What if you go to jail for unpaid traffic tickets? Is that necessary?
The New Testament is quite clear about Christians being obedient to the civil authorities, which would include paying for traffic tickets if issued. That being said, pointing out the inutility of a particular law does not equate disregard for civil law in general.
Most of us here are from America. We do not have authorities, we have public servants. This is a side issue however, from revealing confession.
Negative. We have an authority: the law. The "public servants" merely execute that law. We are a nation of laws, not of men.
The statement was referencing humans, not laws. Paul referenced humans not laws. Those executing the laws in America are servants, not authorities. Those creating laws are servants, not authorities. America throws a crux in authoritarian type of laws.
The servant created laws are executed by servants. We are a nation of people, who own our government. This is clearly defined in numerous documents that incepted our country. It really messes with Romans 13.
How this deals with confession is that one would argue that since we are to submit to the "authorities" and their laws we are to turn ourselves in for repentance.
In America, we are free, and we don't have to submit to our servants, we are to submit to God. If the servants don't know something happened, but a person has true repentance for a crime long ago, what right does a priest have to go turn them in to the cops when the canon forbids it?
The church has authority over the priest and his actions in the church. The priest is bound to the canons that they SWORE to uphold during their ordination. Even the OCA states no matter what the priest should not reveal a confession.
I don't see the logic in revealing a confession of something "has been past" that the person came to the priest in complete repentance about, and the priest turns around and states "turn yourself in or I will".