16:40 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Archbishop Mark Coleridge, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Australia, speaks as Sister Monica Cavanagh, President of Catholic Religious Australia, listens during a media conference in Sydney, Australia, August 31, 2018

    Australian Catholic Church Refuses to Lift Seal to Report Child Abuse

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Australian Catholic Church will not accept the recommendation of the royal commission to break the seal of confession to make adults report child sexual abuse to authorities, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said arguing that it was unlikely to make children any safer.

    "This isn't because we regard ourselves as being above the law or because we don’t think the safety of children is supremely important — we do. But we don't accept that safeguarding and the seal are mutually exclusive. Nor that we believe that abolishing the seal will make children any safer. In some circumstances it may even make them less safe," Coleridge told a press conference.

    Coleridge's statement comes almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final report based on a five-year inquiry into sexual abuse cases.

    The church has reportedly accepted 98 percent of the commission's recommendations except breaking the confessional seal.

    READ MORE: It's Important to Have Independent Investigation Into Sex Abuse in Church — Prof

    The royal commission's report was based on over 50 child abuse-related case studies at public hearings between September 2013 and March 2017.

    In late July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who was found guilty of covering up a priest's sexual abuse of minors in the 1970s.


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    seal, child abuse, confession, Catholic Church, Australia
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