San José, Costa Rica, Jun 8, 2019 / 14:23 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A bill in Costa Rica would require Catholic priests to violate the seal of confession to report cases of suspected child sex abuse. Its sponsor says he was inspired by similar legislation advancing in the state of California.
Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly is considering a proposal to require clergy, coaches, and other individuals who work with youth to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Currently, only teachers and health care personnel are required to report suspected abuse.
President Carlos Alvarado told La Nación, “As a nation, we have seen the issue of violence, which is sexual in this case against children, is a problem that concerns us on the basis of evidence and is something important to learn.”
Catholic officials in the country have opposed the bill, stressing that the seal of confession is inviolable.
According to QCostaRica.com, a local Catholic Church spokesman said the bill is “a danger to the practice of religious freedom” and argued that it “does nothing in the cause of justice.”