1. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 10:01
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38877158

    7% of Australian Catholic priests allegedly abused children, inquiry told

    "The commission, Australia's highest form of inquiry, is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations. It has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy."

    Do this community's Christians believe that all of these priests can yet be "saved" and avoid "damnation" if they repent sincerely?
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    06 Feb '17 14:28
    Originally posted by FMF
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38877158

    7% of Australian Catholic priests allegedly abused children, inquiry told

    "The commission, Australia's highest form of inquiry, is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations. It has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy."

    Do thi ...[text shortened]... eve that all of these priests can yet be "saved" and avoid "damnation" if they repent sincerely?
    I am going to break my vow of silence and engage you in this subject for its a topic that I have been researching lately. I too have read the Royal commissions reports and this once again brings the so called 'seal of confession', mandatory reporting and penitent privilege to the fore. But I warn you FMF, please do not make this personal nor attempt to misconstrue, misrepresent or vilify me in any way. I am not a Catholic and I have no vested interest in defending the Catholic church nor child abuse.

    To answer your question there is only one sin that is unforgivable, all others can be forgiven if repentance is genuine and the penitent demonstrates by actions that he or she has changed their behaviour and are truly sorry for the harm they have caused. 'Saved' and 'avoid damnation' are different things but I suspect that repentance is a prerequisite for both.

    My interest in the Royal Commissions findings into the Catholic church was ignited when I read an article in which a priest used the seal of confession to cover over his abuse in the most sordid way. Knowing that another priest knew of his iniquity he went and confessed his deeds knowing that the confessor who heard his testimony could not under the seal of confession relate it to anyone else, a truly heinous act.

    One of Father Victor Gabriel Rubeo's victims had earlier confided in Mr O'Donnell and warned his abuser.

    Rubeo turned up at 8am the next day, sat down and then dropped on his knees and went into confessional mode, Mr O'Donnell told the child abuse royal commission on Tuesday.

    "I gave absolution, and as he walked out the door he laughed at me. In other words, he had made sure that I couldn't speak to anyone," said Mr O'Donnell, who left the priesthood in 1999.

    "I felt totally entrapped by that situation; that he had found out that I'd been told, he came to me, put himself in a confessional situation that therefore took me out.

    "My only joy was that he was convicted without me being involved."

    This is possibly the worst abuse of the confessional that I have ever heard of.
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    06 Feb '17 14:441 edit
    Here is also a very interesting article. I wonder if you would like to respond to some of the authors claims?

    Breaking the seal of the confessional will not save children.

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a priest. Some groups and individuals are proposing to the royal commission that the seal of the confessional no longer be inviolable. They point to legislative changes in Ireland that require a priest to report to police what he learns in the confessional if the confessed sin is child sexual abuse.

    Catholic priests are bound by the church’s code of canon law, which provides: “The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason. A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.”

    The inviolability of the confessional was last comprehensively considered in 2012 by the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry which was chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins. That inquiry recommended that “an exemption for information received during the rite of confession should be made”. The report noted “a statutory exemption to the reporting duty should be provided in relation to information received during a religious confession. In Victoria, information revealed during religious confessions is considered privileged when admitting evidence before courts.”

    Ted Baillieu, then Victorian premier, ruled out changes to the seal of the confessional. He said members of the inquiry “all concluded that the sanctity of the confessional should remain. I think that’s a powerful argument.”

    I am convinced the seal of the confessional is a red herring when it comes to protecting vulnerable children. I have been a priest for 31 years. I help out in a Canberra parish where mass attendance is still high. But I can count on the fingers of two hands the number of parishioners who present for confession on any Saturday evening before mass. In 31 years, I have not had one single person confess to pedophilia, whether in an institution or within their own family. Pedophiles tend to be secretive and manipulative. They don’t come to confession. I am not aware of the royal commission having heard evidence of pedophiles regularly confessing their egregious sins and being left undetected.

    If the law were changed to mandate reporting of pedophilia confessed to a priest in the sacrament, the only effect would be to ensure that no pedophile ever approached the confessional. The suggested legal change would be counter-productive.

