The seal of Confession must not be broken

Dear Editor,When we confess our sins it is to reconcile ourselves to God. The priest acts for God and only he can forgive our sins. We are taught from a young age that it is a grievous sin for the confessor to break the trust of the penitent and therefore I find it an insult that this trusting relationship is under threat.

That is a spiritual, sacred bond. If it were to be broken, for whatever reason, it could only be seen as betrayal in the eyes of the faithful penitent. While the Church must respect its spiritual laws and also societal law, societal law must also respect the Church’s. Priests should not be pressurised to betray their vows.

Priests may encourage those who have created serious sins to confess to the law but should not have to risk excommunication from the Church by being forced to break confessional privacy. It is the duty of the law makers and enactors such as lawyers, judges and police to take care of what would constitute serious offences, in a court. It is the duty of priests to respect and protect the confidentiality of the act of Confession, and whatever information that brings, in a Church.


Yours etc.,

Barbara Kelly,


Co. Meath.