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Hong Kong law could force priests to expose Confession secrets

by Kelly Valencia

Concerns are growing over the implications of a new security law in Hong Kong, which may compel priests to violate the sanctity of the Confessional by disclosing its contents.

According to the new policy, clergy would be required to report any known intended crimes or face potential jail time for failing to do so. The Catholic Church staunchly upholds the principle that the Seal of the Confessional must never be broken, even in cases of serious criminal activity.

The law, aimed at addressing treason, sedition, and state secrets, grants the police broader powers, including extended detention periods without charge and limiting access to legal representation.

Speaking to Premier, Ben Rogers, chief executive of Hong Kong Watch, described the law as “draconian”.

“It will result in the dismantling of whatever is left of Hong Kong's freedoms,” he told Premier Christian News. “The National Security Law had already resulted in a crackdown on independent media, freedom of protests, freedom of expression; this law will have even more draconian implications.”

Rogers and 15 other activists advocating for freedom of religion and belief are urging church leaders to raise awareness about the situation.

He said: “We're particularly calling on the Pope, the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other religious leaders to call this out because it will have a major impact on the churches and freedom of religion in Hong Kong.”

They are also calling on the international community to closely monitor developments and pressure the Hong Kong government to reconsider the law.

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