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smac97

Church Loses "Emotional Distress Case"

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I will add that it's not only the Church who has updated their ppolicy on what is to be reported and what is to be confidnential in the time since this case. Many states have enacted policies that negate confidentiality in professional interview situations the moment the person reveals they have broken the law. I now inform people of that when I do professional interviews for Human Resource related functions.

Im Glad the Church clarified this in 1984, and saw it as a good reaction to a bad situation, but I still think transferring culpability from a confused and ineffective Bishop to a Church who NEVER had a doctrine or practice of hiding crimes, and indeed had a policy that crimes are to be delt with civily as part of the repentance process, is a bad decision by the jury.

That in no way indicates that I think the whole situation isn't terrible, or think that abuse should be confidential, of that the Church as a whole has ever thought that. This does not equate with a Church who has debated what to do with abusers. We have never had an issue with that, we excommunicate them. In the case of predators we don't even need a discipline council, we just do it.

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Maybe society in general will understand this in another couple of generations.

bulimiabarbie.jpg

vs.

JuneCleaver.jpg

Yup. Just wait on a couple of generations and a few billion$ in education. Things'll get better. Definitely.

rainman_big_005.jpg

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Well morningstarw we are certainly entering a time of unprecedented paranoia. Missionaries can no longer even go near someones child without breaking the mission rules ( the church has learned what can happen when a harmless missionary plays with someones children) an unbelievably strict and unfortunate rule. It wouldn't surprise me, if these lawsuits continue, to see the church instituting strict, white handbook type rules on members while engaged in church activities. It most likely will come to this. Heck even the word of wisdom was given to benefit "the weakest." We may all suffer similar consequences. The church is anything but the enemy here. The church does everything in its power to propagate values of chastity and virtue while condemning abuse in any form. The church had probably done more to prevent abuse then we know but you certaintly wouldn't hear about any of those situations. Sexual abuse is a huge problem that has nothing to do religions but with our society. Lets hope the church can institute future programs that will help us fight this horrible evil before it becomes an epidemic. Litigations only opens the doors for vultures rather than preventing a solution.

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USU78 said:

"Wholly missing the point, BMD said:

QUOTE (BMD)

USU78, it was obviously the duty of the bishop to inform civil authorities, that the matter would be taken to the law of the land, both as common sense & as the D&C direct. /QUOTE

"Given the history of jurisdictional fights over the right of the state to compel the church and its agents to do x, y or z, I think it unwise to jumpt to such conclusions as "obviously." It wasn't obvious at all. Just because a legislature thinks something is a good idea doesn't mean it is"

Not obvious? Not absolutely crystalline in clarity that a known molestor of children be reported??? That he be removed from the bedrooms of his children???

USU78 went on to say:

"Then, missing the point again, BMD said:

QUOTE (BMD)

Intuition is absolutely fine (and even helpful) in some matters, but in others, such as the present, there are established procedural guidelines. If calling them to you attention makes me a "bigot" in your eyes, then that's an acrimoniously-intended epithet i'll most happily accomodate myself to. /QUOTE

"Once again, you imply there are not presently procedural guidelines in place, notwithstanding you should have been disabused of the notion given the substance of prior posts. Do you hold that those posters were lying?"

Point out where this is "implicit", please, in your dogged effort to alienate other posters from my position on this matter. A little bit of "creative reading" on your part, possibly?

Then USU78 said:

"Then there's the implicit slam on gifts of the Spirit in your insistence that they constitute "intuition" and nothing more.

Nobody here has slammed your beliefs.

Please do not slam ours. "

Show how intuition ("learning from within") is a "slam", implicit or otherwise, on gifts of the Spirit. Clearly, if that bishop had been receptive to the Spirit's tutelage, things would not have deteriorated to the level they did.

Try as you might, USU78, you'll not, by misconstruing my words and intent, make an Anti-Mormon out of me.

ys,

BMD.

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[edited]

Well thank goodness something can give this Bishop a deep sigh of relief. We too can all breathe easy now that CI has explained a perfect scenario where we might all identify with the 'every-body's human' actions of the Bishop (not wanting to act on "quite foreign and utterly unfathomable" things).

