PERTH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
June 30, 2018
By Kate Campbell
Catholic priests in WA would face criminal charges if they refuse to break the seal of confession to report child sex abuse to police.
But it appears WA is headed towards a stand-off between Church and State, with Perth’s top Catholic saying this week the Church is not backing down and will continue to practise confessional secrecy.
This week, the McGowan Government unveiled its response to the Royal Commission’s 409 recommendations, which included a call to remove the seal of confession and force priests to report knowledge or suspicions of child sex abuse. The Government accepted that recommendation “in principle”.
“We are considering a number of legislative options,” Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said.
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