“Girl Lost in Contemplation of an Image of the Virgin”, 1853, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller.
A family that prays together stays together.
Please pray for a friend and colleague of mine in my parish’s youth commission, who has a large cancerous lump on her neck, and the cancer has manifested already in her tongue.Thank you.
This is what happens when you name your dog after a saint.
St. Maximilian Kolbe / Kolbe the adopted mutt.
Happy feast day.
“This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.”
Read the entire article at Fr. Z’s blog.
Update: It crashed, killing around 295.
It’s reported to have been shot down.
Update: Most reports say it was shot down, but some say there is no evidence of that. We do know it crashed, but apparently it is not certain how it crashed.
Just to recap: a 12 year old went to confession to say she was having relations with an adult man who also attended her Catholic Church. The priest who heard her confession told her not to discuss the sin in public to avoid problems. Later, the man committing the sexual abuse died.
Before the abuser died, the family initiated a lawsuit against him, the priest, and the Baton Rouge diocese. Even if their daughter wanted to have relations, and confessed that she willingly had sex with the man, it is the law that a minor cannot give consent to sex. The parents are suing the priest and the diocese for not having reported the abuse, or at the very least for not having encouraged their daughter to report the crime.
The family says the priest encouraged sexual abuse to be “swept under the carpet.” From the priest’s point of view, the 12 year old could have been told by the priest to go to the authorities, but she begged the priest to please “not make her do this” because the shame would kill her.
What happened? Was it the 12 year old who insisted she wasn’t going to report the abuse or did the priest encourage the silence? We don’t know for sure without the priest testifying to the confession, which would have taken place more than five years ago.
In Louisiana, as in many states, the seal of confession is legally protected in order to shield the penitent from being “outed” for misconduct. However, the law in many states is written in such a way that it does not actually protect the priest.
If the penitent “outs” themselves, and insists that the priest reveal the content of the confession in court, then there is no longer a legal privilege of confidentiality which the priest can appeal to.
In my opinion, the law needs to be changed everywhere to clarify that even if the penitent insists that the priest “fess up” and reveal the confession, the priest will still be protected legally. Because if a priest goes to court and is told that the girl, now 18, wants him to talk about the confession, it could be very awkward.
What if the priest says out loud, “Yes, I do remember that confession very well, because although I insisted that you report this to your parents and to the authorities, you insisted that you were in love with the abuser. You are the one who said you had to protect him. You made it clear that under no circumstances could you say anything about what happened, because the shame would kill you.”
No, that would be very interesting. For the testimony of the priest to not only damn the girl with the accusation of lying, but also of legal perjury in order to win a lawsuit against the Church. The parents could then be accused of the crime of subornation of perjury, or encouraging their daughter to lie against the priest and against the Church for the sake of financial gain.
It would be a pastoral nightmare. A priest cannot testify in the case of a penitent because under oath he would have to reveal all of the crimes or sins of the penitent, and anyone else who was mentioned in the confession. It would literally destroy the sacrament of confession because it is worse than shaming or embarrassing. It is the potential implication of one’s own parishioners in the commission of crimes that could send them to prison.
Even if the priest did actually encourage silence, which would make him criminally negligent, for the sake of 1st Amendment religious freedom and the pastoral efficacy of confession for all Catholics, the right of the priest to remain silent must be protected. I am pretty confident the Diocese of Baton Rouge will take this case to the Supreme Court.
God bless and take care, Fr. Angel
I’m surprised that this isn’t getting more attention.
I am, too.
Louisiana Court Orders Catholic Priest To Break Confessional Seal
Democrats are fast-tracking a bill to overrule the Supreme Court ruling regarding Hobby Lobby.
They are so intent on doing this that they are planning to bypass committee action altogether.
All of this for birth control? Something that over 90% of women managed to have access to without a law? This is what passes for women’s reproductive health?
Infertility happens as a result of reproductive health problems, yet we take perfectly fertile woman and give them the pill, and we call that reproductive health.
Yet things like endometriosis or PCOS aren’t required to be covered.
Sometimes it seems as if the world has gone mad.