So in your world all is black and white? There are no valid explanations? No valid excuses for bad decisions? I'm glad you aren't my parent.

The sermon continues:

I find it unfathomable that your primary concern here is in what ways the Bishop's actions (inaction) can be adequately explained.

I find it unfathomable that you assert that as my primary concern since I never made any such declaration. I was simply exploring one possible explanation for a single facet of this story. How you conflated that into my "primay concern" is beyond me.

Should we also attempt an adequate explanation for the actions of the abusive father?

I suppose we could and I suppose many folks more qualified than I have. But his motivations aren't relevant to what I discussing.

If I had personal knowledge or even suspicion of ongoing child sexual abuse and reasoned myself into doing nothing...oh what a heavy, guilt ridden burden that would be (and for good reason).

The very ironic part of this is that, for all you know, the Bishop in question carries that very burden. Your simple-minded approach to this topic, however, prevents you from recognizing that fact.

The adult portion of society that rationalizes or attempts to minimize the repulsive actions of child sexual abusers with psycho-babble and 'nurture the criminal' type of concerns is truly a strong ally to pedophiles and child molesters everywhere.

This is truly a bizarre statement seeing as how no one participating in this thread has even suggested at minimizing the abuser's actions. Moreover, there has been no "psychobabble" and no "nurture the criminal" statements. In fact, most of the conversation has revolved around the legalities of holding a third party libel for the abusers actions. No excuse for his actions has been or will be (I suspect) offered. Thus, your comment is just another red herring with no relevance to this actual discussion.

Ditto for the adult portion of society that rationalizes and defends inaction, where action is always (even the slightest) warranted.

Obviously more black and white thinking from someone who has never actually had to deal with the prospect of acting on conflicting information when that information might actually ruin the life of a perfectly innocent man. Your hysteria-fueled rantings have no logical basis. There are merely the product of shallow, emotion-based thought processes.

Law abiding adults who convince themselves that actions to protect children from their sexual abusers are just too complicated or difficult are literally in alliance with the sexual abusers themselves.

Wow! No there is jump in logic. So a vague suspicion now equates to complicity?

Responsible adults are usually a fearful child's only hope. Maybe society in general will understand this in another couple of generations.

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Observer:

Again What would you have the Bishop do? He has NO law enforcement authority. He can't use the authority of the state to arrest anybody. He can't legally remove the children. He can't even talk to them without a parents permission. His hands are legally tied. WHAT do you want him to do?

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BMD asked me: "My question too, charity. What constitutes the girl's "disobedience to the Lord" here- 1.. Telling? 2. Seeking remunerative compensation?(that may never restore those feelings of purity and innocence that every kid should be allowed to grow up with?) Is she now "worse off"?

This was way back when I said seeking vengeance is disobeying God. (I was not ignoring you, BMD. I was gone for a while.)

Of course, she should have told. And should have told sooner to save her sister from going through what she did. I find that pretty repugnant that she didn't. And I am sure she is suffering pangs of conscience that she could not get up the courage to do that.

But in sueing the Church, she knew she was not going after those most responsible, her father, and her mother for telling her not to tell. She went after money. Money would not restore her stolen childhood. It was vengenace pure and simple. In our mortal experience, vengeance comes from the adversary. Whenever you give in to the enticings of Satan you are worse off.

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USU78 said:

"Wholly missing the point, BMD said:

QUOTE (BMD)

USU78, it was obviously the duty of the bishop to inform civil authorities, that the matter would be taken to the law of the land, both as common sense & as the D&C direct. /QUOTE

"Given the history of jurisdictional fights over the right of the state to compel the church and its agents to do x, y or z, I think it unwise to jumpt to such conclusions as "obviously." It wasn't obvious at all. Just because a legislature thinks something is a good idea doesn't mean it is"

Not obvious? Not absolutely crystalline in clarity that a known molestor of children be reported??? That he be removed from the bedrooms of his children???

