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Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 09:11 UK

Confession 'is a solemn bond'

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The Vatican has condemned the Irish government's plans to force Catholic priests to break the seal of the confessional, if there are claims of child abuse.

Father PJ Madden, spokesman for the Association of Catholic Priests, said that confession is a "solemn bond between me and the penitent… I couldn't break the seal".

But Marie Collins, an abuse survivor and campaigner who supports the proposal, questioned his stance.

"Is child abuse not serious enough to refuse absolution?" she asked.


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