Catholic priests in Ireland are prepared to "strongly" resist a proposed law that would require them to disclose information learned in confession.
"More than any other issue, it is probably the one that will unite both the liberal and conservative wings of the Church," said Father Tony Flannery, a priest with the Association of Catholic Priests, in a July 18 e-mail to CNA.
"If even one exception was made to the seal of Confession, then the whole Sacrament would collapse," he stated. "The truth of faith that this Sacrament is meant to convey is central to Christian teaching."
The legislation, proposed by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, would put priests in jail for up to five years if they failed to tell authorities about sexual abuse crimes disclosed during confession.
Fr. Flannery said that the Association of Catholic Priests has not taken the proposed law very seriously, because it is simply not "workable."