USU78 went on to say:

"Then, missing the point again, BMD said:

QUOTE (BMD)

Intuition is absolutely fine (and even helpful) in some matters, but in others, such as the present, there are established procedural guidelines. If calling them to you attention makes me a "bigot" in your eyes, then that's an acrimoniously-intended epithet i'll most happily accomodate myself to. /QUOTE

"Once again, you imply there are not presently procedural guidelines in place, notwithstanding you should have been disabused of the notion given the substance of prior posts. Do you hold that those posters were lying?"

Point out where this is "implicit", please, in your dogged effort to alienate other posters from my position on this matter. A little bit of "creative reading" on your part, possibly?

Then USU78 said:

"Then there's the implicit slam on gifts of the Spirit in your insistence that they constitute "intuition" and nothing more.

Nobody here has slammed your beliefs.

Please do not slam ours. "

Show how intuition ("learning from within") is a "slam", implicit or otherwise, on gifts of the Spirit. Clearly, if that bishop had been receptive to the Spirit's tutelage, things would not have deteriorated to the level they did.

Try as you might, USU78, you'll not, by misconstruing my words and intent, make an Anti-Mormon out of me.

ys,

BMD.

Let's crystalize this down to 2 points:

1. You assert authority in an LDS Bishop to remove an abusive father from the home. What is your basis for this assertion?

2. You assert LDS "inspiration" is but "intuition," coming from within and not from without -- G-d's Spirit. But you also claim this is not a criticism of LDS beliefs. Defend yourself against my claim that you are dismissive of LDS doctrine that inspiration comes from without.

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Well morningstarw we are certainly entering a time of unprecedented paranoia. Missionaries can no longer even go near someones child without breaking the mission rules ( the church has learned what can happen when a harmless missionary plays with someones children) an unbelievably strict and unfortunate rule. It wouldn't surprise me, if these lawsuits continue, to see the church instituting strict, white handbook type rules on members while engaged in church activities. It most likely will come to this. Heck even the word of wisdom was given to benefit "the weakest." We may all suffer similar consequences. The church is anything but the enemy here. The church does everything in its power to propagate values of chastity and virtue while condemning abuse in any form. The church had probably done more to prevent abuse then we know but you certaintly wouldn't hear about any of those situations. Sexual abuse is a huge problem that has nothing to do religions but with our society. Lets hope the church can institute future programs that will help us fight this horrible evil before it becomes an epidemic. Litigations only opens the doors for vultures rather than preventing a solution.

I am kind of paranoid about this stuff myself, but I try not to be too paranoid. Just as the two teacher rule started, my son was entering Sunbeams. I discovered a while later that his male teacher was the son of the man who sexually abused my 14-year-old aunt many years ago, so I was pretty dang happy that his wife was in there with him. I'm not saying that he is like his dad, but if his dad was also abusing his children, then there is a greater chance that he would grow up to do the same thing. My mom saw him at church one day and she had this horrified look on her face. (I had decided not to tell her that he was in my ward.) She said, "I know who he is. He looks just like his mother."

It's sad that we have to have all these rules, but they're necessary. :P

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The question here is culpability. Who is to answer for the crime?

The person who committed it?

(Father - Guilty of a terrible crime)

The person or persons who neglected to report it

(Mother at first- perhaps guilty of neglect but predators are good at hiding their crimes and preventing their victims from being seen as credible)

(Bishop - perhaps guilty of neglecting to report but see above)

(Stake president who said he would - perhaps simply guilty of not knowing who to report too)

(The Church who even before 1994 had doctrines and policies that did not excuse individuals from civil redress and indeed make it a part of the repentance process? - perhaps they should have been made to train their volunteers better, which they did after 1994)

Who is going to get sued first? The Church because they have deep pockets.

The Church has never had a policy of hiding crimes and misdeeds of it's members and if fact there are clear doctrines to the opposite.

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Observer:

Again What would you have the Bishop do? He has NO law enforcement authority. He can't use the authority of the state to arrest anybody. He can't legally remove the children. He can't even talk to them without a parents permission. His hands are legally tied. WHAT do you want him to do?

