Cardinal Assails Bill That Would Violate the Confessional

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 23, 2003 ( A Maryland legislative proposal that would require priests to report suspected child abuse would violate the seal of the confessional, warns Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

“If this bill were to pass, I shall instruct all priests in the Archdiocese of Washington who serve in Maryland to ignore it,” he wrote in the Catholic Standard, the Washington Post reported.

The bill would require a priest to report any information about child abuse obtained in the confessional unless it was a direct admission from the perpetrator, the Post said. Some legal experts doubt the bill is constitutional.