Poll: Should abuse confessions be secret?

Premier Barry O'Farrell has called for priests to be subject to mandatory reporting laws when it comes to child sexual abuse, after stating on Tuesday he could not understand how priests could keep admissions of abuse made in the confessional a secret.

Asked if he thought priests should be subject to mandatory reporting of child abuse, even if it broke the seal of the confessional, he said yes.

"I do," he said. "The law of the land, when it comes to mandatory reporting around issues to do with children, should apply to everyone equally."

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The Premier said he was expressing his personal views on the matter, not those of his government, and had not yet considered law reform in this area. But he added he was mindful that in some countries where mandatory reporting had been implemented, churches had flouted those laws.

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