Catholic Church in Wisconsin opposes bill attacking seal of confession

Two bills were announced in Wisconsin this week intended to protect victims of child sexual abuse. The Catholic Church in the state has registered its strong objection to one bill’s intention to force violation of the seal of confession.

The Child Victims Act would remove the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse, while the Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act would force priests to report child abuse learned of during the sacrament of confession.

Kim Vercauteren, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, told CNA that there is room to improve victims’ pursuit of justice, but decried the attack on the confessional.

“I think more needs to be done to highlight what can be done for victim survivors and what are some of the other resources out there,” she told CNA. “Part of this is to provide more education and information to survivors to what they can and can’t do, like what is the expectation to further the case along.”

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