New recommendations released for protecting victims of child sex abuse in Catholic schools

Lawyers representing victims of child sex abuse in Catholic schools have come forward with recommendations for how to better protect children from abuse. These recommendations include mandatory reporting of sexual misconduct and ending the secrecy of a priest’s confessional box.

At present, information shared in priestly confessionals is considered privileged and may be kept secret, even if an individual reveals abuse at the hands of someone in the church. Ending this privileged status could begin to change attitudes in the Catholic Church toward abuse, and will begin to put in place protections for victims of child sexual abuse. At the very least, for those who experience abuse, it will give them the chance to know that their voices will be heard and that they can receive the help they need.