Lee said that the conversation regarding child abuse "has to continue."
"We all need to do what we can to protect these little ones by intervening," she said.
According to the Code of Canon Law, the seal of confession is "inviolable." A priest cannot reveal the contents of a confession, nor can he say if the confession took place; for violating the seal, a priest can incur a latae sententiae excommunication.
Both of North Dakota's bishops had previously written letters to Catholics saying that the state's bill violated religious freedom.
Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck on Jan. 20 described the bill as one that would "[m]ake the State and not our beloved Catholic Church the moderator of our faith and our sacramental life."
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"If this bill passes it will have a direct impact on every Catholic in the State," he said. "If this bill passes it will impede directly our free exercise of our religious beliefs and practices."
The Bishop of Fargo said the bill was "inherently biased against religion."
"The Church condemns the abuse of minors by any person. Priests and deacons are already mandated reporters of any suspected abuse of a minor," Bishop John Folda of Fargo stated on Jan. 22. "Up until now, spiritual advising has been exempted from this mandate, but SB 2180 would end this exemption."