Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued the following declaration:
In order to safeguard in the most absolute manner the respect due to the Sacrament of Penance and to the secrecy of sacramental confession, the Church has had to threaten sanctions, even very grave ones, against those who should profane this sacrament or violate its secrecy.
Since it is now public knowledge that there is about to be published a volume containing the text of true or simulated sacramental confessions, the S. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by virtue of the powers conferred upon it by the supreme Authority of the Church, notifies that whoever is guilty of contempt of the sacrament of Penance, by tape-recording confessions, whether true or simulated, either as author or as collaborator, by that very fact places himself outside the communion of the Church, that is to say, he falls “ipso facto” under excommunication, from which however, if duly disposed, be can be absolved by any priest legitimately authorized to hear confessions.
23 March 1973.
Fr. JÉRÔME HAMER, O.P.
* L’Osservatore Romano, English Edition, April 5, 1973, Page 4.