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Irish Government to introduce tough new laws against Catholic Church
IRELAND , Belfast Telegraph.
Priests will not be excused for withholding information about alleged child abuse even if it is given to them during the holy sacrament of confession, Justice Minster Alan Shatter has said.
In an unprecedented display of tough action against the Catholic Church in Ireland, new laws are to be brought in by autumn which could see clerics and others imprisoned for up to five years if they do not volunteer information about suspected paedophilia.
Mr Shatter has warned doctors will also be expected to abandon the age-old Hippocratic oath - the traditional code of ethical medical practice - of sworn confidentiality with patients, if it relates to sexual abuse.
The legislation will leave "no grey legal areas" around the investigation and prosecution of anybody who conceals or fails to report to gardai sexual offences against children or vulnerable adults, said the Justice Minister.
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