Participating in the sacrament of Confession can make people very nervous. The very idea of telling a priest their sins can keep people away from the sacrament for months or years. The Church understands that shame can keep us from reconciling with Christ, and that is why it takes the Seal of Confession so seriously.
The Seal of Confession forbids the priest from making known the sins he heard in Confession. If a priest does expose the sins of a penitent by word, sign, or any other matter, he is immediately excommunicated, and can only be brought back into communion with the Church by the pope himself.
This priest-penitent confidentiality privilege is not only upheld in canon law, but also in civil law. However, some governments are seeking to do away with the priest-penitent privilege, especially when it comes to criminal investigations. Fr. Dwight Longenecker stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ to discuss the Seal of Confession, and the attacks it is facing around the world.
Fr. Dwight and Drew also take questions from listeners on the Seal of Confession, and how it applies in difficult cases.