Moral Low Ground


Irish Priests Vow to Disobey New Child Sex Abuse Confession Law

"That's just between you, me and God…"

Irish priests say they will disobey a new law requiring them to report details of child sexual abuse revealed during confessions.

According to IrishCentral, Justice Minister Alan Shatter is set to introduce the legislation, which requires clergy to alert authorities to whatever information regarding child sexual abuse that was revealed in confessionals. Violators could face up to 10 years behind bars.

Still, many Irish priests say they won’t comply with the new law. The Association of Catholic Priests, which numbers some 800 clergy members, has publicly vowed to break the law.

“I certainly wouldn’t be willing to break the seal of confession for anyone– Alan Shatter particularly,” Fr. Sean McDonagh, spokesman for the Association, told the Irish Independent. 

“The seal of the confessional is inviolable as far as I am concerned, and that’s the end of the matter,” Raymond Field, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, added.

The Irish Catholic Church’s flippant dismissal of a law designed to help protect children from rape and other sexual abuse by clergy, as well as to bring perpetrators to justice, is very telling. Apparently adherence to supernatural dogma is more important to the Church than preventing children from being raped by its members.

Child rape by Catholic clergy has been a huge problem in Ireland. Almost as shameful has been the manner in which the Vatican and the Irish Church have attempted to cover up the epidemic of abuse, and the fact that child rape continues.

Speaking of the Irish clergy’s vow to disobey the new law, Minister Shatter said: “I would expect that if there was someone going to confession who was a serial sex abuser, I don’t know how anyone could live with their conscience if they didn’t refer that to the gardai (police).”

But plenty of Irish clergy– not to mention Vatican officials– have indeed lived with their consciences, and continued raping children and covering it up. All the laws in the world, it seems, won’t eradicate the vile scourge of child rape, a heinous crime that, if committed by members of any other organization, would surely result in life prison sentences for the perpetrators.

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