The Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania have become the latest in the country to pass legislation criminalizing priests who fail to report the abuse of children disclosed during Confession. The country’s six states and two territories are all expected to have such laws in place in coming months.
But some clerics, including Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli, one of Australia’s most senior and vocal bishops, have vowed to ignore the laws in an effort to uphold the seal of the confessional. Comensoli told Australian public radio that he would urge anyone who confessed to child sexual abuse to tell police. But he added that he, personally, would not break the seal, preferring to go to jail.