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Sins of the Father: Should Catholic priests be forced to report crimes to police?

July 18, 2012

Father Brennan on 7.30: “Govt recommendations represent “a restriction on religious freedom.”

The Catholic Church is facing renewed pressure to rethink the confidentiality of “the confessional” in the wake of the Victorian State Government’s inquiry into child sex abuse.

The Church is facing allegations that the “sanctity of the confessional” provides a safe haven for child sex offenders.

The inquiry recommends that priests should be ordered to reveal crimes told to them in private confessions

However, priests say that they will resist being forced to reveal secrets of the confessional.

The prospect of government forcing priests to report what was said in confession is the sign of a “police state mentality,” argues Father Frank Brennan; a priest and law professor.

Father Brennan said the move would be “a restriction on religious freedom.” 

“If a parliamentary inquiry were to recommend a law by parliament saying that priests were forced to disclose anything revealed to them in the sacrament of confession I think that would be a serious interference with the right of religious freedom,” Father Brennan said.

“Indeed it would be a very sad day if we moved to a police state mentality, it’s almost of Russian dimensions to suggest Catholic priests would have to reveal to state authorities what went on under the seal of the confessional.

“I am one of the priests who, if such a law were enacted, would disobey it and if need be I would go to jail.”

Father Brennan said disclosures to priests in the confessional were different to those made to doctors or counsellors, or even when a priest was acting in a counsellor role.

“If it were in the sacred realm of the sacrament of confession which in Catholic theology is akin to the penitent being in conversation with God, where the priest is simply an agent, then definitely the state has no role of interference in that.”

Father Brennan said he expected police would have other more important leads when investigating crime than what was said in the confessional.

“They probably don’t have much of an idea about what people confess in confessions anyway, I think most of it, if not all of it would be of no interest to police.”

Watch the interview with Father Brennan on ABC’s 7.30

A parliamentary committee also will look at radical new laws that would see bishops face criminal charges for the misconduct of their priests.

Submissions are being accepted for the inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious groups.

The inquiry was set up by the Baillieu Government in April.

The inquiry is being conducted by State Parliament’s Family and Community Development Committee, chaired by Liberal MP Georgie Crozier, with Labor MP Frank McGuire as deputy.

A guide released by the committee asks those making submissions to consider whether mandatory reporting rules should be imposed on the confessional.

“Should the sacrament of the Catholic confessional remain sacrosanct in these circumstances?” the paper says.

It also asks whether tough new laws should be imposed on the church hierarchy.

“Should officials in religious and other organisations be held criminally responsible for the actions of offenders of child abuse in their employ or for whom they have responsibility?”

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne declined to comment on the guide, saying it do not want to pre-empt the work of the inquiry.

“The Catholic Church will cooperate with the inquiry,” archdiocese spokesman James O’Farrell said.

But the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, has previously said the confessional “must remain sacrosanct.”

In Ireland, where similar laws have been introduced, priests have vowed to defy the orders, which could see them jailed for up to 10 years.

The Reverend Father John Walshe, chairman of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, said the confessional was not a place of counselling.

“The universal response of priests to any attempt to demand they pass on information they have received in the confessional will be absolutely negative,” said Fr Walshe, parish priest of St Patrick’s, Mentone.

“Priests have in the past history of the church been martyred for refusing to break the seal of the confessional and I believe that priests today would continue to do the same.”

A spokesman for the Baillieu Government said the committee had sought submissions on a wide range of issues.

The sex abuse inquiry is due to present its report to State Parliament by April.

The Confessional – what’s it all about?

  • Confession, formally the Sacrament of Penance, is one of the “seven sacraments” of the Catholic Church.
  • The strict confidentiality, known as the “Seal of the Confessional,” is absolute, and priests must not reveal what they have heard, even under the threat of death.
  • The reason for confidentiality is because priest is acting “in the person of Christ,”and a person confesses to Christ.
  • A priest can advise a person who has committed a crime to go to the police.

 

 

 

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62 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2012 9:05 am

    Yes, the law should absolutely hold them responsible for such reports. Whether or not they choose to comply is another matter, but the Catholic church has absolutely proven itself incapable of self-policing.

  2. el gordo permalink
    July 18, 2012 9:20 am

    Celestial entities are a figment of someone’s imagination and should not be taken seriously. Priests are morally bound to report serious matters of impropriety to the police, failure to do so makes them complicit.

