California targets cleric confidentiality

California is considering a proposed law that is nothing less than an attempt to jail innocent priests. California Senate Bill 360 seeks to change its law to force a priest, when he hears of sins in the confessional regarding sexual abuse, to make a choice. He must choose to either maintain the confidentiality of the sacrament and face possible imprisonment or to betray that confidentiality and violate his deepest conscience and the laws of God and the Roman Catholic Church. No priest I know would choose the latter.

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7 Responses to California targets cleric confidentiality

  1. anonymous says:

    . . . and lawyers are required to disclose their client’s admissions to past crimes, as doctors are required to reveal conditions that could cause harm to to others, and school counselors are required to inform on children who admit thoughts of destruction and so on and so on . . . that is in that bill too, right ?

    At what point does this end ? Religious doctrine should not be required to accommodate The State.

    • Kapt Kaos says:

      I had a priest tell me years ago that confidentiality in the confessional was vitaly important because he said the communist countries would immediately use it to imprison the priests for political reasons under the guise that they were hiding criminals in their parish. It seems that California is making a soviet move using sexual abuse as the reason but as the old Irish priest told me back then the government would use any excuse to force the church out as they moved towards more authoritarian rule. He told me that the US Bishops had been fighting it since WW2 and if I ever see it in my lifetime then I will know that Christians have entered the persecution stage of civilization. May God bless and protect the citizens of California.

    • FaCubeItches says:

      “Religious doctrine should not be required to accommodate The State.”

      The State is the religion, comrade citizen.
      – The Government

  2. Rick says:

    BS. Harboring knowledge of sex abuse is not against God’s law, quite the opposite. They’re just making it up now. Too, CA has already a law that Pastors are ‘required reporters’.

    Somewhat related is this: At the behest of the church’s insurance underwriter, my protestant church implemented a Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) program. It generated heated debate especially because the church took the position that if there were even the allegation of abuse the accused would be immediately prohibited from interacting with ANY children until after investigation is completed and the accused is found innocent.

    I understand the seriousness of the matter but it stuck in my craw of being ‘presumed guilty’.* Also, because the Pastor would be involved in any investigation – even if a credentialed school teacher or medical professional (also required reporters) in the congregation gained knowledge – law enforcement and CPA would be notified.

    The state should stay out of it but the church must do a much better job at monitoring itself and swift with discipline. There should be a noticeable and distinct difference between the church and the world. Sadly that is not the case.

    *My brother was once accused by a girl at school. I saw first hand the hell that caused for months. When it all spun up to become heavily serious with the law and justice involved the girl broke down and sobbed that she had made it up. Then there the many accounts they made it into the news. No, I do not believe women.

    Also, I use to teach elementary school. I know how kids invent stuff. Such imaginations are usually harmless or trite but in this day they could get a guy fired or thrown into the hoosegow or marked for life with a modern day scarlet letter (registered sex offender). Sex abuse has become the Salem witch trials where there is no presumed innocence and may deny due process.

    But anyone who truly does such a thing to even one child should be executed. The rule is at least four years age difference or opposite sex of abused and abuser.

    • FaCubeItches says:

      ” Harboring knowledge of sex abuse is not against God’s law, quite the opposite. ”

      Depends on the god, infidel!
      – Zombie Muhammad

  3. crazyeighter says:

    Priests won’t rat each other out for sex crimes; I doubt they’d give up a parishioner.

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