Abstract / DOI
The secret of confession – challenge for the priest. In regard of the physical and sexual abuse of church officials there were various demands to cancel the secret of confession so that offenders can be revealed and made accountable in front of a public court. Inside the church two aspects are uncontroversial, which are not only related to abuse: on the one hand the secret of confession must be kept untouched; on the other hand everything possible needs to be done to take the necessary measures in case of a punishable crime so that the persons in question turn themselves in to public justice. Here the priest is challenged to find the right balance between his devotion to the confessing human being and the exploration of the circumstances, which eventually lead to public display. He cannot talk with others about how he is handling these rare challenges. In his conscience he has to bring it in front of god. Likewise it can be helpful, that he is not only administering the sacrament, but he is also always receiving the sacrament.