  3. July 18, 2012 9:42 am

    I don’t really have a strong view on this, other than to say that these religious fuckers who think they are somehow above the law should be forced to report details of violent crimes that are disclosed to them during confession to the revelant authorities immediately.

    The entire sordid idea of “confession” is about making the perpetrator of heinous crimes “feel better” about themselves while the victim(s) continues to suffer.

    It’s symptomatic of the sick psyche that pervades the whole so-called “Catholic Church” and ought to be completely stamped out and obliterated until every sick little white cloaked fucker that creeps around the shadowy stone corridors of their Cathedrals of shame, sodomy, lies and victimisation is brought foward and flung before the courts to face the full force of the law and hopefully a lifespan considerably curtailed when they face the brutal jail sentences they so rightly deserve.

  4. el gordo permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:12 am

    Hear hear!

  5. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:17 am

    Christ! I’d hate to see a strong view from da Blogmasta! +

  6. el gordo permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:21 am

    We could give them a little slack.

    If a woman goes to confessional and says I’m married with two kids and I’m seeing another man.

    Easily forgiven.

    Then there is the woman who needs to unburden herself because she is imbezzeling (sic) money to pay for her gambling habit.

    “Go to the police and fall on the court’s mercy, as you are going to continue stealing because of your habit…its unforgivable”, so sayeth the priest.

  7. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:22 am

    This is simple – if a Satanist or Scientologist leader is told something similar in confidence by a cult member of course they should comply with a law requiring them to report it. Why exempt religions from these laws?

    It is a more interesting question to consider whether we should have such laws.

  8. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:26 am

    It is a more interesting question to consider whether we should have such laws.

    Please explain?

  9. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:28 am

    If the effect of the laws is to stop people getting help then they may do more harm than good.

  10. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:40 am

    Ummmm ………………….like how are you going to enforce this ?

    When I used to be a good God fearing lad we would go to confessionals which sometimes said on a nameplate which priest (of perhaps 2 or 3) was hearing confessions and sometimes there was no nameplate.

    For the benefit of the uninitiated you might not even see the priest’s face.

    Maybe other places are different but that was what Sydney was like.

    Where’s Sancty ?

    So therefore all the Church will do is take all the name plates away so no identity will be disclosed so the Law wont know who to charge by the time it is disclosed that the Sinner “confessed”.

    Even then it’s a case of one word against another as to whether the “sin” was confessed

    Whether it’s a good idea or not is irrelevant because the practicality is it wont work

  11. July 18, 2012 10:58 am

    I’m here, watching with interest.

    It’s a moot point, because the priest won’t report whatever the consequences. What are they going to do, stick bamboo up their fingernails?

    My experience of confession was that (and it was a very long time ago) I was counselled to come clean on my sins with the relevant people in any event, be it Mum, or a teacher, or whatever. Unclean thoughts about the Grade 3 teacher created a conflict…..

    If priests were forced to report crimes, and actually reported them, which won’t happen, then crims won’t confess to priests, which I doubt they do in any event, at least not to any useful degree.

    What it will do, though, is open up the broader issue of “privilege” to scrutiny. Doctor/patient, lawyer/client, husband/wife.

    It’s really only about having another shot at the Cathlicks……..*yawn*.

  12. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:01 am

    “………It’s really only about having another shot at the Cathlicks……..*yawn*…………..”

    Yeah……………………Go and pick on Stephen Smith and the ADF and leave us Catholics alone

    LOL

  13. July 18, 2012 11:04 am

    “Whether it’s a good idea or not is irrelevant because the practicality is it wont work”

    I disagree.

    It seems pretty clear to me that it’s eminently workable once you strip away all the religious bullshit like the idea that the “confessor” is somehow in a “conversation with god” and the priest is somehow like a “psychic medium.”

    Give me a fkn. Break.

    The whole idea of “confession” is bullshit, and just another mechanism in the catholic church’s armoury to perpetuate the myth that we’re all sinners and that they’re the only ones capabable of offering “absolution” or “forgiveness”.

    It’s about maintaining power and control, manipulation and mindgames with no other objective than perpetuating their own power and stranglehold over otherwise innocent bystanders.

    The reality is that priests are completely ill-equipped to carry out “this role.”

