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 Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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March 10, 2019

Mathematical solution to the Sock puzzle

Feb. 24, 2019

Local youth attend World Youth Day in Panama

Annual QUEST weekend honors Scouts

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

   St. Nicholas School, Kinsley, Advent Cantata, Dec. 7, 2008

 

   

 

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Priests can't be forced to break

seal of confession, La. judge rules 

Baton Rouge, La., Mar 2, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News) - Louisiana law can’t force Catholic priests to violate the seal of the confessional, a judge in the state reaffirmed on Friday.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell said in court Feb. 26 that a state law requiring clergy to report sex abuse of minors violated a priest’s religious freedom protections for confidential confessions.

The ruling concerns a lawsuit filed by Rebecca Mayeaux, now 22, against Father Jeff Bayhi and the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Mayeaux charges that in 2008, at the age of 14, she told the priest during confession that a 64-year-old parishioner was abusing her. The priest was pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Clinton, 35 miles northeast of Baton Rouge.

Her lawsuit charged that the priest was negligent in reporting abuse and that the diocese failed to train him properly in mandatory abuse reporting law. Mayeaux claims that the priest responded to the abuse report by telling her to “sweep it under the floor and get rid of it,” the Associated Press reports.

Fr. Bayhi said that if he revealed anything said in confession, he would face automatic excommunication.

“If we ever violate the seal, it’s over. It’s finished,” he said in court, adding that he would “absolutely not” knowingly violate the seal of confession.

“If that’s not sacred, no one would ever trust us.”

Louisiana law requires clergy to report sexual abuse. Parts of the law grant an exception when abuse allegations are revealed during confidential religious communication such as confession.

However, other parts of the state code require mandatory reporting “notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication,” the New Orleans Advocate reports. Caldwell's ruling struck down the latter requirement.

“We’re just always happy when the court upholds religious liberties,” Fr. Bayhi said when he left the courthouse.

Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge discussed the case in a statement.

“I extend my compassion and offer prayer not only for the plaintiff who may have been harmed by the actions of a man who was not an employee of the church, but also for all who have been abused by anyone,” he said.

Bishop Muench expressed his appreciation of the ruling, adding that “the court's decision to uphold the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion is essential.”

The ruling can be appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

The judge made other decisions about the lawsuit, ruling that Mayeaux may testify to a jury about what she allegedly told the priest in 2008. However, her attorneys may not argue to the jury that Fr. Bayhi was required by law to report the allegations.

The case had gone to the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2014, which returned it to a lower court to determine more facts in the case.

The lawsuit has not yet gone to trial. The alleged abuser died in 2009. The plaintiff’s attorney said he does not intend to call Fr. Bayhi to testify.

CNA contacted the Diocese of Baton Rouge for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.

 

 

Past Issues

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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