Confessional seal to be ruptured in Ireland

Priests in Ireland who with-hold information about alleged child abuse, even when told to them in the Sacrament of Confession, will soon be liable for up to five years prison.

The new laws are an unprecedented display of tough action against the Catholic Church, in what was traditionally a Catholic country.

“The law of the land should not be stopped by a collar or a crozier,” said Irish Prime Minister, Edna Kenny.

The Minister of Justice, Alan Shatter has warned that doctors too will be expected to abandon their Hippocratic oath when it relates to sexual abuse.

Shatter promises the legislation will have “no grey legal areas” around the investigation and prosecution of anybody, who conceals or fails to report to the police, sexual offenses against children or vulnerable adults.

The new law will not respect any internal rules of any organisation, faith, confessional seal or otherwise, Shatter said.

The move was about what the state expected of every person and organisation involved in child protection.

Children’s Minister, Frances Fitzgerald said the report heralded the end of voluntary compliance over child protection measures and that all organisations, religious, sporting, educational or or medical will be treated the same in the state’s eyes.

“There will be no exceptions, no exemptions,” she said.

The new law is expected to be passed before Christmas.


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