    If a pedophile confesses to a priest, then it’s a travesty of justice that that individual should be allowed to leave the church feeling vindicated, as well as free to continue abusing others, while the victims are denied justice and vulnerable to further abuse…

    It’s no wonder they have those little booths. Given the inclinations of most priests, they’re probably doing a five knuckle shuffle when they’re hearing all these tales of sexual abuse.

  14. July 18, 2012 11:06 am

    “It’s really only about having another shot at the Cathlicks”

    Yeah, why can’t we just leave them alone and let them carry on with fulfilling their sick little kiddie porn fantasies…

    I mean it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt. Is it…?

  15. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:15 am

    “….It seems pretty clear to me that it’s eminently workable once you strip away all the religious bullshit….”

    Well that’s a question of whether you fundamentally “believe” in the “power of the confession” as preached as part of the Catholic “business model” or not.

    It’s completely seperate as to whether the sins of confession should be disclosed or not.

    Go pick on some Thetans or whatever they are called…………………LOL

  16. July 18, 2012 11:29 am

    “It’s completely seperate as to whether the sins of confession should be disclosed or not.”

    Agreed… That’s my point.

    In the “real world,” people who are privvy to details of violent criminal conduct have an obligation (in my view) to report it to the relevant authorities to ensure that criminals can be stopped, and victims – particuarly children – are not subjected to any further abuse.

    The bottom line is that god-botherers are not above the law, and their defence that somehow they are, is simply not a rational or justifiable position.

  17. July 18, 2012 11:31 am

    “Go pick on some Thetans or whatever they are called”

    Everyone knows that the Scientologists are nutters.

    The difference with the Catholic Church is that they can go on national TV to defend the “sanctity of the confessional” and expect, nay, demand to be taken seriously…

  18. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:33 am

    “Well that’s a question of whether you fundamentally “believe” in the “power of the confession” as preached as part of the Catholic “business model” or not.”

    That is a private matter for individuals, but it is not something that should be recognised or taken account of by the law. If the law says persons with information about pedophiles must report it to the police I am at a total loss as to understanding on what basis the law should make exceptions for religious beliefs.

    And as reb says, with a record like the Catholic church, they are the last people you would give an exception to. Hopefully we will see some prosecutions of Bishops soon for concealment of crimes.

    And this is not “only about having another shot at the Cathlicks”. It is something ordinary Catholics should be pleased about. It is Church leaders who have betrayed their congregations by covering for pedophiles, moving them around, thus allowing them to re-offend. Not only will they rot in hell, they should also pay the price society demands of those who cover up crimes. If the perp re-offends, the penalty should be very serious indeed.

    Church leaders, by their actions, have made things very much worse for the church. If they’d acted properly from the start and got their house in order, ordinary Catholics would not have to feel such shame and put up with so much ridicule. It is entirely stupid to blame those who want to clean up this mess, be they governments or victims rights groups. The blame belongs with the institution which, by covering up, protected pedophiles and ensured that many more kids would be abused.

  19. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:34 am

    The whole idea of “confession” is bullshit, and just another mechanism in the catholic church’s armoury to perpetuate the myth that we’re all sinners and that they’re the only ones capabable of offering “absolution” or “forgiveness”.

    And sadly its made every Mick I know (or have known) … a hypocrite …

    Therefore, the reporting of serious crimes would A) Never be confessed … B) Never be reported even IF they were confessed … and C) Probably covered up by the “officials” if they happened to be Micks …

    I have a friend whose a Mick … (I mean some of them are friendly enough 🙂 ) … and I have some friends in the Masons … she asked me what the Masons were like … “y’know all that secrecy stuff?” … well I couldn’t help myself so I told her …

    Only men can be Masons but the “ladies” get involved with catering and stuff … and they have ceremonies where the Masons advance through levels … until you become the Grand Poobah … ………. pretty much like the Catholic Church … 😯 …. she’s never talked about the Masons since.

    Secret fkn societies the lot of them … and don’t get me talking about my fkn, born again Catholic sister, the cheat, liar and thief … they must have a rotating door on her fkn confessional …!

  20. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:41 am

    I remain convinced that it is completely unworkable. Afterall its just an argument about who said what in a “darkened cupboard”.

    One word against the other

    But if it makes you feel better then go ahead and pass a law if you wish

  21. July 18, 2012 11:50 am

    Hear hear Splatterbottom!!!!

  22. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:53 am

    As I said earlier the question of whether we have a law that forces disclosure is the more interesting question. However, once we do, there is no basis for giving religious groups an exemption.

