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Gyurcsány accuses the government-side of protecting paedophile priests

May 9th, 2024

A pro-government commentator defends the seal of confession against opposition criticism.

According to a new law on protecting children against paedophile offenders, teachers and educators risk two years in jail if they fail to report paedophile crimes in their childcare institutions. A Fidesz MP submitted an amendment exempting priests in connection with information they are bound to keep secret under religious rules. DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány reacted by asking if ’sexual molestation of minors pleases Jesus’.

On Mandiner, an author writing under the penname Francesca Rivafinoli retorts that the amendment replaces a passage that exempted religious officials from reporting paedophile offences. Under the new provision, even priests could be sentenced to prison terms if they fail to report sexual harassment or violence against minors, she writes. The only exception is the secrecy of confession, where the priest often doesn’t even know the identity of the confessant. She finds it ridiculous anyway to suppose that paedophiles would swarm the churches to confess their crimes and terms it disingenuous of opposition politicians to use the amendment to raise anticlerical sentiment.

On Wednesday afternoon Fidesz announced that it would withdraw the amendment on the secrecy of confession. That issue was settled in previous legislation, and therefore does not have to be reiterated, the statement reads.

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