Witnesses of Jehovah cannot claim seal of confessional

Tomáš Fránek
15. 4. 2008 14:00
Brno´s ConCourt has turned down their complaint
Brno´s ConCourt in action
Brno´s ConCourt in action | Foto: Ondřej Besperát

Brno - Jehovah's Witnesses have finally lost the six-year-long battle with the state over whether its members can keep the seal of confessional.

The Constitutional Court has turned down their complaint against the proceedings of the Ministry of Culture, the Prague City Court and the Supreme Administrative Court.

In 2001, 23,162 people registered as Jehovah's Witnesses during the census in the Czech Republic.

What the law says

Jehovah's Witnesses did not meet the legal conditions. According to the Ministry of Culture, most importantly the institute of seal of confessional has not been a part of its teaching for fifty years. Moreover, this institute concerns priests only and Jehovah's Witnesses do not have this class of clergy.

This interpretation was confirmed by the courts.

"If the persons the claimant (the religious society) claims they act as clergymen are not transparently mentioned and endowed with this right in its official documents, they cannot be clergymen in a legal sense," Constitutional Court's Senate lead by Stanislav Balík said.

Elders are no clergy

According to the Act on Religious Freedom and Status of Churches and Religious Societies, the registering church has to submit a document describing the ways of appointing and recalling clergymen.

Jehovah's Witnesses however wrote in the document that they had no class of clergy. 

Jehovah's Witnesses call their leaders elders or servants.

The Witnesses wrote in the constitutional complaint that the elders' activity corresponds, in fact, with the status of the clergy in other churches and societies. Therefore they should also have the right to keep the confessional secret.

However, neither the authorities nor the courts accepted this argument.

Courts will not violate seal of confessional

The seal of confessional guarantees that none of the things the clergyman learns during a confession gets to the public or a third person. This concerns also the period after the confessor's death. Priests who violate confessional secret may be excommunicated from their church.

"The priest is not allowed to reveal the secret directly or speak about it indirectly so that the propitiator is recognised," Father Norbert M. Badal wrote in Katolický týdeník (Catholic Weekly magazine).

The priest's professional seal of confessional is based on the institute of a canon law in the Codex iuris canonici. This says that the professional seal of confessional is superordinate to secular regulations.

The seal of confessional thus should not be violated even if the court ordered so.

 

Právě se děje

před 1 hodinou

Satoranský nedal ani bod, Chicago opět prohrálo

Basketbalisté Chicaga nezvládli po pauze pro Utkání hvězd ani druhý zápas a ve své hale United Center podlehli Phoenixu 104:112. Bulls si připsali osmou porážku za sebou, což je v současnosti nejdelší šňůra v lize. Nedařilo se ani Tomáši Satoranskému, český reprezentant za téměř 23 minut hry netrefil ani jednu z osmi střel a zůstal bez bodu. Nasbíral i tři fauly a tři ztráty, ale také šest doskoků.

Satoranskému, jenž stejně jako v minulém zápase nastoupil na křídle, se po příchodu do Chicaga stalo poprvé, že by se nezapsal mezi střelce. Jeho minimem dosud byly dva body, které zaznamenal třikrát. Nulu měl na kontě naposledy v listopadu 2018 - tehdy ale za Washington odehrál pouze něco málo přes šest minut.

Bulls v duelu vedli až o 17 bodů, nezvládli ale závěr. Ve statisticky vyrovnaném utkání měli hosté převahu na doskoku (47:38) a vynikal zejména DeAndre Ayton s devatenácti. K nim přidal i 28 bodů, nejlepším střelcem hostů byl Devin Booker (29). V dresu Chicaga si 33 body vylepšil maximum Coby White, jenž trefil sedm trojek.

Chicagu se po šňůře nezdarů vzdaluje osmá příčka ve Východní konferenci, na kterou s bilancí 19-38 ztrácí z jedenácté pozice pět výher. Phoenix má v Západní konferenci na postup do play off stejnou ztrátu.

NBA:

Atlanta - Dallas 111:107, Charlotte - Brooklyn 86:115, Chicago - Phoenix 104:112 (za domácí Satoranský 6 doskoků a 1 asistence), LA Clippers - Sacramento 103:112, Miami - Cleveland 124:105, Milwaukee - Philadelphia 119:98, Utah - Houston 110:120.

Zdroj: ČTK
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