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Priest: We didn’t break seal of confession

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Fr. Melvin Castro

MANILA, March 18, 2013— A Catholic priest has lectured Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who accused him and other priests of breaking the seal of confession, an offense punishable by excommunication. 

Fr. Melvin Castro scored the principal author of the Reproductive Health Law in the House of Representatives for making a claim of a Church’s principle he is not well versed of. 

“He (Lagman) doesn’t know what constitutes the violation of the seal of confession,” said Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. 

Castro earlier disclosed the observation of many priests over a growing number of people driven to confession to ask forgiveness for using artificial contraceptives. 

He said because of the controversies that hounded the RH law, many people, especially the youth, became aware of the church’s position against abortion and artificial contraception. 

With this, Castro said that they are somehow thankful to Lagman and other RH supporters for this surge of awareness. 

“He should be happy. God uses him for the conversion of souls,” he said. 

The seal of confession, he explained, is only violated when the identity of a faithful has been revealed to the public, the Church official said. 

Under the Church law, every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy of sins that his penitents have confessed to him.  

“It is violated only when the identity of the penitent is publicly identified,” said Castro. 

Instead of criticizing the Church, the priest called on the lawmaker to just focus on his advocacy of promoting the use of contraceptives. 

“If he is such an advocate of women’s health care, he should be concentrating on their welfare. Unless, his real intent is to put down the Church,” said Castro. (CBCPNews)


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6 Responses to Priest: We didn’t break seal of confession

  1. Oh dear priests, thank you for striving soooo hard to be patient with our ignorant lawmakers. The grace of patience be to us all!

    March 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

  2. am not a canon lawyer, but as long as the penitent’s name is not publicly identified, there’s no violation of the seal of confession. the priests are very careful not to mention the name of their penitents due to a severe penalty of the Church. even in a homily, some priest citing a similar case, but not mentioning the name. haay.. ang author nga naman talaga ng RH Bill hahanap at hahanap ng butas against the Church kasi lumalabas ang totoong kulay at intention ng RH BIll. masyado kasing stubborn at rebellious ang isipan at puso ng karamihang lawmakers. anyways, God’s ways is not man’s ways.

    Randy Badal
    March 18, 2013 at 10:17 pm

  3. “The sacramental seal is inviolable. Quoting Canon 983.1 of the Code of Canon Law, the Catechism states,…. A priest cannot reveal the contents of a confession either directly, by repeating the substance of what has been said, or indirectly, by some sign, suggestion, or action.”

    It’s quite clear from above that not only the identity of the penitent but the substance (e.g. using artificial contraceptives) of a confession should be kept secret. Perhaps Fr. Castro can enlighthen if this particular quote is false and in which part of the Canon Code states that priests can compare notes among themselves on the topics of confessions they received. Or do I assume that priests conduct regular surveys on trending confessional topics.

    Danny Eguia
    March 19, 2013 at 8:45 am

  4. The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing. . . .Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest. . . . Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil.

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    March 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

  5. Very correct, Fr. Melvin. The guy is atheist, he doesn’t have an idea of the confessional, hence trekking into unknown territory.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

  6. Very correct po, Fr. Melvn. Mr. Lagman simply doesn’t know what he is talking about. He should shut his mouth ‘coz it is already full.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

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