Child protection measures apply regardless of religious rules
29 August 2011 - The Irish justice minister has said that forthcoming child protection measures, including mandatory reporting will "apply regardless of any internal rules of any religious grouping".
Alan Shatter was responding to comments made by Cardinal Sean Brady who defended the seal of confession.
Cardinal Brady stressed it was a "sacred and treasured" rite.
Mr Shatter said past failures in the Catholic Church had led paedophiles to believe they could act with "impunity".
Last month the Cloyne report was published.
It found the diocese failed to report all complaints of abuse to police.
As a result, a number of child protection measures were announced under the legislation currently being drawn up.
A priest could be convicted of a criminal offence if they were told of a sexual abuse case and failed to report it to the civil authorities.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Mr Shatter said: "It is the failure in the past to make such reports that has led sexual predators into believing that they have impunity and facilitated paedophiles preying on children and destroying their lives."
Anyone who fails to declare information about the abuse of a child could face a prison term of five years....