Seal of The Confessional and The Anglican Church

Seal Of The Confessional And The Anglican Church

The Seal of the Confessional is a principle of the Anglican Church that protects the words spoken during confession. Confession has certain censures on disclosure as there is an understanding among the clergy that there is an inviolable confidence between the individual priest and the penitent. This principle should not be confused with the rarer practice of lay confession, nor with the public confession of sins which is an element of most eucharistic liturgies throughout the Anglican Communion. The 'Seal of the Confessional' refers specifically to the private confession of sins by an individual, in the presence of a priest, the form of which is regulated by the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and later liturgical sources.

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    I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute—a white skin.
    Desmond Tutu (b. 1931)

    The church is a sort of hospital for men’s souls, and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies. Those who are taken into it live like pensioners in their Retreat or Sailor’s Snug Harbor, where you may see a row of religious cripples sitting outside in sunny weather.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute—a white skin.
    Desmond Tutu (b. 1931)

    The denial of our duty to act in this case is a denial of our right to act; and if we have no right to act, then may we well be termed “the white slaves of the North,” for like our brethren in bonds, we must seal our lips in silence and despair.
    Angelina Grimké (1805–1879)