Lagman: Priests violated confession secrecy rule
MANILA, Philippines - Albay Rep Edcel Lagman said some priests violated the secrecy of the sacrament of confession in a bid to "revive" the fight against the Reproductive Health law.
The Philippine Star reported that Fr Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said there is a "trend" that more people, particularly the young, have "confessed" to using contraceptives or committing abortion.
Castro even thanked Lagman for "reawakening" Catholics about the issue of these acts as "sins." "The people have become more aware that the use of contraceptives is a sin. So we thank God... because this paved the way for the people to return to God," the Star quoted Castro as saying.
In a press statement Sunday, Lagman said Castro's statement revealed that priests are violating one of the sacred rules of the Catholic church.
Lagman said this was a "blatant violation" of the Church's injunction for confessors "not to betray or disclose both the subject of the confession and the identity of the penitents."
"If the priests concerned would make a disavowal of their violation of the secrecy of confession, then Fr. Castro is again engaging in malevolent propaganda to further demonize the RH law," the lawmaker said.
"The sacramental seal is inviolable. The maximum penalty for its violation is excommunication according to Canon Law," he emphasized.
He also pointed out that it is also a violation of Philippine law to disclose what transpired during a confession, as it is considered to be an absolute privileged communication.
The controversial new law, coincidentally, will take effect on Easter Sunday, March 31. - Rappler.com