The Australian state of Victoria has passed an anti-Catholic law, which they believe would force priests to reveal what happened in the confessional. So reports The Age.
The Victorian government says it hopes it does not have to jail priests who fail to report child abuse revealed in the confession box.
The state’s Parliament passed laws on Tuesday carrying sentences of up to three years for failing to report abuse, but Premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday morning that he did not know of any convictions under Victoria’s broader mandatory reporting laws, in place for 25 years.
The Premier said the laws, and the new legislation passed on Tuesday, were intended to create a culture in which all abuse or mistreatment of children was reported, regardless of how it came to light.
Mr Andrews said the bill, which passed the upper house on Tuesday night with bipartisan support, was intended to send a message all the way to the top of the Catholic Church in Rome.
My flaming nether regions they hope they do not have to jail priests. They are positively salivating over the idea.
It’s unclear whether this new what-about-the-children law, which requires reporting child abuse “regardless of how it came to light”, would require lawyers to violate client-attorney privilege. Though if anybody who wants to take the Yes side of that bet, message me. Since lawyers make these laws, and interpret them, there is zero chance they’d require of themselves what they require of others.
There are some brave words from various Catholic spokespeople swearing they’ll accept prison before violating the confessional. Maybe so. We pray this is so. But see the predictions below.
What do these brilliant lawyers expect a priest would do when hearing a confession? Interpret the penitent’s words in some unambiguous legal way, bolt out of the confessional and tackle the penitent as he attempts to leave the church? The priest would have to do this, because the priest can’t learn with certainty the identity of the penitent any other way.
Or do prosecutors hope the priest reports some anonymous voice who said something vague, that, looked at in the right way, possibly maybe perhaps kinda sorta indicates abuse took place? If so, look for the definition of what counts as “abuse” to broaden, but only for what should be reported. Some bottom feeding prosecutor looking to make a name for himself is surely going to stretch the limits of this law.
We need to make predictions. What will be the first thing that happens?
(1) Nothing. Not an unreasonable expectation. The law is obviously a political stunt by power-hungry virtue-signaling fools. Prosecuting it would be difficult. Though we mustn’t forget Australia changed precedent for the burden of proof for priests in the Pell case: a priest must now be able to prove his innocence. Good luck!
(2) A priest violates his oath and rats out a penitent. This would almost certainly be a nu-Church homosexualist who “accepts Church teaching”, but interprets it in such a way as to violate it in practice. Hello, Jim Martin.
If this happens, the real matter of import will be what this despicable priest’s bishop does. Bookies would likely take the side of “nothing”. The Church would further splinter.
(3) A penitent is arrested and under interrogation admits he confessed to a priest. A man hunt (and still not a woman hunt) ensues to find the priest. Do we have the right priest? After all, the confessional screen can protect the priest’s identity, too, Does it matter if it’s the right priest? After all, what about the children?
The priest, if he’s faithful, keeps his mouth shut. The prosecution is left only with the word of a child abuser that this is the priest that was confessed to. Some prime lynching opportunities here, especially in the vile press.
(4) A would-be penitent wants to confess, but fears he will be ratted out. He does not confess. His soul is then imperiled. Naturally, this outcome means less than nothing to the great majority. Because they do not believe in an after life, and because what-about-the-children.
Read the comments to the news article. Overwhelming anti-Catholic, many vitriolic. People appear to equate a priest hearing a confession as equivalent to the abuse itself. We can thank the widespread tolerated faggotry among the clergy for this fallacy.
Before your dudgeon is worked up, consider this: would you rat out your most loved family member? The law requires you to.
(5) Prosecutors recruit an apostate priest to work undercover at a church where a suspected abuser attends. The end result is the Church goes underground.
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A priest cannot violate the seal of confession, that’s appalling. Australia is a mess. Why is this mandatory reporting when, say, MURDER isn’t?
The Catholic Church has proven over the last century that it has no concern for the welfare of children’s bodies or souls. They bought this on themselves.