I already answered your question. As you imply, the answer is obviously nothing. There is absolutely nothing a responsible, interested adult could have done in this situation. Nothing. Too bad for the children. Looks like they're on their own, as the adults of the world have "real" serious problems to deal with -- hands tied and lips sealed. I guess you think this case followed the reasonable template and went exactly as could reasonably be expected. Too bad for the child. Looks like a win/win situation for the abuser -- according to your 'what could the Bishop possibly have done with his suspicions' mentality.

Gimme a break. As a parent, this is quite a learning experience for me -- that other adults and even parents feel this way.

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Here is what is really screwed. This is from the article.......

Washington laws don't make clergy mandatory reporters of suspected child sexual abuse. But Kosnoff successfully argued in court that Hatch was acting as a social services counselor when Jessica came to him for help.

So which is he? Clergy or a social worker?

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The Church recognized his calling (from God) to be a father, and in performing official capacities pertaining thereto, necessarily placed him in such proximity to his victim to enable him to perform his nefarious criminal acts, report of which to the Bishop (acting as an agent for the Church) was not immediately relayed to the appropriate civil authorities, as the D&C stipulates it must.

Perhaps in addition to counseling fathers as to what constitutes appropriate behavior with their children, the Church should pay more attention to training her Bishops not to fall back on "seat-of-the-pants inspiration" in the performance of their own responsibilities.

ys,

BMD.

So what you are saying is that the Church somehow has power to strip children from their fathers now?

Does that make sense to anyone else?

How on earth is the Church supposed to take a father away from his children?

And since when does the Church have a duty to prevent acts in a private citizens home?

The case doesnt make any sense according to any principles of law ive seen. But then there are probably facts that I havent been told about yet.

SMAC Any idea why the verdict came out this way? I just cant imagine there would be a duty here.

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Here is what is really screwed. This is from the article.......
Washington laws don't make clergy mandatory reporters of suspected child sexual abuse. But Kosnoff successfully argued in court that Hatch was acting as a social services counselor when Jessica came to him for help.

So which is he? Clergy or a social worker?

I suppose the message we are to get from this is:

Don't counsel young people, one of them might actually have a problem!

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And what would your advice have been to this victim? In your opinion, what should she have done, nothing?

Seek real justice by placing the stepfather behind bars.

The Church is not responsible for what fathers do in their home. Why should they be held accountable for that?

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Observer:

Again What would you have the Bishop do? He has NO law enforcement authority. He can't use the authority of the state to arrest anybody. He can't legally remove the children. He can't even talk to them without a parents permission. His hands are legally tied. WHAT do you want him to do?

I already answered your question. As you imply, the answer is obviously nothing. There is absolutely nothing a responsible, interested adult could have done in this situation. Nothing. Too bad for the children. Looks like they're on their own, as the adults of the world have "real" serious problems to deal with -- hands tied and lips sealed. I guess you think this case followed the reasonable template and went exactly as could reasonably be expected. Too bad for the child. Looks like a win/win situation for the abuser -- according to your 'what could the Bishop possibly have done with his suspicions' mentality.

Gimme a break. As a parent, this is quite a learning experience for me -- that other adults and even parents feel this way.

Geez guys...

He had a responsibility to report the crime to the proper authorities, which is in accordance to our doctrines, and has been made much more clear in policy statements since the time of this case. The Church in this case may be guilty of insufficiently communicating or training it's volunteers in their established rules, but not of hiding anything.

Even OSHA levys a lesser fine if the institution is guilty of failure to sufficienlty train only vs. not having the rule on the books in the first place.

OSHA wont fine an institution if it is shown that they trained their people correctly and the individuals didn't follow procedure.

Without having the details of the case nobody can know which it was with this Bishop. But the policy has always been civil redress is part of repentance when a crime is committed. It's in the Doctrine and Covenants for crying out loud.

