Church of England faces a new sex abuse cover-up row as vicars refuse to scrap confessional secrecy

Dec 10, 2017 by

by Jonathan Petre, mailonline:

The Church of England is facing a new sex abuse row – by refusing to scrap the secrecy of the confessional.

Centuries-old laws prevent vicars revealing the sins they hear in the privacy of confession, even if a dangerous offender admits to a serious crime and then refuses to tell the police.

Following claims that the Church has repeatedly covered up abuse, senior figures have called for clergy who hear of such crimes to be required to report them.

But a top-level group will tell senior bishops this week the ancient ‘seal’ of the confessional must stay – to preserve trust in vicars.

Instead, the group will urge the Church to draw up guidelines to ensure that criminals who confess to clergy face the maximum moral pressure to hand themselves in.

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