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FRONT PAGE  |  2/18/2020
SATURDAY, JAN 11, 2020  |  3 comments
Amid Abuse Scandals, Legal Challenges Test Clergy Reporting Exemptions
The Montana Supreme Court this week unanimously reversed a $35 million judgment against the Jehovahā€™s Witnesses for not reporting sexual abuse to authorities, saying church representatives fell within a clergy exception found in the stateā€™s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

Montana law requires officials, including clergy, to report child abuse to state authorities when there is reasonable cause for suspicion. However, the stateā€™s law exempts clergy from reporting when the actual or suspected abuse is discovered in the course of a confidential conversationā€”such as confessionā€”that is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege.

The high court said in its 7ā€“0 decision that the Jehovahā€™s Witnesses fall under the exception in this case, which involves a woman who had been abused as a child in the mid-2000s. The congregation handled the allegations internally in accordance with church practices. ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 3 user comment(s)
News Item1/11/2020 10:09 PM
Chrisgp from England | England  Find all comments by Chrisgp from England
This is absolutely iniquitous. It appears that a loophole in the law in this state, presumably to protect the Roman Catholic confessional, has also been applied to the ā€œJehovahā€™s Witnessesā€, (born again Christians are actually the true witnesses of Yahweh, not the JWs who deny the divinity of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ).

This loophole should be plugged immediately by the state legislature of Montana for both the RCC and the JWs, and so as to protect this young lady, made retrospective, despite the howls of protest that no doubt will result. It may be necessary to appeal to the Federal Supreme Court, though I am not too secure about what they will do.

This is obviously a grave injustice to victims of the internal non-investigation by JWs of sexual abuse, often by their own elders and / or prominent members, and threatening of disfellowshipping and shunning of victims who will not keep quiet, even by their own family members.

3

News Item1/11/2020 8:55 PM
Stevenr | Missouri  Find all comments by Stevenr
Itā€™s a holdover from the RCC.
2

News Item1/11/2020 1:56 PM
Frank  Find all comments by Frank
Montana law requires officials, including clergy, to report child abuse to state authorities when there is reasonable cause for suspicion. However, the stateā€™s law exempts clergy from reporting when the actual or suspected abuse is discovered in the course of a confidential conversationā€”such as confessionā€”that is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege.

The above is from the article.

I canā€™t remember where conversations between clergy and those in a particular church were considered sacrosanct in scripture? Anyway, if clergy or a fellow believer knows someone has committed a crime, they should report it to the authorities.

I am open to scriptures that go against my thought.

1
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