News

M'boro priest would break silence to out child sex abusers

Father Paul Kelly speaks out after the Federal Government announced a royal commission into child sex abuse cases.
Father Paul Kelly speaks out after the Federal Government announced a royal commission into child sex abuse cases. Robyne Cuerel

MARYBOROUGH priest Paul Kelly says he would break the sacred "seal of silence" and report child sex abusers who confessed to him, despite the threat of excommunication from the Catholic Church for doing so.

Father Kelly's comments come after the Federal Government announced a royal commission into child sex abuse cases, a move which has unearthed concerns about the church directive that priests keep secret all information given in confession.

For a priest to break this code is considered a mortal sin and would see them excommunicated from the Catholic Church.

But Father Kelly, who has also campaigned against the gay panic defence, said he agreed with suggestions the "seal of silence" privilege could be seen to protect child sex offenders.

He admitted he would go against the church by reporting suspects to police.

"I absolutely do not wish to be part of anything which accidentally, or by omission, allows abuse to continue or someone to continue to abuse," Father Kelly said.

"I would have to say, with respect to the law of the land and the church, I must follow what I believe would be my conscience before God.

"In the end, I would stand before God with my conscience."

Only Pope Benedict XVI has the power to change governance of confession and Father Kelly said the time had come for the church to review its stance.

Topics:  catholic church, child sex, father paul kelly, maryborough




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Men splashed by 'croc' while fishing in the Mary River

CARE NEEDED: One of the Mary River crocodiles that has since been relocated to a farm in Rockhampton.

Huge splash makes Maryborough anglers wary.

Tagged tiger shark Maroochy baited and killed on drum line

RESEARCH: A 3m tiger shark called Maroochy was tagged by Ocearch on February 2, 2015. Photo Ocearch

The young shark was tagged in February 2015 by Ocearch.

Claims M’boro transit centre in a ‘disgraceful state’

Pat Phillips says the Lennox St transit centre is in a bad state

Latest deals and offers

Bennett, Langer, Thurston and others talk Cam Smith

Broncos and former QLD coach Wayne Bennett.

Broncos and former QLD coach plus past and present players talk about Cameron...

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked