Friday, August 29, 2008

States Which Do Not Require Clergy To Report Child Abuse

LOOK at THIS. I did NOT know, some states in The United States of America, allow clergy to get away with NOT reporting child abuse and molestation.

What fucking century are we living in anyway? THIS is why I wanted to change laws protecting churches from the same obligations normal corporations have, and no PRIEST or clergy should have the right to keep knowledge of crime against children PRIVATE.

There is something fucking wrong with a country that permits religious leaders privileges of keeping knowledge of crime against children a secret. Who will protect the children if adults do not? Are these children even able to speak up for themselves?

This is like having knowledge of a child prostitution ring, you or me, and we stumble upon this information, and see children being sexually or otherwise abused, and we don't TELL anyone.

That's called a sin of omission, and beyond that, anyone who has such knowledge and does not report it should also be going to fucking JAIL.

Read on:

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NCSL Home > State & Federal Issues: Issue Areas > Human Services > States Which Require Clergy to Report Child Abuse and States Which Allow Clergy Penitent Privilege Add to MyNCSL
States That Require Clergy to Report Child Abuse and States That Allow Clergy Penitent Privilege

February 2004
Nina Williams-Mbengue
The following information is collected from the 2003 Child Abuse and Neglect
State Statute Series Ready Reference Reporting Laws: Clergy as Mandatory Reporters.
The report may be accessed at:

The Clearinghouse also offers a report on all mandatory reporter categories, by state, at:

Clergy as Mandatory Reporters

Approximately 21 states require clergy to report child abuse. The states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia. Six states specifically require Christian Science practitioners to report child abuse (several are in addition to clergy). The states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada and Vermont.
Clergy Penitent Privilege

Seventeen (17) states recognize the clergy-penitent privilege and allow clergy to maintain the confidentiality of pastoral communications. These states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. New Hampshire and West Virginia deny the privilege in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect. Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah and Wyoming require any person to report, which may include clergy, and they grant the privilege. Louisiana, South Carolina and Washington grant the clergy-penitent privilege although neither clergy nor any persons are mandated reporters. Connecticut and Mississippi require clergy to report, but do not address the privilege in their reporting laws. North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas require any person to report and deny clergy-penitent privilege in child abuse cases.
All Persons Required to Report

Finally, 18 states, and Puerto, require all persons to report child abuse. These states are: Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Of those states, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah and Wyoming exempt clergy from reporting if they become aware of the abuse during confession or in the capacity of spiritual advisor. North Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas require all persons to report and specifically deny clergy penitent privilege in cases of suspected child abuse. Indiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Puerto Rico do not address clergy-penitent privilege in their reporting


Anonymous said...

Priest's are not police. We are charged with saving souls, not lives.

Also, it needs to be understood that Canon Laws, in effect long before most governments, specifically forbid communicating anything said during confessional to anyone, including other clergy members.

Where would it end if we started down that road? Do we also start to report the breaking of all laws with regard to substance abuse? Petty theft?

In a nation that demands a separation of church and state just where could/should that line be crossed?

At one time churches dealt with secular law too. Should we again hold our own courts? Levy taxes? Jail or execute offenders? Return to church raised international armies and wage wars as we see fit?
Compel worship at the point of the sword? Burn and torture heretics?

These, and others, were ancient and sovereign powers of the church. The church retired itself from these pursuits over time but it should be remembered that the church has been, and always will, be sovereign.

Be careful where you open a door.

Father Michael

Mama said...

Fr. Michael,

Point by point--

1. In this country, you are charged with saving lives, not souls. No one in the United States, except fanatics such as yourself, is going to applaud you for standing by with your rosary and the last sacrament, when you should be giving mouth to mouth resusitation. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan, and also, refresh your memory of the New Testament, which speaks of the wolves in sheeps clothing, who espouse "religion" and do not give a glass of water to the thirsty. Remember how it is said you may be entertaining Christ or the angels, and that whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me. I would venture a guess that if you met Jesus in the flesh, and he came to you with a broken arm, you wouldn't say, "Heal thyself Physician". I suppose his mother Mary, too, should have stood by when he had a cut, because perhaps you would say the suffering was good for him. Let's up the ante. Imagine this, Father. Imagine Jesus is only 7 years old, and he is getting fucked in the ass and tells his Rabbi about it. Your argument is that no one else should know.

If your own religion didn't espouse "practical christianity" you wouldn't have hospitals and homeless shelters. You believe in these things, but not in the protection of the innocent child?

I would say, it is better for you to have a millstone around your neck, in that case.

And guess what? Maybe your whole goal in life is to be a saint or you think it would be great to be a martyr, but you know what? A lot of people do NOT wish for this, besides which, I do not see your Church making saints out of all the innocent little children and teens they sexually abused. I would say the crime against these innocents is worthy of sainthood. But you'd have to "out" them and admit they were actually abused first, by your fathers and brothers and sisters, first, wouldn't you? You tell all your parishioners that they are a part of the Body of Christ, but you must think the people in the parish are just the asshole part. The part, I would say, that gets to deal with all the shit.

You don't get to be "exempt" from reporting child abuse simply because you're religious, and if your church continues with this, I would guess you will have more people leaving.

2. Your argument about Canon Law has no bearing with natural and moral law. Just because your "laws" were around before the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, doesn't make it right. Guess what was before you? Ra, the Sun God, and other forms of religions you call paganism and borrowed from.

3. Where would it be if you started down that road? (the road to righteousness?) Have you ever considered, you just might have a more sanctified church?!

While you claim your "Canon Laws" were in effect before government laws, I invite you to revisit your own early church history. Roman Catholicism did not always practice or condone the private confessional for "forgiveness of sins". You know what came before your written Canon Law? What you would call the oral tradition. Your church, prior to private confessional, had people go before THE ENTIRE CHURCH BODY to confess their sins. There was no single person absolving them of their sin either. The idea was that getting things out into the open and making a confession, was to repair the wrong and right the situation. The practice was to pray for forgiveness to Jesus Christ himself, but to confess to the congregation. This is what was practiced in the early Christian church. Your church decided to do private confessional after it thought perhaps some of the confessions were a bit lascivious and that it was turning into a gathering for gossip. But the intention was to confess to the entire body. Your church misses the point entirely when people go in secret. I believe it was probably a deterence to further "sin" and "crime" to come out into the open.

Furthermore, you can draw a line. No one, not even regular citizens, are required to report substance abuse or petty theft. But anyone who knows about the abuse of a child, a child or teen that is too afraid or intimidated to come forward on their own, should be put in jail if they do not come forth with the knowledge they have.

4. The lines of separation of church and state should be clear. Crime against humanity, is crime. There is no religious excuse for it, period. You also do not, or should not, get religious exemptions as a non-profit, as no church should, when you use the secular laws governing corporations to your benefit.

Your church takes what it wants to. It uses members of their church who also happen to be in law enforcement, for their own means. It hides it's structure under protective laws of corporations but takes priviledges that no other corporation has. Besides which, your church is not non-profit when half the money goes to the Vatican and the other half is spent paying for attorneys to cover up crime.

Your church is to OBEY secular laws, not be the MASTER of secular laws. There is a big difference. You claim that by making you follow the laws, your church will start making the laws themselves and enforce them.

As for your church retiring from pursuits of zealous fanaticism where they create their own form of "justice", is has never "retired". There have always been people who believe as you do, that your church is "sovereign" and that anyone who objects to it, should pay.

Your wrong ideas and threats are what cause persecution of others and incite others to commit aggregious acts in the "name of God".

Be careful where you stand.