This Letter was sent to the Costa Rica President and the President of the Legislative Assembly, but no response.


This Letter was sent to the Costa Rica President and the President of the Legislative Assembly on 18th Dec.2023, but no response.


From                                                             Date: June 18, 2019

G. Alex Benziger,


No.123, Additional Law Chambers,

High Court Buildings,

Chennai-600 104.

        South India.




The President of Costa Rica

Presidential Palace of the Republic of Costa Rica


San José,





President of the Legislative Assembly

Committee on International Relations and Foreign Trade, Legislative Assembly

P.O. Box: 74-1013




May it please your Excellency,


             Sub: Proposed Bill would require Catholic priests to tell

                      authorities when they hear confessions of child abuse

                      and paedophilia be entirely dropped – 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. (

2. Now, in Costa Rica, there is a threat to the Catholic Church in respect of the SACRAMENT OF COFESSION. In the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica Mr. Enrique Sanchez is to introduce a bill to force the clergy report the sexual abuse of minors found while hearing the confession. And also President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica has called on the nation to “discuss as a society” possible legislative action to force Catholic priests to reveal to the authorities what they hear in confessions about child abuse and paedophilia.

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 take oath to the Church, and the priest is never to break that seal. If necessary, the priests are preferring to Death, 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. A bill is to be proposed by Deputy Enrique Sanchez, a member of the president’s left-of-Centre Citizen Action Party, the bill would amend Article 206 of Costa Rica’s criminal code and require clergy and others who have contact with young people to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Priests who fail to report what they heard in confession about child sex abuse would be subject to fines, the bill stipulates. Currently, Costa Rican law notes that only teachers and health care professional are mandated reporters of child sex abuse. “We are expanding the requirement so that it is not only education and health centres but also places where children gather, ranging from sports, cultural and religious organizations,” Sanchez told local media. “Therefore, it would include responsible persons, for example, in the churches, in being obliged to report to the Public Ministry when they hear of a case or suspect abuse.” Sanchez claimed that the obligation to inform authorities about suspected cases of child abuse is not limited to what is heard in confession but includes what mandated reporters hear outside the confessional. Sanchez explained that under current law, clergy, some public officials, attorneys and other professionals can abstain from giving court testimony even when they have privileged knowledge about the abuse of minors.

8. The above said proposed amendment is an 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 an individual citizens.

9. 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 Catholics and hence the Government has biased attitudes towards its citizen Catholics.

10. Forcing priests to break the Seal of Confession places them in an 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 imprisonment, torture and execution rather than fail in their duty to preserve the Seal of Confession. In response to the said amendment, Archbishop Jose Rafael Quiros of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, said, “The seal of confession must not be violated; what is said in confession must not be revealed.”

11. Those who have a history of attacking religious freedom. 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.

12. 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 Holy 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.

13. Will the Costa Rica Government tell all its army men that anyone from defence forces captured in another country, while tortured in that country, could give out the army secrets in full? Is it right?  Is it possible?

    14. 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 to a priest during confession. These are all based upon everyone’s belief bound on their conscience. There should be no coercion or compulsion but it should be purely voluntary. In my early days in 1970 there was a sermon given by one traditional priest 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 tried to come out of 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 sin 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 knows the truth. Therefore, the priest being required to report the crime to the police is unwanted, but it is a religious persecution by the Costa Rica 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, the amendment of Article 206 in the bill of Costa Rica’s criminal code would require clergy and others who have contact with young people to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and be requiring all clergy in the Costa Rica to report all instances of child abuse or neglect made known to them to the appropriate authorities are interfering with the Scripture and Church Doctrine, in respect of the Catholic faith of the sacrament of confession. It affects the priest’s vow of keeping secrecy 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 proposed amendment in Article 206 of Costa Rica’s criminal code which requires the clergy and others who have contact with young people to report allegations of sexual abuse of minors, requiring all clergy in the Costa Rica to report all instances of child abuse or neglect made known to them to the appropriate authorities 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:



         Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano,

         Citta del Vaticano 00120

         ROMA, ITALY.


Prefect of the Congregation for the

              Evangelization of Peoples

Palazzo di Propaganda Fide

187       , Piazza di Spagna,48





Avenida Cuarta entre Calle Central y calle Primera,

Apartado 497,

1000 San José,