I just read a comment by one of my priests on Facebook. He wrote: “the hardest part about hearing school confessions is hearing kid after kid confess not going to Mass because their parents won’t take them.”
He didn’t mention any names. Did he break the seal of Confession by posting that?
No he did not break the seal of confession. He was speaking of a common issue that comes up in the confessions he hears. It would be similar to a priest saying that many people confess the sin of gossiping, or lying, etc.
The definitions of direct and indirect violations of the seal are precise and would be well known by every priest.
When I would teach the subject of the sacrament of reconciliation, either for men before ordination or in post-ordination continuing education, one can certainly speak in such broad categories.
You would never want to say, even as hyperbole, “everyone who confesses to me says ‘X,’” however. That would be inappropriate.
That is an especially doleful situation for this priest…obviously the child has not acquired subjective moral guilt since the issue is beyond their control…but there is no real remedy for this priest or for the child for a systemic situation that will continue until the child is old enough to go to Mass alone, which by that point maybe too late. As a priest, I encountered that reality too often in my own pastoral work.