Aug 1, 2018 / 02:05 am
A proposed ban on the sacrament of confession suggested by a government body in India was slammed by Catholic leaders as an unconstitutional violation of religious freedom.
The move to abolish confessions in all churches in the nation was put forth by India's National Commission for Women, a government advisory agency.
The proposal, which was part of a larger report on church sexual abuse, follows two recent scandals in India involving confession, including one in which a bishop was accused of raping a nun, and another in which four priests of the Syro-Malankara Orthodox Church were accused of using confession to blackmail and sexually abuse a 34 year-old married woman.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), said in a statement he was "shocked" by the proposed ban.