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Tell Washington's legislators and bishops to condemn bill that could require priests to break Seal of Confession

Washington’s Senate Bill 6298 ‘on its face could require breaking the Seal of Confession,’ according to the Washington Catholic Conference, which supports the bill anyway. 

The Democrat sponsor of the mandatory abuse reporting law, Senator Noel Frame, suggested that priests should ideally be required to break the Seal of Confession, and the state’s Catholic leadership has said that her bill could do just that, even though they support the legislation. 

However, breaking the Seal of Confession is an excommunicable offense. 

Demand that the Seal of Confession be defended and upheld – send an urgent message today. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 

Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents’ lives. This secret which admits of no exceptions, is called the ‘sacramental seal,’ because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains ‘sealed’ by the sacrament. (CCC 1467) 

This paragraph clearly explains that a priest cannot repeat anything he hears from a penitent in the sacrament of Confession, no matter the circumstances. 

Legislative counsel Luke Wickham confirmed on Friday 16 February that priests would be required to break the Seal of Confession if there is an “imminent risk.”

He made the comments at a hearing in response to a question from Democratic Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self.

The Seal of Confession is immensely sacred and must be protected, meaning we cannot allow this bill to go forward and put this “sacramental seal” at risk. 

If we let the state of Washington’s legislators and Church leaders get away with this abomination, what’s to stop others from following suit? 

SIGN & SHARE: Defend the Seal of Confession in Washington. 

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