There are many Catholics who, if they’re being honest, would admit that they rarely, if ever, go to confession. And the reason wouldn’t be because they feared the priest might divulge the sins they confessed to someone else.
After a Delaware state representative introduced a bill to abrogate priest and penitent privilege when child abuse or neglect is suspected, the Diocese of Wilmington has pushed back, insisting that the confidentiality of confession is “nonnegotiable.”
The lobbying group that represents the Catholic Church in Wisconsin is speaking out against two bills in the state, including one that would force clergy members to violate the seal of confession and one that would lift the statute of limitations on reporting alleged abuse by clergy.
In the light of “a worrying negative prejudice” against the Catholic Church, Pope Francis ordered the publication of a document affirming the absolute secrecy of everything said in confession and calling on priests to defend it at all costs, even at the cost of their lives.