The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that priests are not required to report child abuse when they hear about the abuse in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“A priest when administering the sacrament of confession has no duty
to report any confidential communications made during the confession
that, by the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, he is authorized to
hear and is also duty bound to keep confidential,” the court ruled on
The ruling comes in a long-running case in which Father Jeff Bayhi, a
priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, had been directed to testify
about what a 14-year-old allegedly told him in Confession.
woman has said that she told Father Bayhi about being molested by a
member of his parish.
Father Bayhi had refused to testify, citing the
inviolability of the confessional seal.