Confessional protection on abuse 'abhorrent'

2012-11-14 10:00

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said on Wednesday it was "abhorrent" for priests not to report paedophilic acts revealed in the confessional, and urged Australia's child sex inquiry to investigate the issue.

Australia has announced a royal commission into how religious organisations, not-for-profit bodies, state agencies, schools and police have responded to child sex abuse in a wide-ranging inquiry set to take years.

Roxon said one of the issues it could consider was whether the protection of the confessional should be removed.

"I think the royal commission needs to look very carefully... at institutional barriers, at systematic problems, of course that might include those very sensitive issues for religious organisations," she said.

The country's most senior Catholic clergyman, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, said on Tuesday the confessional remains "inviolable" and could not be broached.

But Roxon, when asked whether it would be right for priests to respect the confidentiality of the confessional in the case of child sex crimes, said: "I think the whole community finds that idea really abhorrent.

Extensive inquiry


"We've been through these debates for mandatory reporting for doctors, for teachers," she told state broadcaster ABC.

"So I think we really need to look carefully; there aren't a different set of rules that apply. Child sexual abuse is a crime, it should be reported. We can't afford to say that that is not on the table."

New South Wales state Premier Barry O'Farrell, who has called for a probe into recent allegations of a cover-up of child sex abuse among Catholic clergy in the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, also said mandatory reporting was needed.

"How can you possibly, by the continuation of this practice, potentially continue to give, if not a green light, a free pass to people who've engaged in the most heinous of acts?" he said.

The government has indicated that the inquiry will be extensive, requiring several commissioners and likely to take a number of years, as did Ireland's Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which took close to a decade.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  australia  |  religion  |  child abuse
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.