Anglican church in Australia No Longer Has The Seal of Confession

The Anglican church of Australia has decided that they will no longer permit the Seal of Confession, it can be broken whenever the minister decides the “sin” is very bad and will contact the authorities.

From following the Anglican Communion in Europe and the US I am sure that this will soon be allowed in every Anglican diocese.

Of course there are horrendous sins that many commit, however, I don’t believe that breaking the Seal of Confession will be helpful to the soul of the one who needs God’s forgiveness. I am sure there are many priests who suffer from knowledge of a sin if he does know who committed it. This is why until recently confession was done in an anonymous manner.

What comes next? Does the minister then need to ask who the sinner is or try to find out. Yes it is conflicting, however, this brings the government into the spiritual life of individuals and all churches which practice confession.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary


Do you have a link for this?

There’s this:

AFAIK, it is aimed at child sex abuse, in the main.


I very much doubt that other Anglicans in other lands will follow the “Anglicans” of Australia.

Down under Anglicans tend to be very different from the rest of the Anglican communion. They are much more Calvinistic than the rest of Anglicanism. In fact I cannot begin to immagine an Aussie churchman availing himself to confession at all.

In Sydney a lot of people call their Archbishop 'the southern Baptist archbishop of Sydney. They have considered allowing lay people to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. And on the rare occasions when they do celebrate they bring in a “Lord’s Supper table” on wheels. It is rarely seen most of the time.

In our branch of the Anglican communion in the USA very few go to individual Confession -we have a general confession in the main service-so likely would not effect many -

I have heard rublings about " They have considered allowing lay people to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. And on the rare occasions when they do celebrate they bring in a “Lord’s Supper table” on wheels. It is rarely seen most of the time."

If that happens here in the USA that is the last straw for me

Any links to this situation?

It was all on the Ship of Fools site in the Anglican part, at least it was there when I was still posting on the site. It would probably take some research going back by now.

Found this:

A committee of church officials has urged the Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, to amend the licenses of senior lay people and deacons to enable them to preside over Holy Communion, a right at present restricted to ordained priests and bishops

I believe it was on Virtue On Line, an Anglican website. Although of course, sexual abuse on a child was mentioned, it also went beyond that and has now opened the door for an minister to go to the authorities. One must remember that being a minister, priest or rabbi does not mean you are a holy person, who knows that they might have an agenda against a person.

God Bless


You will always be welcome among your Catholic friends :smiley:

It’s still on Virtue On Line.


Do you think it is right that a priest may be able to stop a murder but he can’t because he heard the information in confession? You may be worried about a sinner’s soul, but a innocent life is more worthy of protection. Look how much faster the sex scandal in the church could have been ended if priests could have been reported to the authorities sooner. They may have confessed to ease their conscience but at what cost?
BTW- In the US all clergy are granted exemptions from reporting any crimes they hear about in a confidential manner. I’m not sure that is a good idea. It puts the needs of the guilty above the needs of the innocent.

My wife is an Anglican here in Australia, and she nor any of her religious friends would even consider going to individual confession. It is left in the realms of the High Church, whose few followers may well reconsider telling their priests anything. So pastorally, I don’t think it is a big thing, more a PR exercise by the Anglicans also caught up in the Royal Commission into child sex abuse. Here the Royal Commission was started as an attack on the Catholic Church but now we find that the Salvation Army officers were pimping out boys from their orphanages to the local homosexuals at night; and the scout movement; surf clubs, and most religions open to accusations of historical abuse that has rocked the faith of people in most of our child caring authorities. The Royal Commission has now asked for another two years to complete their investigations along with another $14 million in government money.

The Catholic Church will not recover from this scandal for generations. The Labor Government was considering making it law for the seal of confession to be illegal in cases of child abuse, but the more Catholic friendly Liberals have dropped this suggested sanction which would have given people greater reason to hate the church as hiding behind the sacraments.
So this is more a PR exercise by the Anglicans who used to be seen as aligned with the Catholics as retaining the priesthood and some semblance of the sacraments. Thus the concurrent move to laicize the Eucharist.
It is grave times for the Church in this country, but the bishops fail to respond to this growing crisis. Now that Cardinal Pell is in Rome fixing up the mess that is the Vatican Bank and finances, we have no strong men left.
I often wonder what happened to the Jesuits and the Dominicans.
As a lay person I feel we have been left rudderless in this country, with every teaching order from the Marists, the infamous Christian Brothers and others being caught up in the compensation and the scandal along with the horrors of the abuse of the mentally retarded children under the care of the St. John of God Brothers that have been admitted publicly this decade. Now evidence proven by the Royal Commission may well form the basis of further compensation claims. Most of my friends and myself no longer give to the Church, knowing it will all go in legal fees and compensation.
Many of my friends have left the Church in disgust just to protect their own children. I refused to educate my son in a Catholic school out of what I considered appropriate prudence in his protection.
May the Holy Spirit come to protect the church in this country, the rot is well within the ramparts and our defenders are silent or missing in action.

I well know what you mean by your last sentence. God be with you.


What is a priest supposed to do when a penitent confesses child sexual abuse? Counsel the penitent to turn himself in and withdraw absolution until he does?

My first thought is so what? Not being uncharitable or anything but fact is from a Catholic standpoint these confessions were never really valid to begin with.

All these man made Christian religions can and do change whatever rules they see fit according to the changing world around them. Only our divinely founded Church will continue to hold up Christian values and traditions handed down through the ages. One day non-Catholic Christians will realize this and come home.

Anglicans do not consider confession a sacrament…do they? So why would they go to a priest to confess?

They call it “Lay Presidency”:

As with most things Anglican - even when it’s forbidden, it’s still allowed. There are parishes doing what they want and continue to allow lay and diaconal “presidency” despite any objections.

The politics of electing a primate:

Depends on the Anglican.


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