    It may be unworkable. Maybe we will see “Miranda Rights” style notices on the doors of confessionals. But the point is that religion is a private matter and the law should treat all people equally.

  23. July 18, 2012 11:54 am

    Pass the law and if they don’t reveal, then charge them with being an accessory. Far too much hiding behind the sanctity excuse. Sanctimonious more like!

  24. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 12:00 pm

    Thanks reb. I should probably admit here that I’m a Catholic, but that, and how I go about practicing my religion, is my business. I expect the law to allow people to have religious beliefs, but not to enforce the beliefs of any religion. Religion does not belong in the public sphere and should not bend the law to its will.

  25. July 18, 2012 12:06 pm

    “What it will do, though, is open up the broader issue of “privilege” to scrutiny. Doctor/patient, lawyer/client, husband/wife.”

    How predictable.

    Snacty wades in with “the slippery slop” defence…

    🙄

  26. July 18, 2012 12:54 pm

    Not at all, Reb, I hardly defended the practice at all. I maintain my long held view that the Catholic Church endures a disproportionate amount of criticism from Teh Left, for political reasons. Otherwise the criticisms made of the Catholic Church would also be made of other organisations/religions.

    In practical terms, if a crim confesses in a confessional box, he’d be counselled by the priest to come clean to the authorities and cop his whack. If he confesses to a priest, absolution isn’t truly granted unless the penitence is serious. The penitence isn’t serious if the crim intends to go on hiding his crime. That’s what is taught. The priest’s role is as the agent to God. But if the crim doesn’t face up to his wrongdoing, then the whole confession bit doesn’t count in any event.

    If the priest is required to report crimes, then the crimes won’t be confessed. So you lose the lot. You lose the crimes that are fessed up to following the advice of the priest as well as those that were never going to be anyway. In other words, absolutely nothing is achieved other than ruining an aspect of Catholicism that some, for whatever reason, find valuable.

    If that’s your objective, well good. But be upfront about it. If it’s your objective to catch more crims, well placing these kinds of requirements on priests won’t work, for both of the reasons outlined above.

  27. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 1:00 pm

    But the point is that religion is a private matter and the law should treat all people equally.

    Ahh … but its not a private matter it encroaches on all our lives, “believers” or not … gay marriage being but a current topic … and religion of ALL ilks presume the the high moral ground when history and the present actually (BELIEF in a deity is a private matter and is another issue) …

    … and if the law should treat everyone equally then priests have a right to disclose any breaking of society’s laws … the society that it preaches honesty, goodwill and peace to …

    I should probably admit state here that I’m an agnostic but I was brought up in a C of E* environment (school etc) in the UK … the sibling I mentioned earlier became a Catholic when she decided to change husbands, ’cause the new bloke had more potential (and his old man was a multi millionaire) … now she’s married to a multi millionaire … after the Pope said it was alright to be divorced and re-marry of course … 🙄 … and she just stole, literally, $20,000, inheritance off my kids … by lying and cheating … all legally of course … so its just “moral” lying, cheating and stealing … 🙄 … wonder if she confessed to that …

    I also see no “modern” reason that religious organisations do not pay tax …

    * The Pommie C of E is not much different to the Micks … especially with the pomp ‘n’ ceremony stuff …

  28. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 1:37 pm

    “I also see no “modern” reason that religious organisations do not pay tax … ”

    That’ll affect new investment in new churches…………………….therefore the building industry will suffer

    All the churches will be forced to seek a lower tax regime overseas.

  29. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 1:39 pm

    In fact the stone masonry trade would be decimated

  30. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 1:40 pm

    Not to mention candle stick makers……………………….scuptors…………………….art valuers.

    I could go on.

    The multiplier effect would be catastrophic

  31. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 2:02 pm

    LOL!

  32. July 18, 2012 2:05 pm

    ” I maintain my long held view that the Catholic Church endures a disproportionate amount of criticism from Teh Left, for political reasons.”

    For political reasons? Give me a break (again)…

    How about they receive their fair share of criticism because they actually deserve it….??

  33. July 18, 2012 2:07 pm

    “That’ll affect new investment in new churches”

    Yeah, just look at the demand.

  34. Look at the camera permalink
    July 18, 2012 2:42 pm

    Yeah! It’s about time we had another thread where we can ridicule these religious nutjobs. They believe in a Grand Sky Wizard, apparently, so something’s obviously amiss with their brains. Some don’t even believe in gay marriage! How backwardsarsed is that?

    Making priests agents of the state is a good idea, too. You’d have to take anonymity out of the process, though: a priest wouldn’t be a very good informer if he had that stupid curtain between him and the confessor culprit criminal the whole time. You’d probably need a video camera in each confessional, and anyone making confession would be required to sign in beforehand, providing 100 points of ID, so there’d be no cases of mistaken identity. Bring it on.

  35. July 18, 2012 2:58 pm

    Geezus, even the cops have to warn a crook that what they say may be used against them…..

    I can see it now…..

    Padre: “If you confess to me, I’m duty bound to report you to the authorities”

    Rapist: “That’s ok, Father, the important thing is that God forgives me, here’s how it happened…..”

  36. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 3:52 pm

    No sarcasm alert, ToSY? ttt ttt …

    James, sounds very experienced with confessions in his comments above.

    “… here’s how it happened…..”

    Wot happened then, James?

    Just points out the hypocrisy of Christianity and other religious “beliefs” …

  37. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 4:07 pm

    “Just points out the hypocrisy of Christianity and other religious “beliefs” …”

    That is a bit of generalisation, TB.

  38. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 4:13 pm

    I could be more specific, sp, but then sreb, would just come along and want to take over …
    🙂

  39. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 4:28 pm

    TB religious types are happier and healthier. No wonder their critics are such grouches.

  40. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 4:58 pm

    sp, I don’t have to “prove” anything … do you?

  41. Splatterbottom permalink
    July 18, 2012 5:15 pm

    TB, my dear chap, I was merely responding to your previous slur on all religious beliefs.

  42. JAWS permalink
    July 18, 2012 6:10 pm

    “Yeah, just look at the demand”

    Yes its huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge

    http://mosque-finder.com.au/directory/

  43. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 6:32 pm

    sp, old boy, it was a verifiable statement … a “slur” is an intended insult … accepted by someone who feels insulted …

    Calling critics of religious hypocrisy (easily verifiable historically and in contemporary times) could be a “slur” if accepted by the critic(s) …

    However, as an agnostic I neither believe nor disbelieve in a deity …

    … unfortunately (for you) organised religion is actually, “organised”, by dickheads people … and comes with all the add-ons of human weakness … self-gratification, greed, manipulation … I’m sure you know ’em all … unfortunately the “good guys” (ie priests) get swallowed up by the Robber Barons that run the Vatican etc. …

    I’m a fan of, Survivor, (as an ex-training facilitator I love to watch the psychology at play) and it always amuses me to watch the players who call on “god” for help as they outwit, outplay, outlast … by lying, cheating and manipulating the other players …

    … I supect you’ll simply say that it’s just a game … and that’s what organised religion is … I’ve experienced the wrath of Catholic Group Anger … (bit like a lynch mob wot got it wrong – )

    Having said, that I’ve experienced the Horror of Catholic Disbelief (is that an oxymoron?) at the Catholic GA …

    Its just the iggorance of the bible that astounds me … a Catholic I know wept at Mary’s dwelling in Ephesus … but had no idea that the First Testament was Jewish …

    Most athiests and agnostics know more about the bible than christians do (and I do wish that christians behaved as JC did) … I have The Bible, The Qur’an and the Tanakh in my study …

    It may please you to know that my 8yo g/son said to me last night at dinner that his soul is the heart of his heart … it would be nice to think that he made that up himself, but while he is very clever with numbers and memory poetic “sayings” are not his forte … he goes to a state school – with a Christian Chaplain … mmmm …

    … he’s currently playing Diablo III – it could have come from there 🙄

  44. July 18, 2012 7:06 pm

    I fyou’re gonna plagiarise my vibe, don’t use it to defend religious privilege. 🙄

    Fuck youse that believe in the Sky Fairy…there, I said it.

    Get a grip.

  45. July 18, 2012 7:07 pm

    Y O U K N O W W H O Y O U A R E

  46. July 18, 2012 7:13 pm

    Don’t let ’em guilt you out, reb. We rarely have threads where we can ridicule these religious nutjobs, these days.

    The Bolt phenomenon. We should be able to question people’s race & ethnicity but don’t you presume to attack the ridiculous, man made dogmatic constructs which make organised religion tick unless you’re rubishing Islam, coz like, those moosies are so silly following made up shit from Allah .

