WAF joins court petition defending seal of confession

The courts in Louisiana have ruled that the seal of confession may be broken at the discretion of individual judges if they deem it appropriate.  This decision should send chills down the spine of everyone who depends on confidentiality in their professional activities.   Clergy of all denominations, who must be trusted to keep secret what was told to them by someone seeking counsel will be compromised by this ruling, no one more than a Catholic priest who is bound by the strictest sanction to do so.  The Sacraments of the Church are the foundation of our Faith. The Sacrament of Penance opens the door to all of the others, and returns us to union with God.  Assurance of discretion is the essential part of the relationship between the priest and penitent.  Fr. Jeffrey Bayhi faces civil charges for not divulging the content of statements made behind the veil of the confessional.   The court claims the right to determine whether or not his communication with a penitent qualifies. The very act of providing this information for determination violates the canonical prohibition placed on Fr. Bayhi.   

We have joined the diocese of Baton Rouge and several other Catholic organizations in the filing an Amicus Curie brief with the United States Supreme Court.  It is our hope that the dangerous implications for religious liberty wrought by this ruling will be recognized by this body and that it will be overturned.

St. John Nepomuk,  the confessor priest of the queen of Bohemia was tortured and killed by the king who demanded that this holy priest divulge the content of her confession. He did not, and gave his life protecting her confidence. He is depicted holding his finger over his lips with the caption “I did not speak”.  Let us hope that this judicial action will not force our priests, various clergy and other professionals to make the choice of adhering to unjust demands or remaining faithful to their vows.

 

St John Nepomuk pray for Fr. Bayhi, and for us as we stand to protect religious liberty.

 

God bless

 

David Carollo

Executive Director

 

 

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