Friday, July 22, 2011

Australian priests will defend confessional seal, bishops' spokesman assures

A spokesman for the Australian Catholic bishops’ conference has warned that Catholic priests would not comply with a proposed law requiring them to break the confessional seal—a suggest brought forward by Senator Xenophon as a response to the sex-abuse scandal.

"His proposal does nothing to protect children and flies in the face of a fundamental right of people to practice their religion," said Father Brian Lucas. He said that priests would refuse to comply with the law, noting that priests have “gone to their death” rather than violate the confessional seal.

Related to this story - The Herald Sun report on the topic betrays ignorance of the subject in two ways. First, the headline says that the “Catholic Church won’t give up its secrets” [emphasis added], when it is the secrets of those making confessions that are in question. Second, the report refers twice to “penitence” in contexts when it is obvious the proper word would be “penitent” or “penitent’s.”

Another piece of evidence that most media has no clue on how to report on Church matters. A great example is when the Pope was celebrating Mass on what happened to be Earth Day, there were widespread media reports that the Pope supported Earth Day by wearing green. It was, of course, Ordinary Time in the Church calendar.

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