The lesson here, which the Church has codified in it's leadership training over the last decade (as have some professional organizations as laws have become more clear) is that Bishops and Stake Presidents are ecclesastical advisors only, and crimes leaned of in the process of confessions must be reported to civil officials as per the counsel of the Church hotline lawyers, and any issues that require psycological counseling should be referred to LDS Social Services, which in turn will provide a Psycologist or Counselor to act as a referring counselor to professional Psychologists and Social Service providers.

Other leaders are not to take confession, but in the process of leadership or teaching roles may overhear things from their charges. In these cases they are usually trained by the Boy Scouts of America in their reporting proceedures, or should seek the counsel of the Bishop or Priesthood leaders in how to proceed, which in turn will do as above...

That's the plan stan!

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USU78 said:

"Wholly missing the point, BMD said:

QUOTE (BMD)

USU78, it was obviously the duty of the bishop to inform civil authorities, that the matter would be taken to the law of the land, both as common sense & as the D&C direct. /QUOTE

"Given the history of jurisdictional fights over the right of the state to compel the church and its agents to do x, y or z, I think it unwise to jumpt to such conclusions as "obviously." It wasn't obvious at all. Just because a legislature thinks something is a good idea doesn't mean it is"

Not obvious? Not absolutely crystalline in clarity that a known molestor of children be  reported??? That he be removed from the bedrooms of his children???

Two problems:

(1) He wasn't "a known molestor of children." Being merely suspected or accused is only the same as being known in the minds of those who have bought into the mentality of the witch hunt.

(2) The Church does not have jurisdiction over families, and parents do not require the permission of Church leaders either to live in their own homes or to have their children live with them. Church leaders have no authority to change a family's living arrangements regardless of what they may suspect or even "know." Thus your nonsensical claims remain nonsense.

The witch-hunters and anti-Mormon fanatics here are incapable of seeing the obvious: the Church did not abuse these girls. The Church did not "appoint" their stepfather to any "position" that gave him access to them. Therefore, prima facie, the Church is not responsible for what happened to them.

Then USU78 said:

"Then there's the implicit slam on gifts of the Spirit in your insistence that they constitute "intuition" and nothing more.

Nobody here has slammed your beliefs.

Please do not slam ours. "

Show how intuition ("learning from within") is a "slam", implicit or otherwise, on gifts of the Spirit. Clearly, if that bishop had been receptive to the Spirit's tutelage, things would not have deteriorated to the level they did.

Try as you might, USU78, you'll not, by misconstruing my words and intent, make an Anti-Mormon out of me.

I don't think he's misconstrued anything.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Observer:

I am a parent and a Grandparent. If someone were to abuse even one of my children they would answer to me. Would I go to jail for a long time? Probably yes. Would I feel one bit of remorse. No. But it is whole different story to tell someone ELSE they need to take matters into their own hands, and likely face criminal prosecution.

Because of my career I was mandated to report even the unsubtantied claims of child abuse. Bishops have no such requirement. In fact, in many jurisdictions because of confidentiatly rules, can not report.

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She should have channelled her anger against the source of her distress. The abuser. Or her mother who told her not to tell anyone. But of course, they didn't have any money.

But the only healing she will ever get is through forgiveness. We cannot heal as long as we do not forgive those who hurt us. And you cannot forgive when extracting vengeance. Every dollar she spends of that settlement will drive her further away from a healthy state.

Is this the case for auto accident victims as well? Or is it only when the money comes from the church instead of State Farm?

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Some 20 years ago a friend of mine was bishop of a Salt Lake City ward that had a lot of "transient members" coming and going. With one fellow's membership paperwork came a report of his serial pedophilia.

Branching out into my own aside,

I'm very appreciative for our church's membership record system, where a member's record will follow them from ward to ward, state to state, country to country. The ability to quietly inform the leadership that they have a known danger in their midst is worth putting up with all the griping I hear from ex-members who fly into a rage at the latest plate of cookies from well-intentioned relief society sisters.

Not only does my church have a good handle on this terrible issue, but it's a superior (in some cases, vastly superior) position to that of most other churches.

Hey members of non-LDS churches - am I wrong?

HSR

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She should have channelled her anger against the source of her distress. The abuser.  Or her mother who told her not to tell anyone. But of course, they didn't have any money. 

