I was reading the latest news of a new scandal rocking the OCA over at everyone's favorite OCA watchdog site
and was struck by this comment attributed to special investigator Fr. Alexey Karlgut:
Additionally, he wrote, “As to allegations of violation of ‘pastoral confidentiality’ it should be stated that in the teaching, Doctrine, and Canonical rules, regulations, and tribunal for internal discipline and government of the Orthodox Church no such concept exists.”
I know it's very spelled out in black and white in Catholicism that the seal of the confessional is absolute:
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 to see any reason.
Any violation incurs an immediate and automatic excommunication that can only be lifted by the Pope.
This particular section has its roots in the Decretum
of Gratian and in the Fourth Lateran Council, the former being a compilation of prior canons. Both sources are, of course, post-schism.
Setting aside the possibility that Fr. Alexey is trying to say that the things Fr. Velencia revealed to others about Mrs. Koumentakas were not told to Fr. Velencia during sacramental confession, are there Orthodox canons governing the seal of the confessional as this Catholic understands it? Unfortunately, the Decretum Gratiani
isn't online in English and I don't even know if Gratian cited the previous councils he drew from for his compilation.