Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Following the exchange of words, on Child Sexual Abuse through Institutional Reforms, between the Australian Royal Commission and the Church on whether cases in confession must be reported or not, Lawyer Vivian Walker has reportedly taken the church up for cleaning.

It will be recalled that Archbishop Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has ordered that the law be dressed to protect confessions before priests, in the guise of freedom of religion, maintaining that breach of this order is breach in freedom as against humanity.

It should also be recalled that other clerics have since identified, signifying allegiance to Halt’s resolution. Prominent amongst the clerics are Mark Coleridge and Frank Brennan. According to Father Brennan, clerics reporting abuse allegations would make children less safe because it “may take away the one possibility that a sex offender will repent and turn himself in”.

It is against this background that lawyer Vivian Walker, who, according to UK Independent News, lashed out on the Catholic Church, welcoming the commission’s recommendations instead.

“I think it’s about time the Catholic Church was dragged out of the dark ages.” Adding that, “we can no longer think about sexual offending against children as some kind of forgivable sin.”

Catholic Church’s Trust Justice and Healing Council however remain on argument floor, maintaining that for priests to disclose information heard during confession would undermine freedom of religion, the UK Independent News reports.

“The whole concept of confession in the Catholic Church is built on repentance, forgiveness and penance,” said Frances Sullivan, the council’s chief executive.

“Part of this forgiveness process, certainly in the case of a child sex-abuser, would normally require they turn themselves in to the police,” Sullivan added as he emphasized “the right to practise one’s religious beliefs must accommodate civil society’s obligation to provide for the safety of all and, in particular, children’s safety from sexual abuse.”












Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola


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