Thursday, 9 April 2020

CATHOLIC PRIESTS TO BREAK THE SEAL OF CONFESSION IS CONTRARY TO THE SCRIPTURES, TRADITION AND WILL OF GOD AND HENCE NO ONE HAS THE POWER OR RIGHT TO CHANGE OR ALTER OR MODIFY.


CATHOLIC PRIESTS TO BREAK THE SEAL OF CONFESSION IS CONTRARY TO THE SCRIPTURES, TRADITION AND WILL OF GOD AND HENCE NO ONE HAS THE POWER OR RIGHT TO CHANGE OR ALTER OR MODIFY.



Recently some governments are enacted a law in which,” Laws concerning mandatory reporting to child protection authorities should not exempt persons in religious ministry from being required to report knowledge or suspicions formed, in whole or in part, on the basis of information disclosed in or in connection with a RELIGIOUS CONFESSION. 
     
As per the Catholic Church Law, Canon 229 (i) of the Code of Canon Law, I am duty bound to write letter to the Governments concerned that some forces are trying to destroy Christianity.
Wherein one official replied to me that “the power is vested with the government but as on the day the governor has no legal power to act through this letter”.
G. ALEX BENZIGER, Attorney at Law, Chennai, South India.

                                        xxxxxxx

                         THE LETTER

From                                                            Date: June 04, 2019.
G. ALEX BENZIGER,
Advocate,
No.123, Addl. Law Chambers,
High Court Buildings,
Chennai – 600 104.
South India.
To                                                                    
1.   HIS EXCELLENCY
THE HONOURABLE DAVID HURLEY,
    The Governor General of Australia
    Government House
     Dunrossil Drive
   
YARRALUMLA ACT 2600
    AUSTRALIA

2.   THE HONOURABLE SCOTT MORRISON MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600
    AUSTRALIA

3.   HIS EXCELLENCY
THE HONOURABLE HIEU VAN LE AC
Governor of South Australia
    Government House
    GPO Box 2373
    ADELAIDE SA  5001
    AUSTRALIA.

May it please your Excellency,
Sub: The South Australia has amended the Children 
and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, wherein Laws
concerning mandatory reporting to child  protection
authorities on the basis of   information disclosed 
during a confession be entirely removed– Regarding.

