Holy Cross Professor Writes About the Secrecy of Confession in the Catholic Church

Mathew Schmalz, professor of religious studies. Photo by Avanell Brock

The Conversation

On Sept. 11, 2019, the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania passed bills requiring priests to report any child abuse revealed in the confessional, a move criticized by religious liberty advocates and representatives of the Catholic Church worldwide for invading a sacred space by violating the "seal of confession."

Writing for The Conversation, Mathew Schmalz, professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, explains the history of confession, as well as its deeper meaning.

"The debate over confession isn’t just an abstract issue for Catholics. It’s something very personal," said Schmalz. "For me, as well as for many Catholics, confession is not simply a way of avoiding hell in the hereafter – it’s a way experiencing God's merciful love in the here and now."

A sought-after expert on the Catholic Church, Schmalz is an experienced voice in the media, providing expert commentary in the The Washington Post and Newsweek, along with appearing in documentaries on A&E and &feature=youtu.be" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vice.

To read the full article, go to TheConversation.com.