There has been some discussion in the media in recent days concerning the Catholic Church's prohibition on its priests revealing anything they hear in the Confessional. This is often referred to as the "seal of Confession". The suggestion has been made that requiring priests to report any admissions of child abuse made in the Confessional to the police will protect children from further abuse.
The desire to do everything possible to protect children from this horrific cruelty is compelling. Mandatory reporting of child abuse is an important part of this vital task in our society. Therefore the important question is this: would including priests in such a regime of mandatory reporting, specifically in relation to what is disclosed to them in the Confessional, achieve this outcome? The answer is almost certainly "no" for a very important reason.
Visit this article by Archbishop Costelloe from the Archdiocese of Melbourne website to read more.