Friday, October 20, 2006

Priests to dob in child sex abusers

I'm sorry I didn't get around to posting this when it first caught my attention but this may be of some interest to my overseas and interstate readers. It certainly enraged me with people's ignorance.

This story was on the front page of today's
Advertiser (the local paper for Adelaide) had this story.
Priests to dob in child sex abusers

ANGLICAN priests no longer will be able to use confidentiality as a reason for not reporting child sex abuse, under strict new rules to be introduced across Adelaide.
The unprecedented measures, to be endorsed by the Diocese of Adelaide Synod next weekend, will extend to confessions heard by priests, including those with other priests.

They follow the compulsory training of South Australian Anglican priests on their legal requirements to report child abuse to authorities, which have been opposed by some priests who believe confidentiality should be maintained for pastoral reasons.

The new rules surpass those implemented nationally by the Catholic Church, which still maintains confidentiality over confessions.

Adelaide Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver yesterday told The Advertiser he would not tolerate any more "cover-ups" within the Anglican Church of child sex abuse, saying previous inaction by church leaders had caused enormous problems.

Archbishop Driver said priests would be given no option but to observe a new code of conduct under which they would be forced to report child abuse, including information received during confession.

"If I was giving confession to a priest who told me about child sex abuse, I would not give him absolution. I would immediately stop the confession and march him straight to the nearest police station," he said.

More...

Then there was this for a Editorial to follow it up.

Update: another story in today's edition. It seems that the Anglicans are now claiming that these new measures won't break the seal of the confessional.
Archbishop Driver said the church recognised the confessional may have been "abused" in the past by people hiding behind its code of confidentiality.

While priests cannot break the seal of the confessional by acting as informants, guidelines are now in place to help them work with abusers to report their crimes to the relevant authorities.

"What the guidelines . . . intend to do is to ensure that while the seal of the confessional is maintained, it is not abused," Archbishop Driver said.

"I expect clergy to act responsibly in the use of the confessional in line with the guidelines.

"I certainly expect that they would withhold absolution and provide strong counsel that the penitent must report what they have done."

Archbishop Driver said if he heard a confession of child abuse, he would refuse absolution.

"I'll say 'I am not able to provide you with absolution and I'd like us to walk a journey . . . to a police station together, as part of what is appropriate contrition'," he said.

1 comment:

only moniker said...

That's just stupid, who would go to confession after that?
Totally missed the whole point of confession, the way it works and why it exists!