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SC to hear plea against confessions to priests

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 SC to hear plea against confessions to priests


Context

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider after three weeks a petition filed by a group of women against the compulsory nature of sacred confessions to priests in Christianity.

  • The court will examine the issues in the petition as they came within the ambit of the questions of faith, rights of women and equality.

Background

Five women have moved the Supreme Court against compulsory practice of sacramental confession in certain Churches in Kerala.

  • They contended that it violated their fundamental right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.
  • Petitioner—members of the Church – had alleged that the practice was leading to several problems including sexual exploitation of women and blackmailing of both men and women followers.

 Prevalent practices

Under the religious practice followed by Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, it’s members are required to undergo ‘Sacramental Confession’ before a priest to relieve themselves of sin.

  • According to the practice, it’s a condition precedent for fulfilling the temporal and spiritual needs of being a Christian.
  • The one who doesn’t do that would be denied the benefit of such services from the Church.

 Earlier interventions of SC

Earlier, The Supreme Court had upheld the validity of the 1934 Constitution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church to govern the parishes under the church. 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is the ‘Sacramental Confession’?
  2. fundamental right to freedom of religion
  3. article 25

Source: The Hindu