  47. July 18, 2012 7:21 pm

    I loved Louis Theroux’s response when he told a bunch of religious nutjobs that he didn’t believe in god or the bible…

    “You’re gonna go to hell!” they yelled at him. ” it says so in the bible!”

    “Well the bible would say that wouldn’t it,” he replied calmly…

    Guffaw.

  48. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 7:25 pm

    I fyou’re gonna plagiarise my vibe, don’t use it to defend religious privilege

    I respect yo’ vibe, brother …

  49. July 18, 2012 7:25 pm

    “sanctity of the confessional”

    What even is that?

    It’s just another way of saying ” don’t fuck with silly things we can’t possibly explain or defend in any rationale manner.”

  50. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 7:26 pm

    BTW … HD … what’s yo’ vibe again? 😛

  51. July 18, 2012 7:27 pm

    “I respect yo’ vibe, brother …”

    Get you daddy homeboy.

  52. TB Queensland permalink
    July 18, 2012 7:33 pm

    “sanctity of the confessional”

    Bugger me! (Whooooo! Bad choice of words I know!) …

    I thought you were talking about the Sanctimonious Prick! LOL! 🙂

    And a look at how the hypocrisy can used to encroach into our “everyday” …

  53. el gordo permalink
    July 18, 2012 7:38 pm

    Fifty Shades of Grey is now selling better than the bible. What kind of world have we inherited?

  54. el gordo permalink
    July 18, 2012 9:19 pm

    ‘NSW police have established a dedicated unit to investigate alleged child abuse by a former Catholic church priest, dating back to the 1980s.

    ‘The man, known only as Father F for legal reasons, is alleged to have abused at least six altar boys while working as a priest in a number of parishes across the state.

    ‘A NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed that a formal investigation had been launched.

    “The NSW Police Force can confirm Strike Force Glenroe has been formed to review all relevant material,” she said.

    “However, police are unable to comment further on this matter at this time.”

    ‘The NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, said he hoped a separate “independent inquiry” into the allegations, announced by the church yesterday, would co-operate with police.

    “I would urge the Catholic church to do what appears to have been lacking in last investigations, which is to link with police,” he said.

    Dan Box in the Oz

  55. Look at the camera permalink
    July 18, 2012 10:04 pm

    😯

  56. July 19, 2012 1:04 am

    There is already legislated and mandatory reporting for doctors and nurses [I’m not sure about teachers]. If they suspect there is any child abuse [sexual, emotional or neglect] they are required by law to report it so that an investigation can be carried out – it should be the same for all citizens if we value our children and want them to have the best life possible. Too many people are silent and that is why this abuse continues in society. Who does it protect and why? Predators of children should be named and shamed, not reporting it only protects the criminals.

    If the priest is required to report crimes, then the crimes won’t be confessed. So you lose the lot

    Why confess to them in the first place? Is it because they are forgiven their crimes without a trial or or any real punishment from society? Then they can run out of the church feeling good about themselves, head held high as if they are innocent, because some priest lets them off. Is there any thought to the victim of the crime and perhaps their wish for the criminal to face prosecution and judgement by his peers?

    I maintain my long held view that the Catholic Church endures a disproportionate amount of criticism from Teh Left, for political reasons.”

    What would those be? Child safety & protection isn’t a political ideology, it is about society and values, protecting those who are least able to defend themselves. If the church wasn’t trying to control people through political influence it wouldn’t have the criticism.

  57. July 19, 2012 4:53 pm

    “Y O U K N O W W H O Y O U A R E”

    Ooops.

    I forgot to add the lil’ 🙂

    Upon rereading, I can see that my less than serious comment could possibly be interpreted seriously…which wouldn’t be good.

  58. July 19, 2012 5:17 pm

    Upon rereading, I can see that my less than serious comment could possibly be interpreted seriously…which wouldn’t be good.

    Seriously? 🙂

  59. TB Queensland permalink
    July 19, 2012 6:24 pm

    “mea culpa” … wonder if, James, understands that latin term …

  60. July 19, 2012 6:28 pm

    It was meant for, Yony, not Capt Catholic.

  61. July 22, 2012 3:12 pm

    Although I do agree that they should have to contact police, I am scared of such powers given to prists or the church once again. Could it end up the way it did in the middle ages with witch hunts?

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