Catholic church in Australia rejects mandatory reporting of child abuse discussed in confessional
31 August, 2018, 8:45 pm
SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Catholic church in Australia on Friday rejected laws forcing priests to report child abuse when they learn about it in the confessional, setting the stage for a showdown between the country’s biggest religion and the government.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), the country’s top Catholic body, said it did not accept a recommendation from an official inquiry into church abuse which would force priests by law to report abuse to the police when they hear about it in confession.
One state and a territory in Australia have since introduced laws making it a crime for priests to fail to report abuse heard in the confessional, while the other five states and remaining territory have said they are considering their response.