Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says all Australians should
report knowledge of child abuse, including what priests are
told of such incidents in confession.
This follows the call from senior opposition frontbencher
Christopher Pyne that priests have a responsibility to report
crimes to police even if the details are given to them during
Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell,
yesterday told reporters "the seal of confession is
inviolable" even if a priest confesses to child sex abuse.
Mr Abbott says everyone has to obey the law.
"If they become aware of sexual offences against children,
those legal requirements must be adhered to," he told
reporters in Brisbane today.
"The law is no respecter of persons. Everyone has to obey the
law, regardless of what job they are doing, what position
Asked if that applied to priests, Mr Abbott replied:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Monday a royal
commission to investigate how institutions have dealt with
cases of child sex abuse following fresh allegations of
cover-ups by the Catholic Church and police in the NSW Hunter