The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to the priest by a minor girl regarding possible sexual abuse perpetrated by another church parishioner.
The statement, published Monday (July 7) on the diocese’s website, said forcing such testimony “attacks the seal of confession,” a sacrament that “cuts to the core of the Catholic faith.”
The statement refers to a lawsuit naming the Rev. Jeff Bayhi and the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge as defendants and compels Bayhi to testify whether or not there were confessions “and, if so, what the contents of any such confessions were.”
“A foundational doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church for thousands of years mandates that the seal of confession is absolute and inviolable,” the statement says. ”The position of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Fr. Bayhi is that the Supreme Court of Louisiana has run afoul of the constitutional rights of both the Church and the priest, more particularly, has violated the Establishment Clause and the separation of Church and State under the first amendment.”
The state high court’s decision, rendered in May of this year, demands that a hearing be held in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, where the suit originated, to determine whether or not a confession was made. It reverses an earlier decision by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing the original lawsuit filed against Bayhi and the diocese.
The case stems from a claim by parents of a minor that their daughter confessed to Bayhi during the sacrament of reconciliation that she engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with grown man who also attended their church. Court documents indicate the child was 12 years old at the time of the alleged sexual abuse.
A criminal investigation by East Feliciana Sheriff’s Office into the alleged sexual abuse was ongoing when the accused church member died suddenly in February 2009 of a heart attack.
The civil lawsuit in question, filed five months later in July 2009, names the late sexual abuse suspect, as well as Bayhi and the Baton Rouge diocese, as defendants. The suit seeks damages suffered as a result of the sexual abuse, noting that abuse continued following the alleged confessions.
Maybe the Louisiana Supreme Court thought the case involved Anglicans and not Catholics. From a story a week ago.
ANGLICAN ministers told during confession about serious crimes such as child sexual abuse shouldn’t be obliged to keep them secret, the church has declared.
THE ruling means ministers are only obliged to keep serious offences secret if “reasonably satisfied” they have already been reported to police.
Representatives of the Anglican Church of Australia approved the amendment on Wednesday at the church’s national parliament in Adelaide.
The legislation also covers other serious offences, including domestic violence.
Sydney barrister Garth Blake, who proposed the amendment, said it would ensure the church did not “act as a cloak” for offenders.
However, the legislation will only become active once adopted by individual dioceses.
Originally published as Confession not all confidential: Anglicans
Really we need to send copies of I Confess to members of their court.
Oh and yes I linked to this story primarly as an excuse to create the above graphic.
((( Oh and yes I linked to this story primarly as an excuse to create the above graphic.)))
OH, “I” believe you Jeff and you’ve brought back memories back to mind when YA first became a Catholic in the very late nineties when YA had no choice but to cut spiritual ties with your father and follow wo man, “I” mean woman who believe that Catholic Faith was the way back then. As a matter of fact, Victor Savard, “I” mean vs who’ve we put in charge of keeping the peace. Long story short, we con vinced, “I” mean convinced our con science, “I” mean our conscience that he really was a god like US (usual sinners) “I” mean us gods understood back then that his so called GOD (Good Old Dad) really did exist but we know better now.
Listen Jeff his wife only did her First Communion because she simply loved Victor too much and to top “IT” all she even received her Confirmation before she had conceived “ONE” of her five daughters. What a waste of time cause they made sure that each one of their daughter’s got Baptized, received their First Communion and also were even forced to receive their Confirmation and all for nothing but a Catholic dream…
but we 95% godly cells have finally woke UP to reality after having given Victor another so called 3 per sent age cells in this twenty first century and we’re not giving anymore to this so called imaginary “Jesus” and truth be known, we angels PALE FACE godly species just love to eat fresh lobsters if you get our drift…
so if you want to follow our godly ways instead of Cat Licks, just forget this so called five per sent age cells of these skitsos who keep following this LORD JESUS instead of we 95% godly cells who keep telling YAS that all that is needed nowadays is a golden political band on the Right, Left hand this time around and ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..and……………………………………………………………………………………and……………………………………………………
END YA SAY sinner vic? DON’T BE LIKE THAT! BE NICE NOW! LOL 🙂
Go Figure brothers and sisters in Christ nowadays?
God Bless Peace