Author: Kieran Tapsell
|Submission to The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse|
In 1974, Pope Paul VI by his Instruction, Secreta Continere abolished the “secret of the Holy Office” and replaced it with the “pontifical secret”. He expanded the Church’s highest form of secrecy outside the confessional to cover “delicts against faith and morals” by both clergy, religious and laypersons. It more than doubled the number of people within the Church who would be covered by the pontifical secret in cases of the sexual abuse of children. It further expanded the strictest secrecy to cover not only the information obtained through a SUBM.2398.001.0015 16 canonical inquiry and trial but also the “extrajudicial denunciation”, that is, an allegation made to the accused’s superior.