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Should clergy be required to report abusers?

I was reading today that 23 states have laws that say clergy are only to report child abuse when the information is not privleged. Then 18 or 19 states never require clergy to report it. Something about abusers being less likely to confess if they know they will be reported. I have also heard of cases where a clergy member has reported something, then later been sued by the criminal for revealing confidential information.

A big issue I have with this is clergy are not psychologists. They more than likely do not have the resources to deal with the issue and take actions that can influence the abuser for the better.

Personally I think its ridiculous, and think clergy should be required to report it.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:47 AM on Mar. 20, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (8)
  • California has a no protection privilege law, all are required to report.

    Answer by lisarose45 at 3:45 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Yes I think they should be required to report it.

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 5:56 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Yes.

    Answer by Lexylex at 6:17 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • This walks a very thin line. On the logical side, I say yes, they should be required to report abusers. You could also say that they should be required to report any crime. On the other side though, that removes the ability of the parishioner to come in and confess their various sins in a sense of safety because they are expecting their smallest transgressions to be reported, even if this is not the case. It's a slippery slope to destroying the church's ability to help people because people won't come to confession.

    (I do not prescribe to any branch of Christianity, this is just my personal opinion.)

    Answer by LokisMama at 8:20 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Yes, just like everyone else.

    Answer by older at 8:49 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Then what would happen with a clergyman had to report one of his own for diddling an altar boy? That would get uncomfortable.

    I think they should be required to at least report felonies.

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 9:11 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Missouri pretty much requires that if you are aware of abuse of a minor you have to report it, regardless of how you found out. They have this thing called the "good samaritan law", where anyone in possession of knowledge of a crime committed should report it, and is protected/kept confidential if they request it. It's never been used to my knowledge, but there is a section that says if someone knows of a crime and does not report it, and that crime is later discovered, that person *could* be charged as an accessory after the fact. That basically applies to all people, not just clergy. I do think clergy should report a felony level crime, even if they heard it where it would normally be privileged, since the crime affects more than just the person confessing.

    Answer by preacherskid at 10:23 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Yes and in Wisconsin the clergy are mandatory reporters and are under legal obligation to report suspected child abuse.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:46 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

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