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Priests violating secrecy of confessions – Lagman
« on: March 18, 2013, 07:59:57 AM »
Priests violating secrecy of confessions – Lagman

By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 18, 2013 -

MANILA, Philippines - Some Catholic priests are violating the secrecy of confessions if the claim of a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official is true, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said yesterday.

Lagman, one of the authors of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, was commenting on the statement of CBCP executive secretary Fr. Melvin Castro that “many priests had noticed a general trend among young Catholics to seek forgiveness through confession for using artificial contraceptives.”

“Thanks, but no thanks for attributing to my RH advocacy the ‘general trend’ of young people confessing their ‘sin’ of using artificial contraceptives after they had been supposedly ‘reawakened’ by the Church hierarchy’s opposition to the RH bill,” the Albay congressman said.

He said if Castro’s statement is true, this means that some priests are “violating the sacramental seal of confession” to revive a “lost campaign” against the RH bill, which is now Republic Act No. 10354.

“This revelation of penitents’ confessions is a blatant violation of the centuries-old Church injunction for confessors not to betray or disclose both the subject of the confession and the identity of the penitents,” he said.

“Even the Rules of Court of the Philippines (Rule 130 Section 24, paragraph D) considers the penitent’s confession as an absolute privileged communication,” he said.
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“The sacramental seal is inviolable. The maximum penalty for its violation is excommunication according to Canon Law,” Lagman said.

He pointed out that if the unnamed priests quoted by Castro deny his statement, then the CBCP executive secretary “is again engaging in malevolent propaganda to further demonize the RH Law.”

“It must be underscored that the overwhelming majority of Catholics, as documented in repeated national surveys, favored the enactment of the RH Law, which includes contraception by choice,” he said.

Some Church leaders have used the ongoing election campaign to attack RH Law authors among senatorial candidates from both the administration and the opposition.



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