As many of us are already aware, the California Senate recently passed SB360 which would make it mandatory for clergy to report allegations of child abuse to the police even if such information was obtained through the Catholic Church’s Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. Although clergy, along with teachers, law enforcement, etc., are already on the list as mandatory reporters for child abuse in California, priests were allowed an exception for penitential communications in order to preserve the secrecy of the confession in the Catholic Church. California has now passed a bill that would require clergy to report allegations of child abuse to the police even if the information is received through the sacrament of reconciliation. California is the first State to pass such bill.
SB360 was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill and passed by the Senate on May 24 of this year by a vote of 30-4 with four senators abstaining.
This Bill is now going before the California Assembly, where Democrats hold a 61-19 majority. I think, given these numbers, Catholics in California should be very worried. Catholics in every other State should join us in prayer before they, too, find their separation of church and state rights being compromised, too.
Although this Bill would not jeopardize any other Christian faith, once given the power to change a revered part of the Catholic Church, you can be almost certain other faiths could be attacked in some way, too.
Also, please email Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. He is the chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee that is in charge of this bill.
Also, the Catholic League is working hard to fight this Bill.