Kentucky Bill Aims to Unseal Abusers’ Confessions

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, JAN. 8, 2003 ( Clergy would be required to break the seal of confession and report any child abuse they learn about in a clergy-penitent discussion, under proposed legislation, the Courier-Journal reported.

A bill, filed by state Representative Susan Westrom, a Democrat, would require clergy members to testify in court about allegations of child abuse, even if they learn about it in confidential counseling sessions, the Louisville daily said.

Catholic and Protestant organizations oppose the bill, calling it a violation of the long tradition that the seal of the confessional is absolute. It is unclear what chance Westrom’s bill has of being approved.