Breaking the Seal of Confession: Australia


If (God forbid!!!) this happens in Australia, it can happen anywhere:


Of course it can.

Our freedoms are hard won and we must always be vigilant.

But priests have been pressured to break the seal before and will be again— through laws, through physical force and fear. Nothing new here.


True, but we need to pray for the Catholic Church in Australia. Please share with your friends!


If the law is already active in Autralia, it is something new in a democratic state…


I have real doubts about this flying in America. There’s a load of problems with it. The biggest one being that confession is meant to be anonymous. How do you enforce this when you don’t even know which priest you’re confessing to


There is a bill introduced in California that mandates this. I doubt it will pass, but it will probably be one of many.


In the U.S., the Roman Catholic Church has confession face to face as well as in the confessional. Most older Byzantine & Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches have confessionals but newer churches don’t because going face to face is more traditional.


I fully expect counties to pass laws requiring a breaking of the seal. I fully expect every clergy involved to uphold the seal. Even in the face of prison.


Either way there’s no way that this flies. This has to be a 1st amendment violation. Or at the very least it’s religious discrimination because the legislation is meant to go after Catholic Churches and not protestant ones. You can’t have agents of the state lying to a priest under the guise of seeking religious counsel.


You do know the US constitution does not apply anywhere else?


Sometimes I wish it did though


There’d be an awful lot more dead people


Any priest worth his salt wouldn’t uphold this law as he knows the importance of confession, not only because they essentially swore unto God to protect it but if laymen are afraid of confessing due to legal repercussions then lots would risk their eternal souls by avoiding confession. And the priest knows this must not happen.

Now I’m Australian. We will see if this law is passed, hopefully not.


I meant specifically in the context of US states passing these types of laws. There’s no way that it would be defensible on constitutional grounds.


What? Why do you say this?


You are way too optimistic. Right now, I would agree with you.
But the trajectory is be quite different. In the early days of Obama, whenever the 1st amendment was passed, he always used the term “freedom of worship”, not “freedom of religion”. He was eventually called out on this, and he changed his rhetoric, but it was quite telling regarding the direction which a significant portion of our political leaders would like to see interpretation of the 1st amendment go.
We have things declared constitutional now that no one thought would be 20 years ago, eg gay marriage rights. This is justified to an extent by changing societal norms, even international norms.
I expect these laws to be passed, and I expect at some point they will be held to be constitutional. We are not moving, politically, towards more freedom, the long term trend is less freedom.

And beyond all of this, the US is not all that matters in the world.


Hillary used “freedom of worship” during her Presidental campaign.

So it’s not just Obama. Many on he left see it as “freedom of worship”


Tell your MPs about this egregious attack on the Church. This is so blatantly anti-Catholic it makes my stomach turn.

Forcing priests to violate the seal of confession (God forbid!!!) will only make people avoid going to confession which will compound the problem instead of solving it.


I agree with you except for the above sentence. The Communists infiltrated the seminaries in Eastern Europe and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did that too.


Australia is breaking the religious liberty of the Church! There had been high debates and attempts, but until now, the modern democratic states recognize the right to not break the seal of confession.

It seems now, in the light of abuses, nobody cares (I hope it is just my impression…). I am surprise to not heard a lot from the Vatican (yes, in bad position, we have to admit).

And why it would just stop to sexual abuse to minors? why not murders, terrorism? homophobic acts? … And all that is illegal in a given country?

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