But the only healing she will ever get is through forgiveness.  We cannot heal as long as we do not forgive those who hurt us.  And you cannot forgive when extracting vengeance. Every dollar she spends of that settlement will drive her further away from a healthy state.

Is this the case for auto accident victims as well? Or is it only when the money comes from the church instead of State Farm?

An excellent point and an opportunity for education.

If, because certain kinds of activity I may engage in (like operating a 1/2 ton vehicle at great rates of speed), I am required to post a bond or obtain other assurance of payment of claims that may arise out of my activity, then it is reasonable to expect the company I purchase the bond or other assurance of payment from to pay claims should they arise.

The LDS Church is not an insurance company.

Neither do people pay tithing to the LDS Church to ensure sufficient money is present to pay claims for their own dangerous activities.

Neither does the state have the right to make the LDS Church the ensurer of payment of claims arising out of its members' illegal (if any) activities.

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In the Bishops defense (assuming the story we got is correct and not simply the representations of one side) to him, the notion of a father sexually abusing his kids may have been quite foreign and utterly unfathomable.

Well thank goodness something can give this Bishop a deep sigh of relief. We too can all breathe easy now that CI has explained a perfect scenario where we might all identify with the 'every-body's human' actions of the Bishop (not wanting to act on "quite foreign and utterly unfathomable" things).

I find it unfathomable that your primary concern here is in what ways the Bishop's actions (inaction) can be adequately explained. Should we also attempt an adequate explanation for the actions of the abusive father? If I had personal knowledge or even suspicion of ongoing child sexual abuse and reasoned myself into doing nothing...oh what a heavy, guilt ridden burden that would be (and for good reason).

The adult portion of society that rationalizes or attempts to minimize the repulsive actions of child sexual abusers with psycho-babble and 'nurture the criminal' type of concerns is truly a strong ally to pedophiles and child molesters everywhere.

Ditto for the adult portion of society that rationalizes and defends inaction, where action is always (even the slightest) warranted. Law abiding adults who convince themselves that actions to protect children from their sexual abusers are just too complicated or difficult are literally in alliance with the sexual abusers themselves. Responsible adults are usually a fearful child's only hope. Maybe society in general will understand this in another couple of generations. :P

This is the mentality of the witch hunt; anyone who's not as zealous as I am at hunting down the witches is aiding and abetting them.

Chances are that what will really happen in another couple of generations is that the hysteria will die down.

What is it about American society that makes it susceptible to these periodic waves of zealotry? In the 50's it was "tailgunner Joe" McCarthy finding reds under every bed; now it's Ambulance-chaser Kosnoff and his sock-puppet Observer declaring that the Church is a big child-abuser-protection machine.

Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" Does that not apply if the unsupported accusation or vague suspicion involves child abuse? Is a bishop supposed to act as if the suspicions are proven even when the victim won't tell him what's going on?

Or is it possible that even you wouldn't be quite this fanatical, were it not for your visceral disdain for the Church of Jesus Christ?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Because of my career I was mandated to report even the unsubtantied claims of child abuse. Bishops have no such requirement. In fact, in many jurisdictions because of confidentiatly rules, can not report.

My understanding is that many jusridictions are moving away from this into having counselors disclose that they will report any crimes, even if given in confidential proceedings.

I suspect the difference in jurisdictions is why the Bishops and others are required to phone the hot line at Church headquaters before proceeding.

I want to yell very loudly and clearly that the policy of the Church has always been that civil accountibility has always been a part of the repentance process, and it is not an institutional practice to hide crimes and abuse.

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Those are some pretty big settlements and verdicts.  Does anyone know whether the Church pays these from tithing funds or some other pot of money?

I'm sure the funds are siphoned from the Downtown Malls project. :P

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Dadof7:

I'm a fanatic when it comes to Confidentiality rules. I don't want what is said to me, or I say to my patients, or my spiritual counselor being used against me in a court of law. We fought too long and too hard to get the church out of state business to go back to the Witch Hunt Trials and the Inquisition.

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