Irish government backs down on confessional bill
Decide not to pursue information heard in confession box on abuse cases
The Irish government has backed down on plans to force priests to reveal details of child sex abuse cases heard in the confessional box.
Ireland’s Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has confirmed that forthcoming legislation will make no reference to confession.
Shatter and fellow Minister Mary Fitzgerald had indicated in July that the new legislation would force priests to reveal any information heard in confession.
The Vatican even responded to the claims by the government and vowed to fight any plans to force priests to break the silence of the confessional box.
Now, after an amazing u-turn, Minister Shatter has declared the controversy as an ‘entirely bogus issue’.
Speaking to reporters at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting in Galway, Minister Shatter said he did not anticipate any reference to the confessional in the new legislation.
The new bill will make it a criminal offence to withhold information relating to sexual abuse or other serious offences against a child or vulnerable adult.
In July, Shatter and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald informed reporters that there would beno exceptions to the rule including information given to priests in confession.
Derry priest prepared to go to jail rather than break seal of confession
Priests will to go to jail rather than break the seal of the confessional
Vatican leader slams Irish government’s confessional law as absurd
Minister Shatter has now changed his opinion on the bill according to his latest quotes.
He said: “This is an entirely bogus issue. The focus of the Bill, the heads of which were published at the end of July, is to ensure that where there are what we describe as arrestable crimes, which include child sexual abuse committed against a child, and where an individual has material information that would assist the police in the investigation of that crime, that they provide it to the police, unless there is a reasonable excuse not to do so.”
The Justice Minister again insisted that the government’s only duty is to protect children. He told reporters that the context of the legislation is to ensure that those who know children are being abused inform police, that abusers are brought to justice and that other children are protected.
“The central focus of this Government and my colleague Frances Fitzgerald and myself is child welfare and child protection,” said Shatter.
“And this [Confession] is an entire divergence from the central focus of what we’re seeking to address, and I think it would be helpful if those who are focusing on that issue focused to a far greater extent on the protection of children.”
15 - 58 | See all comments
- Irish university suspends Legion of Mary...
- 4,000 Irish social welfare letters encourage...
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
- Top ten worst ever Irish Christmas gifts,...
- Nelson Mandela showed us all what could be...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Address by Nelson Mandela to Joint Houses...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
I think Fran da man is suggesting what Timothy Leary proposed way back in the 60s. Tune in - turn on - drop out - maan! After over a half century in m4,000 Irish social welfare letters encourage young people to emigrate
Social abortion. If true, what they're really saying to young people is that employers whom the Government principally represent prefer cheaper importIrish university suspends Legion of Mary for anti-gay literature
Another shameful attempt by the secularist cardinals of the new church of Political Correctness (PC), thumping their copies of Búnreach na h'&EIreland’s leaders mourn the death of South African hero Nelson Mandela (VIDEO)
Interesting how he claimed in retrospective news reportage on British TV how he had no other option as a younger man but to engage in political violen