“Yesterday afternoon (July 8) we received word that the California bill requiring priests to violate the seal of confession was withdrawn by its author just before it was scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. As I wrote in my previous column on the bill, it might have had good intentions but it was bad legislation. A dangerous piece of legislation, SB 360 would have seriously undermined religious freedom. As part of the California Catholic Conference we continue to prioritize protections for children, strengthen mandatory reporting laws, and stand ready to work together for justice and the common good.
Thanks to Assemblymember Tyler Diep with whom Bishop Freyer and I were able to meet prior to the scheduled hearing. We were able to show him what the Confessional typically looks like and how the sacrament is practiced. He was grateful for the time and the education, and recognized why the proposed bill was bad legislation. Thanks to Assemblymember Diep and other members of the Public Safety Committee for taking the time to meet with members of the Church and learn about the sacrament.
My profound thanks to all the Catholic faithful, and to people of faith and goodwill in California and throughout the country, who worked against the bill. Our voices were heard loud and clear in Sacramento. Let us continue to work for the good of all Californians.”