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Let us imagine that a priest is hearing confession and that a penitent confesses to a major crime, such as murder.

Can the priest tell the penitent to turn himself in as part of the penance?

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Can a priest make disclosure of sin a part of penance?

Response: Yes and no, but generally no as part of the penance itself.

Let me explain.

Several things must be looked at here. A confessor can impose such a penance but there is always a caveat.

Should Abusers Be Encouraged To Report Themselves?

A priest who confesses sexual abuse in the sacrament of penance should be absolved and should generally not be encouraged by the confessor to disclose his acts publicly or to his superiors, a Vatican official said.

Likewise, the confessor should not make the contents of such a confession public, said Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the sacrament of penance. . . .

When a priest confesses such acts, “the confession can only have absolution as a consequence,” he said.

It is true that Canon Law states that a confessor must impose a salutary penance:

Can. 981 The confessor is to impose salutary and suitable penances in accord with the quality and number of sins, taking into account the condition of the penitent. The penitent is obliged to fulfill these personally.

Penancing an offender to turning himself could certainly would be a salutary penance for someone who breaks a civil law, but it also poses some problems for the confessor in the confessional. Rome is very serious about the integrity of the seal, and to keep anybody from even thinking about ways to circumvent it, the Code of Canon Law bluntly states:

Can. 983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.

§2. The interpreter, if there is one, and all others who in any way have knowledge of sins from confession are also obliged to observe secrecy.

Can. 984 §1. A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.

§2. A person who has been placed in authority cannot use in any manner for external governance the knowledge about sins which he has received in confession at any time.

Although a confessor can not betray the seal of confession even in it's penance, it seems the most the confessor would be able to do would be to implore, encourage, urge, etc., the penitent to self-incriminate, either before Church or civil authorities.

There is still room for debate on this issue.

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Yes, a confessor can impose such a penance.

Can. 981 The confessor is to impose salutary and suitable penances in accord with the quality and number of sins, taking into account the condition of the penitent. The penitent is obliged to fulfill these personally.

Turning oneself in certainly would be a salutary penance for someone who breaks a civil law. In fact, not doing so may even be against a civil law.

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