mercoledì 11 settembre 2019

The Australian
(Remy Varga) Priests and religious leaders face up to three years jail in Victoria if they don't report child physical and sexual abuse allegations, including misconduct disclosed during confession. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared no one was above the law after new legislation passed the state parliament on Tuesday night after getting the green light from the Legislative Assembly. “There’s been some controversy in recent weeks and months about churches, particularly the Catholic Church, we believe this is exactly what needed to happen,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“The seal of the confessional, no one, no politician, no priest … has any reason, any right … to put their faith, or the laws of their church above the protection of kids. That's the most important thing.”
“The most important thing is to send a message that the law is to be taken seriously,” he said.
The Catholic Church has insisted priests would be obliged to defy the laws, with Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli previously stating he was prepared to go to jail rather than break the confessional seal.
Teachers, police and medical practitioners are already legally required to report child physical and sexual abuse allegations.
Mr Andrews said the mandatory reporting bill aimed to send a message that children must be protected at any cost.
“This is as much as anything sending a really important message that mandatory reporting is incredibly important,” he said.
“And that everyone within the different cohorts that have got a responsibility that they need to take that responsibility seriously and need to report child abuse.”
Clergy are already subject to mandatory reporting laws in South Australia and the Northern Territory, while Western Australia and Tasmania have announced plans to compel religious leaders to disclose knowledge of abuse.