If passed, Ireland would reportedly become the first and only country in the Western world with such a law on the books.
Details, from Pat Archbold:
The Irish government, including the person no less than the Prime Minister, the Minister for Justice, and the Minister for Children are all backing legislation that would require priests to break the seal of confession to report pedophiles.
This is, of course, not only a monstrous attack the Church and religious liberty, it is also completely useless. Do these Irish geniuses think that all pedophiles are complete morons? If a pedophile knows that the priest will/must rat him out to the coppers, how many pedophiles will be confessing? Yeah, about the same number of Mensa members in the Irish government.
But why stop there? Why not force them to break the seal for the crimes of murder, rape, and spilling your beer? Where would it end? We would still have pedophilia, murder, rape, and spilled beer, but no confession. Aha…
A columnist in Ireland adds more:
This would make us the one and only country in the Western world to have such a law. Even Revolutionary France in the days of its worst violence against the Church did not pass a law requiring the breaking of the seal of confession.The justification for the law is that the crime of paedophilia is so heinous that no one who hears about it, under whatever circumstances, can be allowed to keep it to themselves.But our Government is clearing missing something that every other Government can see, which is that at a minimum such a law is very unlikely to lead to a single conviction and at a maximum will be counter-productive and will make society less safe, rather than more safe.It could equally be argued that a priest who hears a confession of murder must report it to the police. But if the murderer knew that priests were under such a legal requirement, the murderer would not make such a confession unless he was going to the police anyway.On the other hand, a murderer who wishes to confess a crime to a priest, under the absolute seal of the confessional, is on the road to repentance and attending confession gives a priest the chance to encourage the murderer to turn himself over to the authorities or at the very least to cease his criminal activities.The logic is the same with child abusers. No child abuser will go to a priest in confession knowing the priest is required to inform the police. But cutting off the avenue of confession to a child abuser makes it less likely that he will talk to someone who can persuade him to take the next step.