President of France's Conference of Bishops Meets with Government Minister to Explain Importance of the Seal of Confession

The Bishop's conference of France recently explained that  the seal of confession is inviolable and cannot be voided by government law. The bishops’ engagement with the government was due to the recently released abuse report covering the period from 1950 to 2020. The report recommended that the confessional seal be reconsidered due to abuse.
Statement by Mgr Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, the Archbishop of Reims, President of the Conference of Bishops of France.
"I apologize to the victims and to all those who may have been saddened or shocked by the fact that the debate aroused by my words, on France Info, on the subject of the confession, took precedence over the reception of the content of the CIASE report and on the consideration of victims. »
+ Éric de Moulins-Beaufort
 Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, President of the Conference of Bishops of France, was able to meet this Tuesday, October 12 with Mr. Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior in charge of worship, at the invitation of the latter. They were able to discuss the process of truth experienced by the Catholic Church in France about the violence and sexual assault committed within the institution since 1950. The publication of the CIASE report(Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church) thus constitutes an essential step in this process of truth, and the work carried out by Mr. Jean-Marc Sauvé and his team is recognized as remarkable. TheConference of Bishops of France (CEF) and the Conference of Religious and Religious in France (CORREF) asked the Pope to receive in audience Mr. Jean-Marc Sauvé and the members of the CIASE.
Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort was able to discuss with Mr. Gérald Darmanin the clumsy formulation of his response on France Info last Wednesday morning. The state's task is to organize social life and regulate public order. For us Christians, faith appeals to the conscience of each one, it calls to seek the good without slackening, which cannot be done without respecting the laws of his country.
The extent of violence and sexual assault on minors revealed by the CIASE report requires the Church to re-read its practices in the light of this reality. Work is therefore necessary to reconcile the nature of confession and the need to protect children.
Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort reiterated the determination of all the bishops and, with them, of all Catholics, to make the protection of children an absolute priority., in close collaboration with the French authorities. This is the meaning, for example, of the protocols which already link 17 dioceses of France with the prosecution, in order to facilitate and accelerate the processing of reports for any fact denounced. The Minister of Justice has also just encouraged the deployment of this type of device.
The bishops of France gathered in plenary assembly, from November 3 to 8, 2021, will work together, based on the CIASE report and its 45 recommendations, on the measures and reforms to be pursued and undertaken, in close communion with the universal Church.
With the bishops of France, Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort invites parishes, movements and communities to read this report, to share it, to work on it, as it seems essential that everyone welcome the many testimonies of the victims he entails and draws the necessary consequences from it.
The reality of violence and sexual assault on minors within the Church and in society invites women and men of good will, believers or not, to work together in the service of the protection of young people, of welcoming and support for victims.
Faced with these facts, Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort reiterated his shame, his consternation , but also his determination to carry out the necessary reforms so that the Church, in France, deserves the trust of all.
Excerpt from preliminary Press release :
Bishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort will be happy to discuss with the Minister of the Interior on the meaning of sacrament of confession for Catholics and on the theological, spiritual and canonical foundations of the secrecy of confession. This will be an opportunity for him to recall that today, the secrecy of confession, imposed on priests by canon law, is not contrary to French criminal law, as the chancellery circular of August 11 underlines. 2004.
Confession is also a moment during which a victim, for example a child, can talk about what he has suffered, and be reassured about his innocence ... because the certainty of the secret allows him to deliver what is most difficult for him. . This time can be then, on the encouragement of a priest who receives this confession, a first step in the liberation of the word, outside the sacrament.
The secrecy of confession has always been respected by the French Republic. It is the honor of the French Republic to respect the dignity of the conscience of each person in this way.