Seal threatened (not a PETA story)
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge ruled that a monsignor in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles must submit to deposition questions in the far-reaching clergy abuse case.The argument could be made, I suppose, that the mere disclosure by a priest of having heard a particular individual's confession does not constitute, in the strictest sense, a violation of the seal. I do believe, however, that such a disclosure comes dangerously close to threatening the absolute, sacrosanct integrity of the sacramental seal.
In his Wednesday order, Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz wrote that Monsignor Michael Lenihan cannot assert "clergy privilege" to avoid revealing whether he heard confessions of a deacon accused of sexual abuse.
"The penitential privilege protects 'a communication made in confidence,'" Fromholz wrote. "It does not prohibit the disclosure of the fact that the communication occurred."
I hope that Monsignor Lenihan firmly disobeys Judge Fromholz' order, whatever the consequences.
For a good article on the seal of confession, go HERE.