Here's an interesting tidbit from our progressive cousins in Europe. The Irish government has made it a crime for a priest not to report child molestation, even if they came by the knowledge of the offense in the confessional.
I stand behind no man in my hatred of child molestation. It is a despicable act for which there is no doubt a special ring of hell. I am comforted only by the fact that the US prison population is so horribly abusive to those found guilty of the crime, that some measure of justice has managed to creep in to the process. I would just as easily see the penalty for such crimes be death, except then they would probably be getting off easy.
But if the Irish government thinks that Catholic priests are going to roll over and start giving up knowledge gained from the confessional, they've got another thing coming. There is literally nothing I can think of that you can do to a priest to make him tell that particular tale, and if there is, then he is certainly no priest. I wouldn't expect the Vatican to be willing to give up any ground on this.
The sanctity of the confessional is not just some randomly thought up rule designed to get the priest all the latest village gossip. It plays an absolutely central role in Christianity's oldest faith, and the salvation of the souls of the faithful. Give that up, and all of Catholicism crumbles around it.
So the Irish have put themselves in an interesting situation. They will have the option of either never trying to enforce this particular law, or being the first Catholic country in history to make Catholicism itself illegal.
It's a crazy world when the barbarians are all on the inside of the gates.