In what’s set to be a damn interesting week or two in the courts – with George Pell set to have his appeal heard – the Melbourne Archbishop of the Catholic Church him has followed up with some, well, interesting comments. Archbishop Peter Comensoli claims that he’d potentially risk jail time to uphold the traditional boundaries of confession.
He made the comments on ABC Radio Mornings, on the back of a bill being brought to Victorian Parliament that would put priests firmly in the spotlight post-Pell drama. The new (potential) laws would place priests on the same level as police, teachers and medical practitioners in that they would be required – by law – to report abuse and suspicions.
And when questioned about it, Comensoli said he’d.. pretty much do the same thing as his jailed-boss-of-sorts. And that could be a big yikesss moment.
This is absolutely outrages.
— Fiona Patten MP (@FionaPattenMLC) August 14, 2019
I mean really we have to draw the line somewhere, surely? Even if it wasn’t physically a law – which it could be shortly – surely that level crime can’t go unnoticed, or without action. Especially after what’s happened with priests in the past. And now, in the hypothetical world that keeping such information secret was a crime, we have the Archbishop of Melbourne saying he’d stay silent?!
It’s a really blurry and worrying lack of trust to me, especially when the person saying such comments has such a high authority in society. Accept it or not, the Catholic Church is a very powerful and influential group/organisation in this country, and Comensoli has undoubted sway in his comments.
I’m no expert, but the Catholics in my life seem far more interested in the safety of children than the salvation of paedophiles
‘Catholic archbishop Peter Comensoli prepared to risk jail rather than comply with confession law’ https://t.co/mOYkSa4ZQ8
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) August 14, 2019
And for me the reason comments like this are so dangerous are because they have a knock on effect. Who’s to say that someone who is a follower of his wont report such crimes in the future, because of the Archbishop’s own stance? And what type of precedence does it set when one of the most influential religious figures in Australia right now, admits they he would straight up brake the law to protect a criminal? It’s just really fucking worrying.
Ultimately it’s more than just an opinion or free speech, it’s a dangerous thought process that will protect those who have committed potentially heinous crimes. And that’s just not cool.