The Catholic Church says it will not follow new Tasmanian laws that require priests to break the seal of confession to report suspicion of child sex abuse.
Archbishop Julian Porteous, Tasmania’s most senior Catholic, states the new laws will make paedophiles less likely to disclose their crimes. So he plans to completely ignore them.
“I believe the Tasmanian bill will not strengthen protections for children and vulnerable people, but it will have the opposite effect — as offenders will be less likely to come forward to confess serious sins for fear of being reported”
Offenders will be less likely to come forward? Less likely to come forward to who? Catholic priests?
Well. Let’s explore that shall we.
As it currently stands, what do Catholic priests do when an offender confesses to perpetrating child sex abuse? I’ll give you a moment to think about it.
If you read that question and thought to yourself “Probably nothing,” you’re absolutely correct. I’m afraid the gentle encouragement of offenders to turn themselves in, an absolution of their sins and few hail Marys doesn’t cut it. At all.
That the Catholic Church is more concerned about offenders having the opportunity to confess, rather than the welfare of abused children or even abiding by the law, is absolutely mind-blowing. Though maybe it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately it’s pretty on brand.
Adding to the insanity while also completely missing the entire point, Former Hobart priest and Catholic historian Paul Collins said he personally supported such laws, but that he did not believe they were effective. Collins states:
“It’d be very difficult to enforce these laws for the simple reason the priest will say nothing because he’s bound by the seal of confession.”
Well. No shit.
Of course they’re going to be ineffective when senior Catholic priests openly state they AREN’T GOING TO ABIDE BY THEM.
I’m not sure why the Catholic Church are so reluctant to stop their low-key supporting and clandestine harbouring of child sex offenders. It’s abhorrent, dangerous, super weird and it gives the impression that they’re pro-paedophilia. Or something equally disturbing.