Why Can’t Priests Break the Seal of Confession?

A state in Australia passed a law requiring priests to violate the seal of confession. Cale talks about this and the nature of confession as a whole. Why can’t priests break the seal? What is the biblical basis for the sacrament of confession?

Caller question: Can Pope Francis intervene in this situation?

Caller question: What is the priest supposed to do if a person tells him they are planning on committing suicide? Can they break the seal then?

Also discussed: How confession changed an NFL football player’s life.