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Can a Priest Report a Sin that Hasn’t Been Committed in Order to Prevent a Crime?

Question:

My deacon said that if a person confessed a sin that was yet to be committed such as killing someone, then the priest was bound by law and conscience to report the uncommitted crime; otherwise he would have to live with a troubled conscience for not having attempted to prevent it. Is this true?

Answer:

Under no circumstances is a priest allowed to use “knowledge acquired in confession to the detriment of the penitent” (CIC 984). “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” (CIC 983).

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