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Law Will Fall Short - by Rev Alastair Pritchard, Templestowe

I write as a minister of a mainline Protestant denomination and therefore not an advocate of the rite of confession. However, I believe that the proposed legislation entailing the mandatory breaking of the seal of the confessional in child abuse cases wil not achieve the laudable aim of avoiding child abuse, and has potential counter-productive side effects.

Some of these are the destruction of a potential force towards perpetrators “owing up”, since confession of child abuse is unlikely to be made, thus driving child abuse further underground. Such a law may foster conspiracy, or on the other hand, a dangerous martyr complex in a compromised priesthood.

Moreover the provision in the law comes close to being ineffective as it depends for enforcement on the unlikely admission of a perpetrator that a priest heard a confession. Laws such as this weaken the public trust in the legal system through their impotence.

Hiden behind the proposed law is a vindictive attack on universal Catholic tradition, a diminution of religious freedom and another example of unworthy “church-basing” fashionable in this post-Christendom age of irreligious human hubris.

Rev Alastair Pritchard, Templestowe

This text was published as a letter to the editor in Melbourne's daily The Age (August 19).
JTLiuzza
Of course the "reverend" is focused entirely on temporal matters which is not surprising considering the fact that he is protestant. What he completely misses is the most important and dire consequence of the law: it will keep penitents out of the confessional for fear of earthly retribution, thereby making them vulnerable to eternal retribution by virtue of passing from this life not having …More
Of course the "reverend" is focused entirely on temporal matters which is not surprising considering the fact that he is protestant. What he completely misses is the most important and dire consequence of the law: it will keep penitents out of the confessional for fear of earthly retribution, thereby making them vulnerable to eternal retribution by virtue of passing from this life not having confessed grave sins. That is the major problem with this law, well understood by the good priests who will not obey it.

Satan will do anything to keep souls out of the confessional. And, on that score, the law will far from "fall short." And the "reverend," being in his words "not an advocate of the rite [sic] of confession," is fully on board with the diabolical program. He's either a dunce, or intentionally speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Out of charity I'll go with the former.
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