    I was a priest in Kings Cross for many years. On one occasion a person came to confession and confessed to murder. I did not go to the police. I did not know who the confessing person behind the screen was. I did not know the identity of the victim. I did not know when the offence was committed. I did not know in which jurisdiction it was committed. I had no right to know and no duty to inquire. I had no idea whether the person had in fact committed a murder or some lesser offence. Imagine going up the road and reporting these details at the Kings Cross police station.

    If a pedophile were to present at confession telling me that they had assaulted a child, I would stipulate as part of the penance that the person report the matter to police and take some steps to receive treatment and counselling. If they were unwilling to do so, I would deny absolution. But I would not breach the seal of the confessional.

    Often when hearing a confession a priest will have no way of identifying a victim. He will have no idea of the date of any offence; it may have occurred decades ago. He will have no idea of where any offence was committed; it may have been Parramatta, but it may have been Paris or Paraburdoo.

    If the only information available were from the confessional, chances are that it will be information that is useless to police or child protection. If confessional reporting were mandatory, chances are that the perpetrator would not come to confession. So even in brute consequentialist terms, there is no point in making confession reportable to the police. If it were mandatory for everyone to report, pedophiles and perpetrators of domestic violence would be left with no one to speak to.

    Most, if not all priests, would prefer to go to jail than disclose material from confession that could “betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason”, even if the penitent be a child molester, a murderer or a terrorist. And that’s not because we don’t feel compassion for children or other innocent people. We respect the sacrament where the penitent and God relate in the presence of the priest.

    Kids will be better protected in future if we put to one side the furphy about the seal of the confessional and address the real questions about uniform mandatory reporting and clear guidelines for reporting any suspected serious crime.

    The difficult case for a confessor would be when the penitent expresses contrition for having taken action aimed at harming innocent people in the future, not when the penitent presents confessing past sins such as pedophilia.

    Were a penitent to confess that he had planted a bomb that might harm the innocent in future, I would deny absolution unless the penitent undertook to disarm the bomb and I would do all in my power to report information to the police to save those lives in danger, but I would not disclose the identity of the penitent.

    A priest should never be required to disclose anything heard under the seal of the confessional. The state has the same right to regulate matters for a priest outside the confessional as to regulate matters for all other citizens outside the confessional. Not one child will be saved by abolishing the seal of the confessional. With the seal intact, the occasional pedophile might find a listening ear to assist with the decision to turn himself in. With the seal breached by law, confession will be unavailable to careful serious offenders except at the hands of those priests who have declared that they will conscientiously refuse to comply with the law. The royal commission needs to focus on those changes that it can effect and that can make a real difference in protecting children.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/breaking-the-seal-of-the-confessional-will-not-save-children/news-story/6af45227737df1b8e86e650c6ade7f62
  4. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 14:471 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Here is also a very interesting article.

    Breaking the seal of the confessional will not save children. I wonder if you would like to respond to some of the authors claims?

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a ...[text shortened]... -the-seal-of-the-confessional-will-not-save-children/news-story/6af45227737df1b8e86e650c6ade7f62
    Do you believe that these priests can yet be "saved" if they repent sincerely or do you think the fact they are Roman Catholics means they face "damnation" anyway?
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    06 Feb '17 14:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    Do you believe that these priests can yet be "saved" if they repent sincerely or do you think the fact they are Roman Catholics means they face "damnation" anyway?
    Saved? I have no idea what that means FMF, saved can mean different things to different people? Its an ambiguous term. I do believe that they can be forgiven. The Bible is full of examples of persons who committed heinous crimes and were forgiven. King David committed adultery with another mans wife and had him killed. He was forgiven because of his genuine repentance. Manasseh sacrificed his children to the pagan god Molech and was eventually forgiven and even restored to the Kingship after his incarceration. How heinous do you want to go?
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    06 Feb '17 15:03
    Originally posted by FMF
    Do you believe that these priests can yet be "saved" if they repent sincerely or do you think the fact they are Roman Catholics means they face "damnation" anyway?
    Have you no comment to make on the claims that the author makes, e.g.

    the seal of the confessional is a red herring when it comes to protecting vulnerable children for example? or

