At the Register: Some answers about the seal of confession

let's say John Doe confesses kicking a dog. Later, John is in court for animal cruelty, and the judge wants the priest to disclose whether or not he confessed kicking a dog. Because of the seal of confession, the priest cannot even acknowledge that John went to confession to him, even if John says publicly that he did so. And if -- again, correct me if I'm wrong -- during the confession, John mentions that he saw his friend Steve kicking a cat, that information is also bound by the seal. E … [Read more...]

At the Register: Some Questions about the Seal of Confession

As far as the state is concerned, the statutory respect for the seal of confession is intended to protect the penitent, not the confessor (although an unscrupulous confessor could certainly take advantage of the privilege in order to protect himself, if he did something wrong in the confessional). As far as I can tell, the same is true as far as Canon Law is concerned: the seal of confession is there to protect the penitent, not the confessor.However, a penitent may give a priest permission … [Read more...]