Search Results: Seal of Confession

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  • RELIGION

    Seal of confession should remain inviolate

    • Bill Uren
    • 06 December 2017
    26 Comments

    I suspect the royal commission will recommend the seal of confession should no longer remain absolute. I also know that all priests of my acquaintance will rather go to jail than violate the seal. I cannot then see that such a move will be anything but unproductive. Perpetrators will be less likely to go to confession and priests will go to jail.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the seal of the confessional will remain

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 August 2017
    23 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a 2000-page three volume Criminal Justice Report. One of its recommendations is that the states and territories 'create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context'.

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  • RELIGION

    It's time to put past victims and present and future children first

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 February 2017
    11 Comments

    Make no mistake, our church leaders are not yet out of the blaze of the headlights. They don't have all the answers, not even in relation to matters peculiarly within their jurisdiction. Despite being put on notice, our most senior bishops could not even agree on the limits of the seal of the confessional and on what a priest should do if abuse were reported in the confessional by a child. It's not just our past leaders who needed help. Our present leaders also do.

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  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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  • RELIGION

    The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 February 2017
    74 Comments

    Last Monday, the Royal Commission commenced its three-week forensic examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Looking for light amid Royal Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 February 2017
    17 Comments

    Listening to the media and our church leaders in recent days, we know that there is plenty of darkness ahead for our Church in the weeks ahead with the Royal Commission's so-called 'Catholic wrap-up'. We're told that the statistics will be terrible and we expect that some of our church leaders will appear, looking stunned and helpless. This morning, I think we need to reflect on these stark realities in the light of the scriptures. And this can be done only by holding the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Why the seal of the confessional should remain in tact

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 December 2016
    18 Comments

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a priest. Some groups and individuals are proposing to the royal commission that the seal of the confessional no longer be inviolable. I was quoted in The Australian saying, 'If a law is introduced to say that a priest should reveal a confession, I'm one of those priests who will disobey the law.' Being also a lawyer, let me explain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The holy sacrament of coffee communion

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 August 2016
    12 Comments

    Within the first 20 minutes of my morning, I pay homage to life by partaking in that glorious gift to humanity, coffee. As well as the contested space around coffee's possible physical health benefits and purported dodgy effects, going for a coffee is good for the soul. Humans are social creatures, and coffee lubricates our communing. Over a cuppa I have shared hardships, counselled and been counselled, listened to tales of brokenness and celebrated the wins that punctuate our travails.

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  • RELIGION

    Rules won't restore the Church

    • Chris McGillion and Damian Grace
    • 22 July 2014
    20 Comments

    It is widely assumed that rules are the solution to transgressions such as those being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rules are useful. They can be framed to aid compliance and deter wrongdoing. It is no argument against them to say that people will still offend, but if rules are more legal requirements than the expression of genuine morality, they will have limited effectiveness.

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  • RELIGION

    Confessional debate is a Royal Commission red herring

    • Chris McGillion
    • 28 November 2012
    43 Comments

    It is inconceivable that Catholic authorities would countenance the state interfering in the sacramental life of the Church. And any attempt to do so would quickly turn into an issue of freedom of religion. If the Royal Commission were to go down that path it could quickly find it had bitten off much more than it can chew.

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  • RELIGION

    On breaking the seal of confession

    • Geoffrey Robinson
    • 22 November 2012
    34 Comments

    In 52 years as a priest I have never had to face a conflict situation over the seal of the confessional and sexual abuse. I pray that I never face a situation where I was convinced an innocent minor would be abused unless I broke the seal. I would find it impossibly difficult to live with that abuse on my conscience. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rudd's forgettery and the things that don't matter

    • Michael Mullins
    • 26 August 2012
    8 Comments

    Kevin Rudd’s mother had a saying: ‘Just put it into your forgettery’. It helped him cope with criticism such as his reported tantrums and harsh treatment of staff. Julia Gillard has had her own forgettery raided by ‘misogynists and the nut jobs on the internet’ and elsewhere. Political vindictiveness is not sufficient reason to retrieve unpleasant memories from a person’s personal trash.

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