Secret of the confession: Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort will be received by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin

The president of the Conference of Bishops of France was invited to meet with the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin after declaring that "the secrecy of confession is stronger than the laws of the Republic". 

Received Tuesday, October 6 in the morning of franceinfo following the publication of the report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church, Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort declared that the secrecy of confession was "stronger than the laws of the Republic".

Words that aroused strong reactions, to such an extent that the president of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF) received the next day, Thursday, October 7, a message from the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, in charge of monitoring affairs relating to different religions.

In one press release the CEF reports that the Minister of the Interior in this message asked Eric de Moulins-Beaufort to "agree to an interview". An invitation that the Archbishop of Reims accepted, it is expected that he will meet the minister on Tuesday, October 12.

“Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort will be happy to discuss with the Minister of the Interior on the meaning of the sacrament of confession for Catholics and on the theological, spiritual and canonical foundations of the secrecy of confession. "Can we read in the press release which also underlines that" the secrecy of confession, imposed on priests by canon law, is not contrary to French criminal law, as underlined by the circular of the chancellery of August 11, 2004 " .

The press release then evokes the framework of the confession in the context "for example" of abuse suffered by a child affirming that "this time can then be, on the encouragement of the priest who receives this confession, a first step in the liberation of the word, outside the sacrament ”.

In conclusion, the CEF recalls that the “secrecy of confession has always been respected by the French Republic”.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Creative Commons / Wikimedia

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