Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Threat to Seal of Confession

July 19th, 2011, Promulgated by Hopefull

LifeSite News is carrying the detail on the pressure being exerted in Ireland to pass legislation which would require a priest to break the seal of confession regarding child abuse.  A 5-year prison sentence is threatened for non-compliance.  Some priests have announced they will refuse to comply.  Are we really that far away from a similar attack in the U.S.?  I wonder.  Here is the link to the story:

 http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/irish-priests-must-break-seal-of-confession-or-face-prison-new-legislation?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d6cf3bdfb6-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines07_19_2011&utm_medium=email

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6 Responses to “Threat to Seal of Confession”

  1. Bernie says:

    As mentioned in the report, if this passes, the press and media will have a field day sending in pretend penitents. The tragedy would be that the true penitent will avoid confession and getting help.

  2. annonymouse says:

    I’m pretty sure that such a law here would be ruled unconstitutional. However, I’m not at all confident (any more) that our formerly great nation wouldn’t attempt to pass such a law. I mean, who cares about what the constitution says anymore, anyway?

  3. Raymond F. Rice says:

    A priest in the confessional can refuse absolution to the petitent if he believes he is not truly contrite. He can tell the penitent to report it to the police and then come back for absolution which can then be given. As for the priest reporting it to trhe police or under oath, no! Dialogue between the priest and penitent is confidential. All that will happen is that priests will got to jail as they did in the Soviet Union and the people MAY protest. But Ireland ! ! ! ! ! Patrick must have missed one or two snakes!!

  4. Scott W. says:

    A priest in the confessional can refuse absolution to the petitent if he believes he is not truly contrite. He can tell the penitent to report it to the police and then come back for absolution which can then be given.

    I think the priest can encourage turning themselves in, but I’m not sure they can make it conditional for absolution. Think of it this way: priests breaking seal of confession = people stop going to confession, but if it becomes well known that priests will make you turn yourself in as a condition of absolution = people stop going to confession.

    In any case, the Irish government is proposing making Catholicism illegal when you get right down to it.

  5. annonymouse says:

    Scott, you’re right that a priest cannot make absolution contingent on someone turning oneself in. But a priest can refuse absolution if, in his judgment, the penitent is not truly contrite, as RayRice has said. I suppose that in his judgment, a priest may conclude that for a person to demonstrate one’s contrition, one should submit to the legal authorities. I do agree, Scott, that if it’s perceived that absolution is contingent on turning yourself in, one who otherwise might seek absolution may be dissuaded from going to confession.

    Scott, your last point is right on – and I expect similar affronts to our faith here in the U.S.

    As Sister Rosalyn Moss said on Catholic Radio yesterday, the devil is attacking 24/7 in every way he can cleverly come up with, and he doesn’t take vacations!

  6. Raymond F. Rice says:

    We tend to think of Ireland as a Catholic country with all the trimmings as it was about 20 years ago. Now it has had an incredible amount of immigration from 3rd world countries so that if you listen in the factories or the unemployment line, you will hear many middle eastern and Asian languages which probably are diluting the traditional solid Catholic political block. Abortion is rampant and the recent abuse scandals have added immensely to this decline. The Church now has a very tough road ahead to preserve itself and its sacraments like Confession..

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