Nov 21, 2005

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.

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."
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.

I hope that Monsignor Lenihan firmly disobeys Judge Fromholz' order, whatever the consequences.

For a good article on the seal of confession, go HERE.


Anonymous Andy K. said...

Aren't we to forgive and forget? How can the priest recall this?

6:31 PM  
Blogger CS said...

The fact that this stupid judge just blows off the involable, sacred seal of confession as 'clergy privliege' says something.

This particular priest may be scum for all I know, but I pray he takes whatever this fool deals out on him. I don't care what he may have heard, if he has any bit of Christian virtue in him, he'll take it like a man. I can just imagine how the media will treat this if he refuses.

The ambulance-chasers won't stop at anything, will they, Q?

8:54 PM  
Blogger bobnd said...


7:27 AM  

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