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RELIGION

Louisiana ruling raises Catholic worries that it could breach sanctity of confession

Catholics are decrying a recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision that reaches into the most sanctified of church places, the confessional booth.

The ruling revives a 2009 lawsuit that contends a priest should have reported allegations of sexual abuse disclosed to him during private confessions. It also opens the door for a judge to call the priest to testify about what he was told.

The lawsuit was filed by parents of a teen who says she told the priest about being kissed and fondled by a church parishioner.

If the priest were called to testify, Catholic groups say it could leave him choosing between prison and excommunication.

The Catholic diocese in Baton Rouge says the ruling violates constitutional separations between church and state and it will seek U.S. Supreme Court intervention.

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