Church and State Face Off in Court
By Annamarie Adkins
SALEM, Oregon, AUG. 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- When Father Timothy Mockaitis heard inmate Conan Wayne Hale’s sacramental confession on April 22, 1996, he had no idea it was being recorded.
He also didn’t know that the event would spur an unprecedented legal case that attempted to demonstrate that a violation of the seal of the confessional was an infringement on the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Father Mockaitis details these pivotal events in his new book, “The Seal: A Priest’s Story.” The pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church shared with ZENIT how this case involved not only canon law versus civil law, but also a threat to the long term viability of our Constitutional freedoms.