...this blog which has some useful material on Crimen sollicitationis, the Church document which deals with the evil of sexual solicitation in the confessional. Did you know that this document actually obliges a person to tell about any such solicitation? And that the promise of secrecy is given for just this purpose?
Look: it's like this. If I go to confession and confess adultery, and the priest is evil and makes a disgusting suggestion along the lines of "Well, if you've done that..how about you and me..?" it is my absolute duty to report this to some one in authority in the Church, and ensure that action is taken. But I might have an obvious reason for not doing this - because it might be that in explaining what happened, I have to explain that it began with my own confession of adultery. In order to protect my privacy, and to encourage me to come forward with the information about the priest, the Church insists that I am given a promise of secrecy. This does not extend to everything that subsequently occurs as the whole thing goes on, but it does remain absolute with regard to my part in the proceedings.
I have deliberately chosen adultery because it is one of the less disgusting sins which might be involved in this sort of matter.
The document is not, as it happens, very relevant to many of the issues being raised in the current storm. That of course it why opponents of the Church and her disciplines want to fudge things by pretending that it is, and simply randomly talking about "secrecy" and "Vatican documents" and "issued by Cardinal Ratzinger" and so on.