Priests Will Break Law
Bishop Michael McCarthy, who leads the Diocese of Rockhampton, says his priests are bound to keep the seal of confession, even if sexual abuse is discussed.
He described confession as a “sacred conversation between a person and their God”.
The new legislation means religious institutions and their members will be compelled to break the seal of confession to report child sexual abuse or face three years in jail.
Priests will no longer be able to use the sanctity of the confessional as a defence or an excuse in child sex abuse matters.
But Bishop McCarthy said Rome had not changed its view.
“Within the Catholic Church, a priest is not allowed to break the seal of confession. That is what we have all promised and what we have all signed up to do.”
“It’s a real dilemma that we have the state law that has been passed and it has been passed in other jurisdictions now.