this before.

- To avoid this legal enforcement of breaking the seal of the confessional, could a priest not include in the penance to the person of going and confessing to the police? In way of restitution for crimes committed? Would this be a possibility?
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  #15  
Old Apr 28, '12, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse.

Religious freedom is under attack. This is coming from the evil one. We must all be prepared to stand for what we know is right and stay true to our profession of faith.

Prayer is essential!

mlz
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