11 July 2018, The Tablet

No conviction could ever be based on the uncorroborated word of an admitted liar


Journalists understand that the identity of a confidential source must be concealed, even at the risk of prison for contempt of court. Fortunately, it rarely happens. It is even less likely that a Catholic priest would ever be called upon to reveal something said to him under the seal of the confessional, and less likely still – never, I hope – that he would actually break the seal and reveal the information sought. Under Canon Law, he would be instantly excommunicated and unfrocked. But, as with the journalist, this is primarily a matter of honour rather than law.

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