    If the law were changed to mandate reporting of pedophilia confessed to a priest in the sacrament, the only effect would be to ensure that no pedophile ever approached the confessional. The suggested legal change would be counter-productive??

    or

    Not one child will be saved by abolishing the seal of the confessional
  7. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 15:07
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Saved? I have no idea what that means FMF, saved can mean different things to different people? Its an ambiguous term. I do believe that they can be forgiven. The Bible is full of examples of persons who committed heinous crimes and were forgiven. King David committed adultery with another mans wife and had him killed. He was forgiven because of ...[text shortened]... given and even restored to the Kingship after his incarceration. How heinous do you want to go?
    Do you believe any of these Catholic priests can join you in the 'paradise on earth' yiu believe in if they repent?
  8. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 15:18
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Have you no comment to make on the claims that the author makes, e.g.

    the seal of the confessional is a red herring when it comes to protecting vulnerable children for example? or

    If the law were changed to mandate reporting of pedophilia confessed to a priest in the sacrament, the only effect would be to ensure that no pedophile ever approach ...[text shortened]... ter-productive??

    or

    Not one child will be saved by abolishing the seal of the confessional
    Yes. Very interesting comments. I have no idea if he's right or not. The far bigger issue of course is the institutionalized cover ups by the Catholic Church. The problem with pedophile priests has been about the hierarchy moving reoffending priests from parish to parish systematically rather than the number of those priests who might have talked during a "confession" about their abuse of children.

    But you and I agree, right? If we suspect a child is being sexually abused, we will let the authorities know so they can deal with it.
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    06 Feb '17 15:371 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Do you believe any of these Catholic priests can join you in the 'paradise on earth' yiu believe in if they repent?
    This is impossible to state with any certainty. I myself have no guarantee of being in Gods New world. I am not in the permanent state of salvation claimed by other Christians.
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    06 Feb '17 15:40
    Originally posted by FMF
    Yes. Very interesting comments. I have no idea if he's right or not. The far bigger issue of course is the institutionalized cover ups by the Catholic Church. The problem with pedophile priests has been about the hierarchy moving reoffending priests from parish to parish systematically rather than the number of those priests who might have talked during a "conf ...[text shortened]... ect a child is being sexually abused, we will let the authorities know so they can deal with it.
    ok no worries, yes we are in agreement, we will let the authorities know if we suspect a child is being abused, not just sexually.
  11. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 15:451 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    ok no worries, yes we are in agreement, we will let the authorities know if we suspect a child is being abused, not just sexually.
    It's a pity that the Catholic Church did not see it that way during all those decades. Same goes for the JW organization, for that matter. It's utterly disgraceful. More to the point, it's tragic
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    06 Feb '17 15:511 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    It's a pity that the Catholic Church did not see it that way during all those decades. Same goes for the JW organization, for that matter. It's utterly disgraceful. More to the point, it's tragic
    I think the problem is much broader than merely religious organisations.

    It’s now clear that before 1996, most institutions, including churches, police forces and state child welfare agencies, were insufficiently attentive to the signs of predatory behaviour by paedophiles. -
  13. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    06 Feb '17 15:541 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I think the problem is much broader than merely religious organisations.

    It’s now clear that before 1996, most institutions, including churches, police forces and state child welfare agencies, were insufficiently attentive to the signs of predatory behaviour by paedophiles. -
    I have to agree with that, Looking back now, it's saddening to think of all the abuse that was going on in a whole host of institutions, religious and non-religious, from Catholic schools to football clubs, care homes and tv studios.
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    06 Feb '17 15:591 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I think the problem is much broader than merely religious organisations. -
    Of course not but it's not surprising that the shocking goings on in religious organizations - like the ones being investigated by the Royal Comission - come up on a forum like this populated in part by religious people and members of religious organisations.
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    06 Feb '17 16:27
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    I have to agree with that, Looking back now, it's saddening to think of all the abuse that was going on in a whole host of institutions, religious and non-religious, from Catholic schools to football clubs, care homes and tv studios.
    I still don't think we understand much about paedophiles to be honest, what motivates them etc I know I don't and unless one is working in a professional capacity I suspect its such a specialised subject that its difficult to find out. The entire subject is also kinda taboo.
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