(New Orleans, LA)
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights released a statement Tuesday (July 10) in support of Bayhi and the Baton Rouge diocese.
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the free exercise of religion. Just as government cannot compel anyone to follow a particular religion, it likewise cannot prevent anyone from exercising the tenets of his faith,” Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement. “By deciding that Fr. Bayhi must choose between his faith and his freedom, the Louisiana Supreme Court has endangered the religious liberty of all Americans.”
Donohue, as well as the Baton Rouge diocese, in their statements, note that priests who violate the seal of confession are automatically excommunicated from the church, reversible only by the Pope. Priests are never permitted to divulge the contents of a confession, they both note, or even disclose whether an individual sought confession.