Monday, 18 July 2011

Defending the Indefensible : the Confessional Secrecy

http://examiner.ie/opinion/letters/seal-of-confession-must-not-be-broken-161323.html

A letter published in the Examiner, an Irish broadsheet, on 18th July, the weekend after the publishing of the Cloyne Report, which detailed the devious, manipulative and malign behaviour of  Irish Clerical Hierarchy in their 'response' to the 'abuse scandal', detailing the most appalling behaviour at the highest levels, from 1996 to 2008, in which the writer wrote :

"AS the father of a family and as a normal human being I am as appalled as anybody else at the abuse of minors by those in positions of authority, which includes (but is by no means most prevalent among) members of the Catholic clergy.

But by what insanity does the Fine Gael/Labour coalition think it can legislate to prosecute priests who do keep inviolate the unbreakable seal of the confessional?

No doctor or lawyer or other person in a position of confidence can ever be compelled to do this.

It is a very painful thing for them when they hear certain things in their professional capacity, but only a tiny dose of maturity is needed to realise that confidentiality must be respected in these special cases for the greater good of society.

And a priest especially has vowed to protect the confessional seal with his life blood — as so many have testified down the ages.

In the case of a guilty party confessing, the normal procedure would be to withhold absolution until the culprit has given himself up to the secular authorities — just as with certain other very serious sins. Shame on the perpetrators of this disgraceful opportunistic suggestion.


Yours etc....

This is my response to that letter :

Micheál Ó Fearghail, Glanmire in a letter to the Examiner 18th July 2011 wrote, defending the sacred nature of the confessional, that :

"In the case of a guilty party confessing, the normal procedure would be to withhold absolution until the culprit has given himself up to the secular authorities — just as with certain other very serious sins."

Can he, or anyone else for that matter, furnish substantiated evidence that this is the normal procedure of a priest hearing the confession of another priest, nun, bishop or any other clergy confessing to serious crimes?

Can he say that a priest, upon hearing such a confession, would urge such action, that is for the perpetrator to hand him or herself over to the civil authorities, given that the Pope and others in authority have prohibited such disclosures without their consent, with the sanction of ex-communication for any priest who might break that prohibition, in a fit of ill advised decency?

If a priest, or any person, who has sexually assaulted a child, wishes to confess, ought that person themselves, if they feel true remorse for what they have done, not be the one's to approach the civil authorities, and then seek a confession under Christian 'ethics'?

Has this ever happened?

Shame on Micheál Ó Fearghail, for writing "Shame on the perpetrators of this disgraceful opportunistic suggestion."

Shame on the writer for making assumptions such as he does, when we know that worldwide, the numbers of children grievously harmed, whether it be in Aboriginal Boarding Schools (Canada, USA, Australia, Africa) or European 'care' Institutions, Magdalene Laundries, Orphanages etc... can be counted in their hundreds of thousands...

When we know, even still, that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is protecting known abusers, obstructing justice and more, merely to protect it's 'image'?

Shame! A shame that tarnishes the name of Christ, which it would appear is of less importance than the Power and Status of the Institutional Church, and certainly of less value than the lives of so many children, and the lives of so many survivors. 



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Kindest regards

Corneilius

Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe







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