Priests who fail to report child abuse will now be jailed as landmark new law

Queensland priests will now be compelled to break the confessional seal to report child sexual abuse or face three years in prison.

New laws passed through Queensland Parliament will force clergy members to report abuse cases known or suspected to police.

Legislation means religious institutions and their members can no longer use confessional sanctity as a defence or excuse in matters of child sex abuse.

The laws would provide better protection for vulnerable children, police minister Mark Ryan said.

“The requirement and quite frankly the moral obligation to report concerning behaviours towards children applies to everyone everyone in this community,” he said.

“No one group or occupation is being singled out.

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