Parents of Minor Child v. Charlet: A Threat to the Sanctity of Catholic Confession?

Oct. 22, 2014
By Julie Love Taylor, Senior Associate

By now, most Americans are familiar with the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal, in which the Church has been criticized for its handling—or rather, mishandling—of priests who sexually abused minors.[1] Recently, Catholics in Louisiana were reminded of this scandal but with a slightly different twist. In April 2014, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a decision involving alleged sexual abuse—not by a priest, but by a church parishioner—and a priest’s failure to report that abuse.[2] The Supreme Court’s holding potentially opened the door to a sticky situation: Can a court compel a priest to break the seal of confession when the penitent is a minor alleging sexual abuse.

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The People vs. ObamaCare: Round II

This term of the Supreme Court of the United States is setting up to be as contentious and pivotal as the last. Just three years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) passage1 and one year after withstanding a challenge to the law’s individual mandate,2 the law, colloquially known as ObamaCare, is poised for its second round of Supreme Court challenges. This time the Court is asked to address whether the law’s abortion and contraceptive mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000(b)(b), and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.3

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