Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Seal of Confession

protect+the+seal.jpg (433×724)

Canon 983: "The sacramental seal (of Confession) is inviolable; wherefore it is forbidden for a confessor by word or in any other way or for whatever reason to betray a penitent.  This also applies to an interpreter, if one is needed, or to someone who overhears what is said in the confessional box"  (my translation).

The Seal of Confession is under attack in Ireland.  Of course, the situation of the Catholic Church in that country is appalling - I understand that a recent report which I haven't read highlights a terrible situation with regard to pedophile priests and bishops who have covered up the situation, and this is a monstrous dereliction of duty on the part of the Church.
But now Enda Kelly, the Taoiseach of Ireland, is seeking to promote legislation which would force priests who hear Confessions to divulge the sins of penitents, especially pedophile priests who come to them.
In the past priests have been executed for not breaking the Seal and many others imprisoned. The Seal of Confession comes from Divine Law, and not Church Law, and may never be tampered with. This would be a slippery slope; what is next - to divulge murders ... wife-beating ... picking your nose in public? All heinous crimes (well, maybe not the last one), but if the Taoiseach gets his way, then other countries will do the same and we will all end up in prison, or worse.
Mulier Fortis suggests that we use the above symbol to show our determination to protect the Seal of Confession and our support for those who may be in the firing-line.  Of course, as multum-incola-fuit-anima-mea.blogspot.com reports, in a hacked letter from a Mr L. Satan written to the Toesock of Eyeland, pedophiles will not be going to Confession, which will be good business for him in the end.
Let us pray for our Church.

1 comment:

  1. Welkin,

    Hope you're good. Slightly related: http://multum-incola-fuit-anima-mea.blogspot.com/2011/08/confession-part-i.html