Vatican: The Seal of Confession is inviolable

Priests should defend the Seal of Confession even to the point of shedding blood.

The Apostolic Penitentiary has released a Note which upholds the absolute inviolability of the Seal of Confession, meaning that priests can never be forced to reveal what they learn in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Approved for publication by Pope Francis on 21 June, the “Note on the importance of the internal forum and the inviolability of the Sacramental Seal” was released on July 1.

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, who signed the Note with Msgr Krzysztof Nykiel, the Regent of the Penitentiary, released a statement to explain the Note’s content.