Wisconsin Democrats want to hear your confession
Religion & Liberty Online

Wisconsin Democrats want to hear your confession

In Wisconsin, Democratic state legislators are proposing the Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act (CMRA), which would require “that members of the clergy report any instances of child abuse, including sexual abuse, ending the loophole of unjust cover-ups and misreporting currently occurring in our state.”

“As an Orthodox priest,” says Rev. Gregory Jensen in this week’s Acton Commentary. “I cannot accept any attempt by the state to re-define for its own purposes the nature of the sacrament of confession.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue said the bill seeks “to bust the seal of the confessional” and that the “government has no business policing the sacraments of the Catholic Church.” Still, Rep. Sargent takes exception to what she calls “an ‘us vs. them’ narrative” rather than taking seriously what is, in fact, a reasonable concern about the constitutional and practical deficiencies of the legislation.

While I wish we lived in a time where it didn’t need to be said, the sexual or physical abuse of children (or anyone) is gravely immoral; it is a sin. In seeking to prevent this evil and redress the harm it causes, the legislation aims at doing a good thing.

The full text of the essay can be found here.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).