Talk:Seal of the Confessional and the Catholic Church

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With respect to the United States, this article appears out-of-date - predating the statehood of Alaska! Also the term "Seal of the Confessional" is a term of religious law, not civil or criminal law (at least in the USA). I propose to transfer that material to a new page called something like Confessional Privilege (United States) and to preface it with the more relevant material, which would be statutory in nature. The historical and common-law material is interesting trivia, at least in the USA. Any thoughts? rewinn 03:54, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I seem to have stumbled on this page at roughly the same time and come to much the same conclusion. I think that we should:
  1. Move this page to Confessional privilege (note capitalisation!) or some similar modern name
  2. Be bold and edit the US bit (it is clearly out of date) with a link to the US article.
  3. Post a request for WP:Peer review
  4. Refine the categories
  5. Make sure that there are some links from diverse related areas so that it gets noticed.
I think that the UK position is currently covered solely under the law of Public Interest Immunity but I will try to find time to look it up. Cutler 16:50, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Oh, hang on! I've just found this: Priest-penitent privilege. I feel a merge coming on but we should be careful here. There is more to the "seal of the confessional" than the civil law aspects. Cutler 17:32, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
OK. I have updated the Priest-penitent privilege article. I am going to ship out all the legal stuff from this page onto Seal of the Confessional/temp. We can then make this a decent article while we think what to do with the rest of the stuff. Cutler 17:57, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Connection to priest abuse scandal?[edit]

I recall hearing on the BBC (forget which program) that since the 1960's, priests have been using this seal on child victims of sexual abuse to silence them on threat of excommunication, while the priests involved were punished much less harshly.

Can anyone find any corroboration with this? If true, this would be an important topic to add to this subject, perhaps in an 'abuse' section.

-- 16:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Your comment doesn't really make any sense. This article is about the Seal of the Confessional - it is about priests not repeating what is said to them by a penitent, not the other way around! Timothy Titus Talk To TT 09:22, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


This BBC story suggests that the Irish government has said that "in future, priests would not be excused for withholding information about abuse even if it was given during confession". Might be worth noting by someone with enough knowledge to assess it. (talk) 12:07, 29 August 2011 (UTC)


'Notably, neither this canon nor the law of the Decretum purports to enact for the first time the secrecy of confession.' The wording is unfortunate, but the intention of the writer is clear enough: Gratian's text is often described as a compilation, which implies that the individual article pre-dated Gratian.Pamour (talk) 09:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)