ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic bishop says he cannot meet with parents who say a priest asked their children inappropriate questions in confession.
Parents of eight children attending the Cathedral School of St. Jude in the diocese of St. Petersburg said the Rev. Joseph Waters, the senior priest at the Cathedral Church of St. Jude, asked them questions about their online habits and whether they masturbate, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
Bishop Robert Lynch, in a letter dated Monday, said he simply cannot discuss individual confessions.
"The 'seal of confession' is so sacred to the church that priests and bishops have gone to prison to protect what was said during this sacrament," Lynch said. "Even if I had heard something truly alarming (and I have not), I would be precluded from investigating the allegation; and the priest is forbidden from discussing it."
Waters said he did not ask any of the children anything appropriate. He has rejected requests to meet with parents as a group, although he said he would meet with them individually.