Laws forcing priests to report child abuse passed in Victorian parliament

Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said the laws made Victoria a safer place for children, after the legislation was passed on Tuesday night.

11.9.2019

Priests in Victoria will now have to report child abuse if it is revealed to them during confesssion, or face up to three years in prison, after legislation was passed by Parliament last night.

Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said the laws made Victoria a safer place for children, after the legislation was passed on Tuesday night.

Larger text size Very large text size Priests in Victoria will now have to report child abuse if it is revealed to them during confesssion, or face up to three years in prison, after legislation was passed by Parliament last night. The bill passed the upper house on Tuesday night after last week getting a green light from the Legislative Assembly, with opposition support. "Today we've made Victoria a safer place for children. The special treatment for churches has ended and child abuse must be reported," Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan said on Tuesday night. 'Today we've made Victoria a safer place for children': Victorian Child Protection Minister Luke Donnellan. Credit: Paul Jeffers "I thank all the abuse survivors, their families and advocates who helped us deliver these reforms. We can't undo the harm to so many children in the past, but this will help ensure it never happens again." Advertisement Loading The Andrews government introduced the legislation in early August compelling priests to break the seal of confession to report disclosures of child abuse, but the Coalition stopped short of supporting it at the time. However, The changes will bring religious leaders into line with police, teachers, doctors, nurses, school counsellors and youth justice workers who are required to report child abuse to authorities. Religious leaders face three years in jail if they refuse to comply with the laws. The Catholic Church has insisted priests would be obliged to defy the laws, with Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli previously stating he was prepared to go to jail rather than break the confessional seal. "For Catholics, confession is a religious encounter of a deeply personal nature. It deserves confidentiality," he said in August. Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli. AAP The Age revealed in August that Archbishop Comensoli began discussions with authorities a year ago about child safety and the principles of confession, The archbishop, who recently marked his first year in the job, pushed back against the legislation in an opinion piece in the The Age , in which he says the bill is "unworkable" and shows a lack of understanding about the act of confession, particularly the anonymity of penitents. Loading The introduction of the legislation follows a recommendation in the 2017 final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse that clergy and confession no longer be exempt from mandatory reporting. The Northern Territory and South Australia have introduced mandatory reporting laws to which clergy are subject, and Western Australia and Tasmania have committed to doing so. Mr Andrews, a practising Catholic, announced the policy in November, during the 2018 state election campaign. With AAP, Chris Vedelago, Debbie Cuthbertson Read more: The Age

debstarre That’s the tip of the iceberg. Ask me I await the first prosecution. But I’m not holding my breath...😳 Tax them as well It is a start. Well done Victoria. Don't let priests protect pedophiles. about time. but trouble is, are any of them honest enough to speak up? LukeDonnellan Well done Luke.

So how are you going to find out they were told? They don’t divulge confession, so it’ll never be known? Michaeldmac2006 Excellent news Brilliant That’s so bloody ridiculous. Makes no sense at all. Do you think they will confess knowing that it will be passed onto authorities? Finally a government with balls that's willing to stand up to the church against child abuse. The feds definitely won't. auspol

Premier needs a better plan for relaxing lockout lawsEditorial: Evidence has grown that the lockout laws are having a chilling impact on Sydney’s night-time economy. It’s argued that Sydney is getting boring, which is bad for tourism OFFS der 🙄 she just caved in to Clover Moore n d hotel lobby Scrapping lockout laws'd affect people's lives They could be maimed or die It is not a good reason that they need to scrap it for Syd to have fun night life Drink at home or atStar I suppose it’s worth going back to the increase in violent assaults and rapes?

And they Will be TAXED AT THE TOP RATEbecause they withheld Evidence They will have to get god to appear in court and divulge what she heard? Report or lose Government funding for schools So much for there being no need for religious freedom hey JacquiLambie wafw Only three years? Should be life. And exactly how will we know..can’t see it happening although it would be good.

Thank ya Jesus! Good. Confession has just about run its race.. This may have proven more relevant back in the 70's! Good, I do wonder who ‘heard Pells confession’! And, probably have him a few ‘Our Fathers & Hail Marys’ and come back next week...