1.I am a practicing advocate in the High Court of Judicature at Madras, South India, with 34 years of Bar Experience. I am professing Roman Catholicism as my religious faith. Our forefathers were converted into Christianity 300 years before. I am hailing from Kanyakumari District, which is situated at the Southern tip of India. I am belonging to the suppressed community (Nadar Caste) in the Travancore Kingdom. The Travancore Kingdom was established in 1729 and ruled till 1949. The Travancore Kingdom merged with India after two years of its independence from the British government. Our family has the genealogy from 1754 onwards till date. (https://www.maravankudieruppu.com/genealogy.html)
2.Now, in Australia, there is a threat to the Catholic Church in respect of the SACRAMENT OF COFESSION. Laws concerning mandatory reporting to child protection authorities should not exempt persons in religious ministry from being required to report knowledge or suspicions formed, in whole or in part, on the basis of information disclosed in or in connection with a RELIGIOUS CONFESSION. The South Australia amended the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, ministers of religion will be subject to strict mandatory reporting requirements, which will include information communicated during a confession. The Act is being implemented in two phases - the first phase commenced on 26 February 2018 and the remaining sections of the Act will commence in October 2018.
3.As per the Catholic Church Law, Canon 229 (i) of the Code of Canon Law, I am duty bound to write this letter to Your Excellency that some forces are trying to destroy Christianity.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord God and His teachings are binding us. After His Resurrection, He directed His disciples that “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:19-23) and therefore, we should obey the Will of God. It is impossible that the Church will go against this verse. It is impossible we the Catholics go against our conscience. Pursuant to every Catholic priest taken oath to the Church, the priest is never to break that seal. If necessary, the priests are preferring to die, rather than break the Seal of Confession.
5. Catholics believe that in the confessional we can tell God everything that is on our heart and seek his healing mercy. The priest is only an instrument; he stands in the “person of Christ.” We confess our sins — not to a man but to God. Therefore, Confession is sacred — to every priest and every Catholic.
6. Catholic doctrine of the seal of confession dates back to the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which mandated that Catholics confess their grave sins to a priest via the sacrament of Penance. Further, the Code of Canon Law, Canon 983(i) states: “The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in other manner or for any reason”. The penalty for any priest who divulges anything heard in confession—or even a penitent’s identity—is automatic excommunication. As per the Canon 1388(i) states that “A confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal, incurs a “latae sententiae” excommunication”.
7. In recent development, in respect of child abuse in Australia, a Royal Commission was set up and a detailed report in which the commission has made 85 recommendations that it says are aimed at better protecting children from sexual abuse that "Laws concerning mandatory reporting to child protection authorities should not exempt persons in religious ministry from being required to report knowledge of suspicions formed, in whole or in part, on the basis of information disclosed in or in connection with a religious confession". Whereas the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia’s Responded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on August 2018. The laws passed Parliament in July 2017, following consultation with the community and the child protection sector. The Act is being implemented in two phases - the first phase commenced on 26 February 2018 and the remaining sections of the Act will commence in October 2018. The new laws come into effect in October 2018 which change these mandatory reporting requirements. Under the new Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, ministers of religion will be subject to strict mandatory reporting requirements, which will include information communicated during a confession. These reporting requirements will also apply to others in the community, such as social workers, educators and police officers.
8.On October 1, 2018 South Australia will become the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a law compelling a “minister of religion” to report any confessions of child sexual abuse.
9.The religious freedom argument central to the debate
has been that protecting the seal of confession is part of religious freedom. Priests who oppose the proposed law have argued that denying the “confessional privilege would leave them in fear of surveillance and prosecution for their religion”. Religious freedom is recognised under section 116 of the Constitution and by Australian courts. Australia is also a party to a several international agreements that protect religious freedom, such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
10.The most recent census shows that Australia is a secular and multi-faith society. Yet, some laws in Australia continue to provide an exception for religious organisations. For example, section 127 of the Commonwealth Evidence Act 1995 confers a privilege for religious confessions. It entitles members of the clergy to “refuse to divulge” a religious confession, but only if the confession was not made for a criminal purpose. Evidence laws in most Australian jurisdictions also protect religious confession privilege. The privilege conferred on religious organisations are taken away by the newly enacted law. It is bad in law.
11. Attack on the Freedom of the Catholic Church is that
once the Seal of Confession is broken, the Sacrament of Mercy—through which God forgives sins through the ministry of the priest—becomes unviable. In other words, the Church loses Her freedom. The Church will effectively become an instrument of the State since She will be compelled to report on all activities of citizens that the State deems necessary. The Government intrudes the conscience of individual citizens.
12. It is far more likely that journalists and lawyers would hear admissions about such crimes. Yet this bill does not propose doing away with the attorney-client privilege or the protection of journalists’ sources. It only targets Catholic priests and Catholics and hence the Government has biased attitudes towards its Catholics citizens.
13. Forcing priests to break the Seal of Confession places them in the excruciating dilemma of having to choose between obeying God and His Church or a secularist court of law! All priests who are faithful to their sublime vocation will answer with Saint Peter: “We ought to obey God, rather than men”. (Acts 5:29). The Confessors under Communism and Nazism suffered prison, torture and execution rather than fail in their duty to preserve the Seal of Confession. Most Rev. Dr. Denis Hart, the Archbishop of Melbourne said he would risk going to jail rather than report allegations of child sexual abuse raised during confession, and that the sacredness of communication with God during confession should be above the law. Hence, we the Catholics are prepared to sacrifice our lives to defend our faith.
14. It is the responsibility of the one sponsoring the bill to prove that this ‘breaking of the seal of confession’ will have the effect they claim. Otherwise, its’ a meaningless political gesture to pander to progressives who already hate the Church. It is undoubtedly an attack on the Church. The child abuse is NOT the concern of Leftist politicians. Their concern is to totally destroy Christianity.
