Canberra, Australia, Jun 18, 2018 / 11:53 am
As Australian states and territories pass and consider laws requiring priests to break the seal of confession to report cases of child sex abuse, Catholic priests are saying they would go to jail rather than violate the seal.
"The state will be requiring us as Catholic priests to commit as what we regard as the most serious crime and I'm not willing to do that," said Fr. Michael Whelan, a parish priest at St. Patrick's Church in Sydney, according to local news.
Fr. Whelan added that he, along with other priests, would be "willing to go to jail" rather than break the seal of confession. When asked if the Church was above the law, Whelan said "absolutely not" and remarked he would only be protecting religious freedom.
"…when the state tries to intervene on our religious freedom, undermine the essence of what it means to be a Catholic, we will resist," he said.