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Seal of confessional vital for some survivors of sexual abuse

A GROUP of survivors of sexual abuse have defended the Seal of Confession as a vital lifeline and aided their recovery. Their testimonies paints the confession box as a safe place to speak and ease their trauma, and contradicts the intent of new laws across Australia aimed at compelling priests to report child sexual abuse offences disclosed during confessions. South ... Read More »

Law body wary about legislative moves against religious confession

Confession line

QUEENSLAND Law Society President Luke Murphy warned proposed legislation to scrap the seal of confession could pave the way for the removal of other confidential privileges like lawyer-client privilege. Mr Murphy, who wrote the Queensland Law Society submission to the State Parliament, outlined six flaws in removing the seal. “Removing the privilege associated with religious confession will set a dangerous ... Read More »

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge stands up to protect Catholic confession rights

STRIPPING Catholics of the seal of confession made priests “less a servant of God than an agent of the state”, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a submission to Queensland Parliament published early in January.  Archbishop Coleridge was clear – the violation of the seal of confession ran the risk of forbidding the celebration of the sacrament in Queensland.  “The state ... Read More »

Queensland government pushes amendment to require priests to violate seal of confession

confessional

THE Queensland Government has tabled amendments to the criminal code that would require priests to violate the sacramental seal of confession when penitents confessed child abuse, or risk facing three years’ imprisonment. The proposed amendments, which were tabled in response to Royal Commission recommendations on November 27, reflected similar legislation adopted in Victoria in August.  Catholic priests, who were the ... Read More »

Queensland seal of confession proposals raise concerns about freedom of religion

confessional

AUSTRALIAN Catholic Bishops Conference president Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, doesn’t believe proposed Queensland laws to break the seal of confession would make children any safer. The state’s Labor Government has proposed legislation that would force priests to report admissions of child sexual abuse to police. “We understand why the Royal Commission made its recommendation on the seal and why the ... Read More »

More than 2000 Australia priests reject breaking seal of confession

Confessional

CLERGY advocacy groups representing more than 2000 priests across Australia have rejected outright breaking the seal of confession, even if it becomes law in some states and territories. The National Council of Priests of Australia, with 1700 members, rejects new laws announced in South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Western Australia –which would require priests to break the seal of ... Read More »

New law requiring priests to break confession seal ‘premature and ill-judged’, Archbishop Coleridge says

confessional

CHURCH leaders are standing firm in support of priests upholding the seal of confession as a “religious freedom”, despite a new law that would require a priest to break the seal to report allegations of child abuse and misconduct. Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge described the new law – that will apply in the Australian Capital ... Read More »

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