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Brian wrote:

Hi, guys —

Paragraph 2490 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

    2490 The secret of the sacrament of reconciliation is sacred, and cannot be violated under any pretext. "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore,
    it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in
    any other manner or for any reason."

  • In light of this passage in the Catechism, I would like to know if the Catholic Church has any further teaching on a situation where a priest hears a Confession of some one who has committed a crime against civil authorities and has no intention of turning himself in?
  • How accountable is the priest in this situation if the person still has intentions of harming other people?
  • Is it morally justifiable for the priest to say nothing, knowing that people could get hurt?

God bless,


  { The Seal of Confession: How accountable is the priest and is this morally justifiable? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Brian —

Yes it is; the seal not being broken is a higher [standard|moral issue] than any sin or potential harm that could be committed.

However, the priest would surely counsel the person.

Fr. Jonathan

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