Should priests have to report to police,
confessions about child abuse and other crimes?
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says using the seal of the confessional to cover up child abuse is a "sin of omission" because all adults have a duty of care towards children. “It's not good enough for people to engage in sin of omission and not act when a child is at risk," she said. From this statement you can tell what I’m going to be talking to you about in this public meeting. My name is Justine Smith, and in the recent weeks, allegations of child sexual abuse by priests and other members of the Catholic Church have once again entered the spotlight of the media. Allegations that both child sexual abuse and institutional cover ups and investigations appear to be widespread and ongoing, the Federal Government has recently announced a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. Confessions made to the priests are confidential and should not be allowed for the third person to know, as it is under the seal of confessions hence that it should never be broken. Everyone in this room has their own opinion about this issue but nobody has the right to tell priests what to do including myself. Priests have their own mind and religious beliefs, and they don’t follow the same law as you or either you. The confessional is red herring, so there is no proof of anything except for just simple words. Also for priests to betray the peoples trust and report it would cause less people to tell their confessions and that would just lead to further danger.
Priests are not bound by the same laws as the rest of society, and in breaking the religious belief would also mean breaking the seal of the confessional. Priests have taken an oath and to take their beliefs seriously. When a person unburdens their soul and confesses their sins to a priest, a very sacred trust is formed. Meanwhile Christ is forgiving the sins, and the priest must not reveal to anyone else what has been really...
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