|South Australian archbishop recently found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse|
South Australia has become the second Australian state (along with the Australian Capital Territory) to come out supporting the mandatory reporting of child sex abuse, even from the Catholic confessional, in response to the recommendations of the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. In fact it appears it's been the first state to do so even before the ACT, as the legislation passed the state parliament last year.
The Catholic church however has only just got wind of this, and there is now much gnashing of teeth with sackcloth and ashes within the hierarchy of the South Australian Catholic church. So much so that they have declared they'll disobey Australian law, pretty much because they think their ideological mumbo jumbo paedophile paradise confessional boxes are above Australian law. Because god.
Unlike the ACT case which the state has given time for the church to come to it's senses discussing this with secular authorities, the church acting relatively co-operative in said process to come to a workable solution, the South Australian Catholics have declared war on South Australian law. Placing the church there diametrically opposed to the law of the land imposed on them by the state.
Given that in the last census 30% of Australians don't identify with any religion at all, I don't like the South Australian Catholic churches chances against the state now. Indeed their power has crumbled in the wake of the royal commission. They still don't get that, still trying to hang on to the power they've well and truly lost in Australia.
What's more important? Child safety from Catholic paedophile predator priests, or Catholic religious freedom to continue with their paedophile paradise confessional boxes? Which would any sane society chose?
BTW, it's worth noting here that it's the acting Archbishop of South Australia. Why is that? Because the actual archbishop of South Australia has had to step down after recently being found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse in New South Wales in the 1970's. The most senior Catholic in the world to be found guilty of such an offence.
And so now we have the same South Australian church resisting reporting child sexual abuse to the police because of the Catholic church's dogmatic view on their bullshit confessional. What secular organistion would be able to flout the law so arrogantly as this?
The South Australian Catholic Church will not adhere to a change in law requiring priests to report confessions of child sex abuse, the Acting Archbishop of Adelaide says.
Under the new law, set to take effect in October, priests who hear confessions about child abuse will have a legal obligation to report the matter to police.
"Politicians can change the law, but we can't change the nature of the confessional, which is a sacred encounter between a penitent and someone seeking forgiveness and a priest representing Christ," Bishop Greg O'Kelly told ABC Radio Adelaide on Friday.
"It doesn't affect us.
"We have an understanding of the seal of confession that is in the area of the sacred."
Canon (Church) law lays down that "it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason".
The penalty for violating the seal of confessional is excommunication, as every priest knows. The law also stipulates that anyone else who happens to hear or overhear someone confessing sacramentally is also obliged to observe the seal.
Not reporting abuse will carry a maximum $10,000 fine, and brings expectations of priests in line with those of social workers, teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority.
An Attorney-General's Department spokesperson said authorities intend to follow up instances where the law has been broken, and prosecution may result. Nine News