Sacred Seal of Confession Threatened By Louisiana Supreme Court - Catholic Action For Faith and Family

Sacred Seal of Confession Threatened By Louisiana Supreme Court

For Immediate Release

October 3, 2014
Press inquiries to: Thomas McKenna 858-461-0777

Catholic Action Organization Rallies Support for Diocese of Baton Rouge’s Religious Liberty Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

San Diego, CA, October 3, 2014 – Catholic Action for Faith and Family has filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, which is appealing a ruling that a diocesan priest may be forced to break the Seal of Confession.

A state appeals court initially ruled that a confession, made by a minor allegedly regarding her sexual abuse at the hands of a parishioner, was “confidential” and that the priest did not have to testify in court as to its alleged contents or whether it even took place.

In May, however, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that the priest of the Baton Rouge Diocese could be forced to testify in court about the supposed confession.

In response, Catholic Action for Faith and Family contacted the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund ( to prepare a “Friend of the Court” Brief, which it did in less than a week. Working with nationally acclaimed attorney Charles LiMandri and his team of attorneys, Catholic Action for Faith and Family obtained the support of 17 other Catholic and Christian organizations that signed on to the Brief. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Catholic Answers, Catholics Come Home, The National Pro-Life Religious Council and Priests for Life were just a few of the organizations who joined the Brief.

“Catholic Action for Faith and Family fully supports the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s position that ‘civil courts are entirely without jurisdiction to decide what constitutes a sacrament in the Catholic Church’,” stated Thomas McKenna, president of the organization. “Our Amicus Brief decries the fact that the Louisiana Supreme Court has directed the trial court to hold an evidentiary hearing to decide whether or not a sacrament actually took place,” he continued.

Other Amicus Briefs have been filed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, Belmont Abbey College and The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.


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