The Irish government would prosecute Catholic priests for not reporting child sex-abuse crimes heard in confessionals. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the proposed law, which could imprison clerics for up to five years, would override the Church’s confessional privilege law that forbids priests from disclosing information shared during confession.
“The law of the land should not be stopped by a crozier or a collar.”—Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister
The Cloyne report issued this week accused the Catholic hierarchy of following Church law instead of government guidelines to protect children. According to the report, the Church hierarchy not only failed to report pedophile priests in the Church, but it also continued to cover up acts of pedophilia as recent as 2009.
The Irish Government went on to condemn the Church’s conduct in the clerical child abuse inquiries as “disgraceful and unacceptable.”
The Cloyne report covers a 13-year period up to 2009 and contains devastating criticisms of the Holy See.
“[T]he Popish hierarchy I execrate as diabolical confusion, established for the very purpose of making God himself to be despised, and of exposing the Christian religion to mockery and scorn.”—John Calvin
For more on the story, see Priests face prosecution if they don’t tell about crimes confessed to them.