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Thread: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

  1. #51
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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Surtr View Post
    Then it's time we make them "see the light". With force if necessary.
    They're losing billions in settlement money and the crazy Catholic parishioners are just funneling more money into their coffers. Several diocese have already declared bankruptcy but we keep finding case after case where the RCC hasn't learned it's lesson. I guess that's what happens when the Pope is the one who wrote the policies that say not to call police.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I think doctors ought to be required by law to report rape injuries too, suspicions of child molestation, etc.



    In fact, it is against the law for employers of all kinds to act against employees who blow the whistle on criminal activity.
    Some good points that you raise.

    Whistle blower legislation that was introduced to protect the employees as well as the public has holes punched through it by the Corporate law groups. The Corporate lobby groups have also obtained other Congressional and legal advantages over the years. The whistle blowers legislation has been rendered a legal straw man and almost impotent.

    In almost all whislte blower cases, the actual employee loses their job and cannot enter the same industry again - even with another competitive corporation. THe famous chemist who blew the whistle on the tobacco industry that was using additives such as Ammonia in their cigaretts so as to provider the smoker with a quicker uptake of nicotine (making their cigaretts more addictive) didnt work in the undustry again, received death threats etc. In fact he was a leading industrial chemist in the USA and couldnt even get a another job as a Chemist in any corporate sector - he had to resort to teaching, which he still does.

    The Aviation maintenance worker who blew the whislte on shoddy maintenance practices also didnt work in the Aviation industry again. The airline was fined for causing an accident whereby deveral hundred poeple were killed.

    Legally psychologists and therapists are required to report information to the authorities if one of their patients provides information concerning illegal practices, murders etc.

    The issue I see here, is a simple one.

    You cant have Chruch groups and Religious organisations farbicating their own legal structures and making up their own laws. The separation if church and state does not mean the Church has legal immunity or can makes up its own rules.

    The bottom line is that a priest can be called into call to restify and they can do what the tobacco company CEOs did - plead the 5th amendment.

    I know there are legal moves to make the circumcision of babies and children illegal or classed as child abuse whereby the parents and any doctor or rabbi involved can be charged. Is this religious freedom of expression or child abuse and genital mutilation? Who decides if the person is a baby or child and must undergo this procedure?

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I'm all in favor of lawyers being required to report evidence that they come into possession of. I think defense lawyers, if their client admits to committing the crime, should be obligated to turn that confession over to the prosecution. The point here is justice.
    I understand your comment, but part of justice is allowing the accused to present a defense against the charges. What you suggest would collapse that system of justice.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Klown View Post
    Some good points that you raise.

    Whistle blower legislation that was introduced to protect the employees as well as the public has holes punched through it by the Corporate law groups. The Corporate lobby groups have also obtained other Congressional and legal advantages over the years. The whistle blowers legislation has been rendered a legal straw man and almost impotent.

    In almost all whislte blower cases, the actual employee loses their job and cannot enter the same industry again - even with another competitive corporation. THe famous chemist who blew the whistle on the tobacco industry that was using additives such as Ammonia in their cigaretts so as to provider the smoker with a quicker uptake of nicotine (making their cigaretts more addictive) didnt work in the undustry again, received death threats etc. In fact he was a leading industrial chemist in the USA and couldnt even get a another job as a Chemist in any corporate sector - he had to resort to teaching, which he still does.

    The Aviation maintenance worker who blew the whislte on shoddy maintenance practices also didnt work in the Aviation industry again. The airline was fined for causing an accident whereby deveral hundred poeple were killed.

    Legally psychologists and therapists are required to report information to the authorities if one of their patients provides information concerning illegal practices, murders etc.

    The issue I see here, is a simple one.

    You cant have Chruch groups and Religious organisations farbicating their own legal structures and making up their own laws. The separation if church and state does not mean the Church has legal immunity or can makes up its own rules.

    The bottom line is that a priest can be called into call to restify and they can do what the tobacco company CEOs did - plead the 5th amendment.

    I know there are legal moves to make the circumcision of babies and children illegal or classed as child abuse whereby the parents and any doctor or rabbi involved can be charged. Is this religious freedom of expression or child abuse and genital mutilation? Who decides if the person is a baby or child and must undergo this procedure?
    The 5th amendment protects against self incrimination. A priest refusing to testify is an issue of privacy.

