FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SEATTLE
ACTION ALERT: WASHINGTON STATE SENATE BILL 5280
PRESERVE THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
March 31, 2023
We have been contacted by the Washington State Catholic Conference, the policy voice for the bishops of WA state asking for our help. SB 5280 is a bill requiring that clergy be mandatory reporters for child abuse and neglect. The Catholic Church already deems priests as mandatory reporters – with one exception when individuals are confessing their sins during reconciliation. The WA bishops initially supported the mandatory reporting elements in the bill. In its original form, SB 5280 protected our seal of confession or, the clergy penitent privilege. The bill was recently amended in committee to require that priests break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Canon Law prohibits this. The bill will be up for a vote soon on the state house floor. I ask that you please email and call your legislators today through the WSCC’s quick Action Alert HERE to make your voice known, stating that the clergy penitent privilege must be preserved and protected.
Watch Bishop Frank Schuster's short message on this Call to Action
(Click the Image)
[PLEASE NOTE BOTH LINKS WILL TAKE YOU TO EXTERNAL SITES]