DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     September 20, 1999     vol. 10, no. 178

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE

CANADIAN BISHOPS PROTEST AGAINST INVASION OF PRIVACY

        OTTAWA, SEP 17, 1999 (ZENIT).- In a recent letter labeled "urgent" to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, the Catholic Conference of Canadian Bishops expressed their "grave concern" for the government's proposal to the preparatory commission of the International Criminal Court, to eliminate the protection of privacy from the secret of confession.

        The letter, signed by Father Emilius Goulet, Secretary General of the Bishops' Conference, refers to "disquieting reports ... that the Canadian representative ... has proposed that the new international court not recognize the centuries-old legal tradition that respects the sacred confidentiality of matters shared between a penitent and priest during the confession of sins."

        While acknowledging that the proposal has received very little international support, the bishops make it clear that they are "disturbed that the Government of Canada would even propose such an undertaking."

        "The strict confidentiality of matters shared between a priest and penitent," the text continues, "not only concerns the more than one billion Catholic and Orthodox Christians in the world who consider the confession of sins to be a sacrament, but members of all religions, given that the recognition of such confidentiality has been legitimately extended over time to include private religious counseling in all religious faiths."

        "Furthermore, the inevitable effects of the Canadian proposal would have meant interference with the right to personal privacy as well as erosion of freedom of conscience and religion. As you will recall, in a letter dated August 5, 1999, to the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, you had rightly stated that religious freedom is a fragile right in many areas of the world. Such freedom would certainly not have been strengthened internationally by this recent Canadian proposal," the document concludes. ZE99091725


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 20, 1999       volume 10, no. 178
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

|    Back to Graphics Front Page     Back to Text Only Front Page     |    Archives     |    What the DAILY CATHOLIC offers     |    DAILY CATHOLIC Ship Logs    |    Ports o' Call LINKS     |    Catholic Webrings    |    Catholic & World News Ticker Headlines     |    Why we NEED YOUR HELP     |    Why the DAILY CATHOLIC is FREE     |    Our Mission     |    Who we are    |    Books offered     |    Permissions     |    Top 100 Catholics of the Century    |    Enter Porthole HomePort Page    |    Port of Entry Home Page |    E-Mail Us