Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote the following letter to Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer. He is chairman of the committee that is in charge of the bill. The bill would penalize priests who fail to disclose the sexual abuse of a minor told in the confessional by either a co-worker or another priest.
June 25, 2019
Hon. Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer
Chairman, Public Safety Committee
Sacramento, CA 94249-0059
Dear Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer:
The California confessional bill has national implications, which is why Catholics across the country are deeply concerned about this legislation. We all agree that those who violate a youngster—in any profession—should have the book thrown at him. But to violate a sacrament of the Catholic Church in the course of doing so is unjust. Please reconsider this bill. It is not only the wrong remedy, it is unenforceable as well. Moreover, it will spur needless lawsuits. Surely there is a more prudent way to address this matter.
Thank you for your consideration.
William Donohue, Ph.D.