New Laws in Queensland Mean Priests No Longer Protected by Seal of Confession

Guardian from Australian Associated Press
September 9, 2020

Queensland priests now face jail for failing to report cases of child sexual abuse as other Australian states debate similar proposals

A new law in Queensland stipulates priest must report to police cases of child sexual abuse revealed during confession.

Priests in Queensland will no longer be protected by the seal of confession and must report cases of child abuse or face criminal charges.

State parliament rejected protests from the Catholic church to pass new laws on Tuesday.

Other states continue to debate similar proposals, and in several jurisdictions clergy remain exempt from prosecution for failing to report child sexual abuse.

“[The Queensland laws] create a new offence of failing to report and failing to protect a child from institutional child sexual abuse,” Queensland justice minister, Yvette D’Ath, said.

“The new laws also clarify that priests will not be able to rely on the seal of confession to avoid the reporting of abuse.”

Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, had protested that the laws would fail to make children safer.








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