15. In 1809, Napoleon's men entered the Vatican, arrested Pope Pius VII and brought him in chains to Grenoble, and eventually Fontainebleau. His imprisonment lasted five years. The Holy Father vowed to God that, if he were restored to the Roman See, he would institute a special feast in honour of Mary. Military reverses forced Napoleon to release the Pope, and on May 24th, 1814, Pius VII returned in triumph to Rome. Therefore, we the Catholics will be prepared to sacrifice our lives to defend our faith.
16. The South Australian Government will tell all the Australian army men that anyone from defence forces captured in other country, while in torturing in that country he gives the army secrets in full. Is it right?  Is it possible?
          17. Every Government enact laws against terrorism, dacoit, theft, corruption and rapes/sexual abuses, but no Government prevent or eliminate these crimes. Likewise, the child abuses also. But the Catholic Church never compromise this child abuse crime. The Church never teaches against morals or support or teach any form of crime or any form of immoral activities. The Churchmen sacrificed their life for spreading the love, charity and service, that is, commanded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the present law warrants the catholic priests to disclose the child abuse heard during the sacrament of confession to the concerned authorities are cannot be accepted by the Catholic Church on the following reasons:
(i).      “How can you expect a penitent to reveal a crime confessed     before the priest during confession. These are all based upon everyone’s belief based on their conscience. No coercion or compulsion but purely voluntary. In my early days in 1970 there was a sermon given by one traditional priest who told a story that “a penitent Mr. John is confessing his sin before a priest Fr. Mathew and in the opposite side another priest Fr. Mark also hearing confession. While the penitent Mr. John was confessing, a cockroach, a frog and a scorpion were coming out of his mouth but one snake came from his mouth, but the snake could never come out of the penitent’s mouth and finally the penitent went away, the confession was over. The opposite side priest Fr. Mark was watching this scene of confession of Mr. John. This story is explaining that the cockroach, frog and scorpion are the venial sins committed by Mr. John. But the snake represents a mortal sin. The sinner Mr. John was not willing to confess the mortal sin to the confessor Priest Fr. Mathew. Therefore, nobody will expect sinners to reveal a crime confessed before the priest in the confession. The sinner may confess or let it out, but nobody knows but God and the sinner only know the truth. Therefore, the priest being required to report the crime to the police is unwanted, but it is a persecution enacted by the South Australian government itself.
(ii).    Suppose a boy confessed before a priest that he was molested by a man. Very next day when the same man confessed before the priest, but the man did not speak about the said molestation incident. After one week the boy’s father complained to the police. The police called the priest and asked about the man’s confession and the priest told the police that the man said nothing about the molestation. Here we believe the boy or the man or the priest. Further, if the priest was punished, then the judicial system is jeopardised. Because, “Let a hundred guilty be acquitted but one innocent should not be convicted”, this is the basic ethics of the Judicial system.
(iii).    If the seal of the confessional be removed, would any one child would come to the priest in confessional and confess the sexual abuse? If priests were to be forced to disclose the facts of such confessions to law enforcement, it would create even more cases of such abuse, because perpetrators would not confess these sins to a priest, and they would only subconsciously bury their guilt and they would no longer seek neither forgiveness nor a change their own behaviour. Leaving confessions confidential has benefits for both offender and victim. It was given to the priests to be a tribunal in which the sinners feel free to reveal their most profound sins for the sake of spiritual healing. Therefore, the present law is baseless, and it is interfering with penitent’s belief and conscience.
(iv).   The seal of confession, also known as the “sacrament of penance” or “sacrament of reconciliation”, is fundamental to the Catholic faith. Sinners can ask for forgiveness for their sins, allowing them to “reconcile with God and the Church”. It is usually done in the confessional box in churches. The seal applies only to communications made during sacramental confession to a priest. Canon Law 1388(i) forbids priests from disclosing a confession. As per this Canon, a priest who violates the seal of confession, faces ex-communication, which is the most severe form of punishment in the Catholic faith. Saint John Nepomuceno (1340–1393), vicar general to the Archbishop of Prague, was a martyr for the Seal of Confession when he refused to reveal to the cruel and unjust King Wenceslaus IV the contents of the Queen’s confession. Therefore, breaking the seal of confession is meaningless and it is purportedly an attack on the Catholic Church.
(v).     As a matter of fact, that the South Australian Legislatures enacted the law that the minister of religion is to disclose the child abuse while hearing the religious confession is interfering with the Scripture and Church Doctrine, in respect of the Catholic faith of sacrament of confession. It affects the priest’s vow given to the Church. Ultimately the priest would suffer eternal damnation according to the word of God, “if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican”. (Mt.18:17). Christianity has been spread all over the world by millions of Missionaries who have sacrificed their lives by fire and were tortured and brutally murdered by lions and other wild animals. We believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord God and His teachings are binding us for ever. Therefore, we the Christians are bound to defend the Catholic Church from any kind of interference to save the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ at any cost.
(vi).    Lastly, if a man has written a WILL and after his death, no court or authority has the right to change or alter anything in the Will. It is likewise, the sacrament of confession. It has commanded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and it is written in the Scripture. It is the WILL of God. So, the Catholic Church, or the Pope or any other Ecumenical Body does not have the right to change or alter or modify anything against the Scripture. Therefore, it is impossible to go against the WILL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
      In these circumstances it is prayed that the present Laws requiring Catholic priests to break the seal of confession in some cases passed by the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly in Canberra on June 7, 2018 is contrary to the Scriptures, Tradition, WILL of GOD and the belief and conscience of the Catholics. Hence the present Law “to break the seal of confession cannot be accepted by the Catholic Church, because the Catholic Church doesn’t have power to deal with it”. Therefore, Your Excellency may be pleased to interfere with the above said law and it may be recalled and thus render justice.
                                                               
