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The seal of the confessional and child abuse

The seal of the confessional and child abuse

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.

RNS:

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.

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Eric Bonetti

Leonardo,

I agree. Sentamu's actions to date are hardly ones to promote confidence, either in his leadership or ethics.

On a related note, I find the statements from the Ugandan church laughable about how they truly don't understand why the West is so upset about that country's anti-LGBT legislation. Specifically, one thing that law enforcement almost invariably finds when it arrests the perpetrator of a hate crime is that the culprit is astonished that they are being arrested. "But he was a [insert epithet of choice]", they loudly proclaim. Too bad the AC doesn't have hate crimes legislation....maybe it's about time that it does.

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Leonardo Ricardo

I think Archbishop John of York ought get his ¨spiritual counseling¨ ducks in a row.

On the subject of LGBTI people in Africa (he is from Uganda, verdad?) ¨Existing Church Law¨ would have *Gay* people, young, older, abused or not, expelled and tormented (Jailed) to face a certain death (bludgeoned in the case of Anglican David Kato)...when ¨confessing ones sexuality¨ at Church.

The Archbishop of York KNOWS that at the Anglican Church Provinces in Nigeria and Uganda there is an active desire to REPORT homosexuality within 24 hours (of knowing about it) to the POLICE! Anglican and MP David Bahati would have LGBTI killed.

Many not-so-capable Primates respect nothing but their own self-righteous pontificating and wish to CLEAN house (and don't even think about couseling as a means to sort through and identify difficult problems of any type).

I wonder where people GO for spiritual counseling these days/daze? One must only listen to LOFTY HOMILIES and pretend nothing is wrong/real?

Is it best to face, a ghastily problem and struggle for a solution with the help of clergy? (Or is it better to NOT get the HELP one may need because your Spiritual Advisor will have you arrested..guilty or not).

+John ought regroup and start being HELPFUL to Anglicans, ALL Anglicans, at the Church of England and Beyond (now that he has a place at the Primates Meeting too).

Reporting people to the police is not quite the same as HELPING THEM get the spiritually healthy advise they may need in order to find the WILLINGNESS to reach out with self-honesty, admitting ones wrongs, attempting to make amends, publically confess and grow toward healing and into spiritual wellness). Betrayl, we've seen it before and it's not a very honorable way to find a real solution for those who NEED help...confidential help!

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Leonardo Ricardo

I think Archbishop John of York ought get his ducks in a row...on the subject of LGBTI people in Africa (he is from Uganda, verdad?) ¨Existing Church Law¨ would have *Gay* people, young, older, abused or not, expelled and tormented (Jailed) to face a certain death (bludgeoned in the case of Anglican David Kato)...the Archbishop of York must realize that the Anglican Church Provinces in Nigeria and Uganda desire to REPORT homosexuality within 24 hours (of knowing about it) by LAW and respect nothing but their own self-righteous pontificating...I wonder where people GO for spiritual counseling these days/daze? Best to face the sadness of any difficult character issue with a trusted clergyman/woman or better NOT get the HELP one may need? Truly, +John needs to regroup and start being HELPFUL to Anglicans, ALL Anglicans, at the Church of England and Beyond (now that he has a place at the Primates Meeting too).

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