    In this situation I don't think a priest will be allowed to take the 5th. The pross will grant immunity and the judge will force the testimony and if the priest persists, send him to jail.

  5. #55
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    Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by spanky View Post
    What of the confessor says "I raped my 16 year old daughter." and the priest knows he also has a 14 and 12 year old in his household, he's not obligated to tell authorities?

    What, the priest tells him to say 10 Hail Mary's and to not do it again?
    Let's be realistic...how often does a child molester actually seek the sacrament of reconciliation?

    I imagine priests have discussions about confessions (not the who but the what) among themselves and there are generally accepted guidelines for what to do/say when certain situations come up.
    The morality of abortion is not a religious belief, any more than the morality of slavery, apartheid, rape, larceny, murder or arson is a religious belief. These are norms of the natural law of mankind and can be legislated even in a completely religionless society.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckBerry View Post
    Let's be realistic...how often does a child molester actually seek the sacrament of reconciliation?

    I imagine priests have discussions about confessions (not the who but the what) among themselves and there are generally accepted guidelines for what to do/say when certain situations come up.
    This issue isn't how often it happens, it's what should be done when it does.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by spanky View Post
    I understand your comment, but part of justice is allowing the accused to present a defense against the charges. What you suggest would collapse that system of justice.
    There's a difference between presenting a defense and covering up evidence. The ultimate goal of the justice system is achieving justice. Punishing the guilty. In our current system, it is the job of the defense lawyer to get their client off, or to reduce the penalty, regardless of guilt.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    There's a difference between presenting a defense and covering up evidence. The ultimate goal of the justice system is achieving justice. Punishing the guilty. In our current system, it is the job of the defense lawyer to get their client off, or to reduce the penalty, regardless of guilt.
    The goal of justice is to achieve justice while protecting the constitutional rights of the accused.

    It's not the job of lawyers to decide guilt or innocence, it's their job to provide the best possible defense, within the confines of the law, for their client. It's up to the jury to decide anything else.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by spanky View Post
    The goal of justice is to achieve justice while protecting the constitutional rights of the accused.

    It's not the job of lawyers to decide guilt or innocence, it's their job to provide the best possible defense, within the confines of the law, for their client. It's up to the jury to decide anything else.
    Guilt and innocence have nothing to do with a jury trial. If the convicted did the act they are accused of, no matter how the jury finds, they are guilty. If they did not do the act, no matter how the jury finds, they are not guilty. Guilt and innocence are objectively factual elements in a criminal trial, either they did it or not. However, in many criminal trials, whether they did it or not isn't all that important as the stage show both the prosecution and the defense teams put on. The defense team, in particular, is out to defend the defendant whether they are guilty or not. They are there to try to sway the jury to not convict their client, even if they are fully aware that their client is guilty of the crime. That's the problem, they aren't fighting for justice, they're fighting to get the guy paying their bills off.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Australian priests could be forced to breach seal of the confessional

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Guilt and innocence have nothing to do with a jury trial. If the convicted did the act they are accused of, no matter how the jury finds, they are guilty. If they did not do the act, no matter how the jury finds, they are not guilty. Guilt and innocence are objectively factual elements in a criminal trial, either they did it or not. However, in many criminal trials, whether they did it or not isn't all that important as the stage show both the prosecution and the defense teams put on. The defense team, in particular, is out to defend the defendant whether they are guilty or not. They are there to try to sway the jury to not convict their client, even if they are fully aware that their client is guilty of the crime. That's the problem, they aren't fighting for justice, they're fighting to get the guy paying their bills off.
    I have to say I don't understand your argument. Our system of justice is based on a decision by a jury of one's peers if accused of a crime. It's the state's obligation to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and it's the defense's job to put reasonable doubt in the jurors minds.

    Jurors jobs are not to claim innocence for the accused, it's to judge whether or not the state has provided evidence necessary for a guilty verdict and if they don't, not guilty. Innocence is not a question.

    It seems to me your issue is that sometimes the guilty go free. Happens every day. Welcome to life.

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