Archbishop of York John Sentamu says priests in the Church of England should no longer be bound by the centuries-old principle of confidentiality in confessions when they are told of sexual crimes committed against children.
He said that the Church of England must break the confidentiality of confession in cases where people disclosed the abuse of children. “If someone tells you a child has been abused, the confession doesn’t seem to me a cloak for hiding that business. How can you hear a confession about somebody abusing a child and the matter must be sealed up and you mustn’t talk about it?”
The inquiry was commissioned by Uganda-born Sentamu after an investigation by The Times newspaper exposed an Anglican priest, Robert Waddington, as a serial sexual abuser of children in England and Australia for more than 50 years….
…In July, Anglicans in Australia backed a historic change that breaks the convention that the confidentiality of what a man or woman tells a priest during confession is inviolable….
…Existing church law (in the Church of England) demands that the confession of a crime is to be kept confidential unless the person making the confession consents to the priest disclosing it.