Editor’s Note: On February 20, California Democratic State Senator Gerald “Jerry” Hill introduced SB 360, “Removing Clergy Exemption from Child Abuse and Neglecting Reporting.” The Bill would remove an exemption in California’s “mandated reporter” law and would require all Catholic priests to reveal suspected sexual abuse of a child (ages 1 to 17) if the priest hears of this abuse in “penitential communication,” that is, confession.
CCC statement — “Clergy are already mandatory reporters. We support that and would do nothing to change it. Inserting government into the Confessional does nothing to protect children and everything to erode the fundamental constitutional rights and liberties we enjoy as Americans. It’s also why courts here and around the world respect the special nature of spiritual counseling.”