That just gives the enemies of Christendom one more excuse. The fact that the Left instigates and approves of (or actively celebrates) these sorts of abuses is just par for the course.
1) How is this not hearsay & inadmissible? If Fr. Bozo says the “Catholic” author of the bill confessed to child molestation, does the author automatically go to jail?
2) How long before a priest also has to report hate speech?
Why does the penitent confess in private? Is he only seeking a get out of hell free card? Confession is just the start of the journey; the remainder is repentance, punishment where necessary and appropriate, reconciliation, and restoration. The anonymity of the present process is insufficient for true forgiveness and imperils the penitent’s soul when it does not come to completion.
Easy, McChuck. I’m not Roman Catholic, but the numbers are the numbers. There is no indication that RC priests victimize children any more often than Evangelical clergy. The children of the devil are using this to (further) divide the body of Christ. Don’t help.
First, unambiguously define child abuse. Second, in the USA, this kind of a thing has been law for quite some time (20 to 30 years?), for medical personnel. This, though, isn’t quite the same, since medical people will have signs and symptoms at hand, most of the time; and there will be a written and maybe a photographic record made contemporaneously and available for law enforcement by subpoena (notwithstanding that those can be altered or faked; or that other human mistakes won’t be made). On the other hand, these physical signs and symptoms overlap with many other causes.
My prediction: this won’t end well for many on either side of this.
I’ll go with option one- “nothing”. As you said, it was passed by virtue signaling fools.
I read that during Puritan rule in England, 1650 to 1660, adultery was punishable by death. During that period, there were exactly zero convictions for adultery.
Briggs, you’re livin’ in a fantasy world if you don’t realize that priests already whimsically violate the confessional (and other oaths/vows) on a regular basis.
The attorney-client privilege (in the U.S.) admits many exceptions; some of these *require* the lawyer to report what the client said, immediately. If you tell your lawyer that, right after the meeting, you’re going to go out and kidnap and rape a child, the lawyer is legally required to alert the authorities. And that is what any decent, normal human being would do: doctor, lawyer, psychologist, etc., and the laws of civilized countries reflect this moral responsibility, that attaches to all of us.
Unless we are Catholic priests.
One Sunday Mass, the celebrant priest announced that there had been a retreat over the week-end, with about 2O teen age boys, and he ent on to say that he had heard the confessions of four of them.. He said that of course he would not name them, but he went on to talk about what was confessed.
That for me, breaks the seal of confession in truth as most probably the boys knew who did and did not go to confession. Of course we did not know, but it was possible there were parents of one or more of the boys present at that Mass.
Very sad indeed! God bless, C-Marie
Red – The Catholic Church has condoned and actively covered up child abuse and molestation, at the highest levels, for generations. It continues to this very day. This is a problem with the institutional Church, not just a few rogue priests.
The Catholic Church has a two-thousand plus years history, and a lot of it is very complicated, given all the external and internal political forces and personalities involved in this or that context.
But among the worst eras one would have to include the last fifty plus years in which the integrity of its internal discipline, customs, and institutions have been profoundly compromised and eroded.
During this time, we have witnessed the ascendancy of many bad characters in the ranks of its clergy and hierarchy.
One would hope that, like in past temporary phases of degradation, the Catholic Church eventually will emerge purified and with illustrious, brilliant and virtuous clergy, religious, bishops and popes.
Read the first chapters of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament of The Holy Bible. Many different verses, try Chapters one, two, and three, apply to today.
God bless, C-Marie
@Red Forman “There is no indication that RC priests victimize children any more often than Evangelical clergy.”
Yes, there is. No doubt you are thinking about a bad study that came out recently that claimed to show how prevalent child abuse is among Evangelical “clergy” but it turned out they were including a bunch of people that were only peripherally associated with Evangelical churches like Sunday School teachers. If you define the population widely enough, you can get any number you want.