Supreme Court will not hear confession confidentiality petition

confessional

By Ib Rasmussen (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Not good: U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Baton Rouge Catholic confession case.Backstory: A young woman is going to testify in a civil suit against the Diocese of Baton Rouge. She says that, when she was a girl, she revealed during confession that a member of the parish (who has since died) was molesting her, and that the priest told her she should hush it up.Every priest who hears something during confession is morally o … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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