^ Yes, that is permissible from an Orthodox pov. The Roman Catholic rules would prohibit it for the record.
An Orthodox priest would be able in good conscience then to call a Child Protective or Homeland Security Hotline for example under this scenario.
Right, again, in this theoretical example where some would-be terrorist or child rapist decides to come in and tell you he is about to strike, I don't see a problem with calling the authorities and telling them there is a high degree of probability that someone in situation X might be in danger. Revealing the name of the would-be attacker might be a violation of the seal of confession, but is this really a confession?
If someone came in and confessed he had already committed a crime and was repentant for it, your only solution would be to withhold absolution though until the criminal turned himself in. If he is truly repentant, he would of course follow this course of action.
The distinction between the Orthodox and RC views to be clear is that the RCs would say that ALL information learned during confession, not just identifying information, is privileged. Orthodox do not believe this.
Thank you Father as your post is consistent with what I have been taught through my family members in the clergy. Another question though. Taking the issue out of confession, per se, most states recognize a form of clergy privilege which, as I posted earlier, is similar to the privilege afforded to psychological counseling. Under New York law, for example, the privilege can only be waived by the person seeking counsel, hence you, as the priest, could not be compelled to testify in a court of law regarding the nature and content of the counseling sessions.That issue is clear and straight-forward.
Going further and taking the matter out of the court scenario, how would you treat the disclosure of an intent to commit a serious crime intended to cause bodily harm or worse to a fellow human and how would you treat the disclosure of such a crime that had already been committed by the person being counseled?
To go one step further, for example the rules of my legal profession, the medical profession, the psychology profession and others would make it unethical for the counselor in any of these situations to go to the authorities with that information - hence the anonymous protection afforded by the CPS hotline.
Would an Orthodox priest be under any ethical obligation to protect the identity of the person being counseled outside of confession,or are there circumstances, beyond the providing of basic information through a hotline, where a priest could, or should go to the proper authorities? Wouldn't it matter if he were a licensed clinician?
These are tough questions with many variables, but I think that there is a lot of 'urban legend' in the minds of the laity regarding these questions and some of those myths are destructive and undermine the public confidence in our clergy. Thanks for your forthright answers in this thread as they have been helpful.