Coalition MPs warn PM against making priests break vows

The Australian

September 30, 2017

By Greg Brown

Coalition MPs have warned Malcolm Turnbull against forcing Catholic priests to break the seal of confession in matters of child sex abuse as legal experts say the proposal is unlikely to have an impact on reducing rates of pedophilia.

With the government to consider recommendations from the royal commission into child sex abuse, the Prime Minister has been warned he could face a backbench protest if he adopted the proposal to make it a criminal offence for priests to hear a confession of child sex abuse and not report it to police.

Nationals MP George Christensen said he would cross the floor if the Turnbull government supported the commission’s recommendation to force priests to break canon law. Mr Christensen said it would contravene religious freedom and was unworkable.

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