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seal of confession and child abuse
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Author:  Jack3 [ Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  seal of confession and child abuse

Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Jack3 wrote:
Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

No.

Certainly, there is some dispute if he can with the penitent's permission. But in practice the answer is no there, but he may request that the penitent tell him outside confessional

Author:  ForeverFaithful [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

No.

Certainly, there is some dispute if he can with the penitent's permission. But in practice the answer is no there, but he may request that the penitent tell him outside confessional


May a priest take precautionary actions, such as encouraging (for an unspecified reason) school staff to modern more closely the penitent at known sites of abuse?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

No.

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

ForeverFaithful wrote:
Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

No.

Certainly, there is some dispute if he can with the penitent's permission. But in practice the answer is no there, but he may request that the penitent tell him outside confessional


May a priest take precautionary actions, such as encouraging (for an unspecified reason) school staff to modern more closely the penitent at known sites of abuse?

Both direct and indirect violations of the seal are forbidden. In practice, any action based on information provided in confession runs a risk at least.

Now he can act on information outside the confessional that would reasonably move him to said action by itself, even if experience in confession gave him more impetus (so we already know pornography is an issue, but we put off how to address it. And then a young priest starts hearing confessions and the issue is thrown in his face, and he stops putting off dealing with it... But there it is accidental, and does not risk revealing info... But we should be careful not to stretch this line of reasoning too far.... Err on the side of the seal)

Author:  ForeverFaithful [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

One example that was brought up was say a priest was told in confession the communion wine was poisoned.

He would be bound by the seal neither to refrain from the chalice himself nor to stop the laity from receiving if that was the parish custom, correct?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Right.

Author:  BrotherKnight [ Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Why couldn't he just go buy new wine?

Author:  Jack3 [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

No.

Certainly, there is some dispute if he can with the penitent's permission. But in practice the answer is no there, but he may request that the penitent tell him outside confessional

What I don't get is this: Doesn't the seal cover only sins of the penitent?

Author:  Pro Ecclesia Dei [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Jack3 wrote:
Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Sincere question:

The Confessor must not reveal the sins of the penitent.

It is not a sin to be abused.

Hence, may a priest reveal the fact that his penitent was abused?

No.

Certainly, there is some dispute if he can with the penitent's permission. But in practice the answer is no there, but he may request that the penitent tell him outside confessional

What I don't get is this: Doesn't the seal cover only sins of the penitent?

I will repeat

Both direct and indirect violations of the seal are forbidden. Say "Jack got drunk" is a direct violation. But saying anything can be an indirect violation

Can. 983 ยง1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.



From Thomas

I answer that, The seal of confession does not extend directly to other matters than those which have reference to sacramental confession, yet indirectly matters also which are not connected with sacramental confession are affected by the seal of confession, those, for instance, which might lead to the discovery of a sinner or of his sin. Nevertheless these matters also must be most carefully hidden, both on account of scandal, and to avoid leading others into sin through their becoming familiar with it.

Author:  Peregrinator [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

BrotherKnight wrote:
Why couldn't he just go buy new wine?

I assume the hypothetical refers to wine that is already in the cruet on the credence table, although a priest going out and buying wine might be an indirect violation of the seal.

Author:  Jack3 [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Can he "accidentally" tip it over?

Author:  Peregrinator [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Jack3 wrote:
Can he "accidentally" tip it over?

I don't know, he'd probably have to be a really good actor in order to pull it off. Plus saying "whoops I accidentally tipped that over" would be a lie and lying is a sin.

Author:  Jack3 [ Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Peregrinator wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Can he "accidentally" tip it over?

I don't know, he'd probably have to be a really good actor in order to pull it off. Plus saying "whoops I accidentally tipped that over" would be a lie and lying is a sin.

"Oh-oh, I'm sorry" would suffice, I think.

Author:  Peregrinator [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Jack3 wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Can he "accidentally" tip it over?

I don't know, he'd probably have to be a really good actor in order to pull it off. Plus saying "whoops I accidentally tipped that over" would be a lie and lying is a sin.

"Oh-oh, I'm sorry" would suffice, I think.

What if the would-be poisoner is in the congregation?

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Peregrinator wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
Can he "accidentally" tip it over?

I don't know, he'd probably have to be a really good actor in order to pull it off. Plus saying "whoops I accidentally tipped that over" would be a lie and lying is a sin.

"Oh-oh, I'm sorry" would suffice, I think.

What if the would-be poisoner is in the congregation?


What then?

Author:  Peregrinator [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Jack3 wrote:
What then?

He sees the priest knock over the wine in the cruet, gets upset, storms out -- the priest has now betrayed the penitent.

Author:  BrotherKnight [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

Peregrinator wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
What then?

He sees the priest knock over the wine in the cruet, gets upset, storms out -- the priest has now betrayed the penitent.


Let's think of a more plausible scenario than the hypothetically poisoned communion wine...

What if a penitent has confessed that he is a child molester and that he fully intends to continue.

Later that week, the priest's overhears another parishioner say, "[penitent] is babysitting my daughter this weekend."

So the priest should just allow the girl to be molested? There is literally nothing he can do to stop this heinous act from occurring?

By the arguments above, any action on the part of the priest that results in the parent changing their plans so that the penitent won't be babysitting their child is a violation of the seal of confession. So the only way to not break the seal is to allow the molester penitent to babysit the little girl. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

It would break the priest's heart, but he could do nothing. The seal is absolute. I expect priests will be going to jail over this in the not-too-distant future, but jail is better than Hell.

Author:  Jack3 [ Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: seal of confession and child abuse

The priest can pray...

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