Government considering changes to proposed religious freedom lawsThe federal government is working on changes it thinks can win bipartisan support for its proposed religious freedom laws which can't get through the Senate. Keep religion out of politics. It has been producing a foul stench for some time and should not be promoted or given any energy or effort after what has come to light. We need to rebuild without it. It is time. So many more pressing & important issues that need addressing over this. auspol

DanielAndrewsMP leading the way again. HkarterKarter If they do a runner interstate, can they be brought back to face trial ? About bloody time!! This is a victory for commonsense and protection of the most vulnerable in the community!! Thank you Victoria...... How would you prove this offence? Only by admission.

Good Bullshit......$500 Million $$$$$ donated to the Catholic church pre state election and victims are still waiting for compensation. As Victorian victims are still waiting for compensation. About time Should be federal. “Confess your sins, my son, and I can absolve you.” “Thank you Father.” “But, my son, do not tell me anything about child abuse.” “Goodbye Father.” Problem solved.

That's a good start.... Now make them sign an undertaking to comply before they are issued with a working with vulnerable people card. An affirmation to their God GOOD!

Environment laws have failed to tackle the extinction emergency. Here's the proofHuman activities have destroyed more than 7.7 million hectares of threatened species habitat. We are mostly the worst What since when ? BREAKING Major Threat to Life on Earth is Humankind

jpavlovic801 See, you know how to make the laws. You just don't have judges with enough guts to follow through with the just sentences. An that's really the most important part of breaking the law, the sentence. Victoria, tough on laws, weak as piss on sentences. alltalk The sceptic in me suggests this is just a ploy to ensure the victims will be able to sue the church with far more ease - priest didn’t disclose, church liable for compensation. Not saying it’s wrong or right, just an observation.

Great Victoria, what about the other states? Good, about time. I reckon a few priests need testing to ensure they're following the new law. A few govt inspectors should pop into confessional and mention child abuse... if the priests dont report it, jail them. Good. About time, it’s disgusting they wouldn’t do it without the threat of jail.

Good, they have gotten away with this terrible crime for centuries. Just think of all those poor innocent victims of these monsters, some committing suicide. Tell your children of this new law, it may give them/yourselves strength to go to the authorities if this happens to them. Now let's see all other states, including Queensland do the same thing.

I'm at a loss to understand how this will make a difference to anything. The ones who risk 'up to' three years by not complying probably have much more to hide. I'm guessing child abusers won't be going to confession as a result of this law.

Battle over welfare drug tests resumesThe Morrison government will have another go at passing legislation to trial drug testing for welfare recipients when parliament sits this week, its first gathering after the long winter break. Yes, if taxpayers are paying for their 'habit' (compared to those who are gainfully employed and wasting their earnings on illegal substances). Barriers for what work. Morrison keeps talking about all this work, but he can’t tell any one where it is what type of work or what is required to apply. Employment services cannot find people work, they are work for dole and activity coordinators. If the work is really there Every person on the taxpayers teat should be. Including politicians and judges. If that happened all drugs will be coincidentally legalized soon thereafter. So yes, one in all in.

About time About time. Meanwhile DETVic are happy to say “Fcuk you, we won’t remove risks we created of exposing all Victorian state school kids to online paedophiles.” And in defiance of the eSaeftyOffice, no less! eSafety19 springst CONFESSSSSSSS So how will you know? Because the law has changed you think priests will abide

About time. Paedophilia should NEVER be allowed to hide behind priestly skirts. Good The “Sgt Shultz” has made it as the 11th commandment. Expect no change. So assuming child abusers just can not help but confess, this will make all the difference. Does this extend to doctors & lawyers and other such professions across the board that profess to have some sort of professional/user style privilege or is this solely directed at priests in a discriminatory style targeted legislation?

Teen driver killed, two injured after horrific crash on Victorian roadA teenager is dead and two other men are seriously injured after a crash on a Victorian road.

It's highly unlikely that a paedophile would reveal his/her indiscretions in a confessional box. The offence is already their secret,& that's the way the deviant priest would keep the abuse, certainly not sharing to anyone. Good, about time. One more step towards communism

Boris Johnson to suspend British ParliamentThe British Prime Minister's government says Parliament will be prorogued until October 14. Taking his bat & ball home. Typical Conservative Here’s an idea. Try reporting on why no support for an election, EU future on Britain exiting with no deal, Ireland & NI have said no border EU said they’ll force one. It’s all there then Australians would get the full picture. just hopeless.



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