  Yours sincerely,

(G. ALEX BENZIGER)
Copy to: 
1.   HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN                               
SECRETARY OF STATE
         Palazzo ApostolicoVaticano,                                       
         Citta del Vaticano 00120 
         Roma, Italy.

2.   HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL FERNANDO FILONI,
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
Palazzo di Propaganda Fide
00187 Roma, Piazza di Spagna,48
Roma, Italy.

3.   HIS EMINENCE                   
MALCOLM CARDINAL RANJITH,
Archbishop of Colombo                
Archbishop’s House,                          
BORELLA, COLOMBO-08, 
SRI LANKA
4.   HIS GRACE MOST REV. DR. DENIS HART
         Archbishop of Melbourne,
         383 Albert St. East Melbourne VIC 3002,
         Australia





SIMILAR LETTERS WERE SENT TO
CALIFORNIA, COSTA RICA and NEW YORK

1-California on June 02, 2019.
Letter sent to                                                                   
1.   HIS EXCELLENCY THE HON’BLE GAVIN NEWSOM,
    GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA
2. HONOURABLE MR. ANTHONY RENDON,               
SPEAKER OF CALIFORNIA
In the matter of 
The California Senate passed the law on May 23,2019that SB 360 Section 11166(d)(1) be entirely removed–Regarding.
Copy to:
1.HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN              
    SECRETARY OF STATE
2. HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL FERNANDO FILONI,
    Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, 
3. HIS EMINENCE MALCOLM CARDINAL RANJITH,                    
        Archbishop of Colombo, 
     4. HIS GRACE JOSE HORACIO GOMEZ,
         Archbishop of Los Angeles
     5. HIS EXCELLENCY MICHAEL C. BARBER, SJ                          
         Bishop of Oakland
  2. New York on June 03, 2019.   
Letter sent to                                                         
HIS EXCELLENCY 
THE HONORABLE ANDREW M. CUOMO
Governor of New York State
In the matter of
New York State Assembly amended Section 4505 of the civil practice law chapter 520 of the laws of 1965, in the Child Abuse Reporting Expansion (CARE) Act, be entirely removed-Regarding.
Copy to:
1.   HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN                              
SECRETARY OF STATE  
2.    HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL FERNANDO FILONI,
         Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
3.  His Eminence Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
4.   HIS EMINENCE MALCOLM CARDINAL RANJITH,
         Archbishop of Colombo                        
3-Costa Rica on June 18, 2019
Letter sent to
    1. HIS EXCELLENCY
The President of Costa Rica
2. HONOURABLE
Mr. CARLOS RICARDO BENAVIDES JIMÉNEZ (Male)
President of the Legislative Assembly
In the matter of 
Proposed Bill would require Catholic priests to tell authorities when they hear confessions of child abuse and pedophilia be entirely dropped–Regarding.
Copy to:
   1. HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PIETRO PAROLIN
       SECRETARY OF STATE
   2 . HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL FERNANDO FILONI,
       Prefect of the Congregation for the
       Evangelization of Peoples
   3.  HIS GRACE JOSÉ RAFAEL QUIRÓS,
        Arzobispado,
        Avenida Cuarta entre Calle Central y calle Primera,




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