The Seal of Confession and Sexual Abuse
Dear Blog Visitors:
The topic of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been headline news for the past couple weeks, considering that the full scope of the crisis is only now coming under unprecedented scrutity.
Thus far, I have addressed this looming crisis from two perspectives: 1.) the role mandatory celibacy may have played; 2.) the role the pope may have played.
In the video above, I address a third dimension of the sexual abuse crisis - namely, the role the Seal of Confession may have played. My recommendation in the video is that the Vatican examine its long-standing policy of secrecy in the confessional booth (whatever is revealed is never disclosed). In cases when priests admit to abusing a child, the priest hearing such a confession should be allowed to report such revelations to bishops or civil authorities. Pastoral counselors, for example, are required by law to report cases of revealed abuse. Therefore, priests should place the protection and rights of victims over a possible cover-up created by the Seal of Confession.
Let us continue to pray that the Vatican deals with this crisis in a realistic manner.
Peace to all,