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11 minutes ago, Danzo said:

So you are saying you think a young teenager should be able to meet with a bishop confidentially by themselves?

I am sorry if I misunderstood you.

Most definitely, if she/he wanted a one on one and needed to get something off their chests.  But these required interviews with the youngsters should be two deep if possible. I've said this for a long time, surprised you haven't seen my comments about it. Or  maybe you're playing with me. 

Or even the youth should have two deep and the questions should not delve into things of a sexual nature. But yes, a youth that needs to repent, I'm sure it would help. Or during the interview for a TR, I'm sure they can do that as well. But no explicit questions.

Also, don't make a youth miss taking the Sacrament for a certain amount of time, terrible idea, IMO, if it's for something like a one time or ? of repenting for a masturbation problem. This creates years of problems from what I've read. I've read of bishops putting some youth through hell by shaming them in front of the whole ward for months on end.

Edited by Tacenda
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13 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Most definitely, if she/he wanted a one on one and needed to get something off their chests.  But these required interviews with the youngsters should be two deep if possible. I've said this for a long time, surprised you haven't seen my comments about it. Or  maybe you're playing with me. 

Or even the youth should have two deep and the questions should not delve into things of a sexual nature. But yes, a youth that needs to repent, I'm sure it would help. Or during the interview for a TR, I'm sure they can do that as well. But no explicit questions.

Also, don't make a youth miss taking the Sacrament for a certain amount of time, terrible idea, IMO, if it's for something like a one time or ? of repenting for a masturbation problem. This creates years of problems from what I've read. I've read of bishops putting some youth through hell by shaming them in front of the whole ward for months on end.

I still can't seem to grasp why anyone would want to talk about their worthiness in front of someone else.

It is almost as if you just expect everyone to answer yes to every question, and to never have a question about every question.

Would you want to talk about your personal worthiness in front of others?  
 

What if you aren't sure if you are worthy.  Would you want to talk about that with other people in the room?

I certainly wouldn't and definitely wouldn't have as a teenager. 

I appreciated the fact that I could talk about things, even things of a sexual nature with my bishop, without an audience. 

Somethings you just don't want to talk about in front of others. 

I just don't get it. 

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41 minutes ago, Danzo said:

I still can't seem to grasp why anyone would want to talk about their worthiness in front of someone else.

It is almost as if you just expect everyone to answer yes to every question, and to never have a question about every question.

Would you want to talk about your personal worthiness in front of others?  
 

What if you aren't sure if you are worthy.  Would you want to talk about that with other people in the room?

I certainly wouldn't and definitely wouldn't have as a teenager. 

I appreciated the fact that I could talk about things, even things of a sexual nature with my bishop, without an audience. 

Somethings you just don't want to talk about in front of others. 

I just don't get it. 

Yes...sometimes it is good to let the teenagers talk to their Bishops alone. I like how it is done now that it is by request. A teenager, at this time, never needs to meet with a Bishop alone unless they want to. I find a bigger problem with the fact Bishop's can do a lot of harm if they do not deal with these 'repentence' issues with teenagers in a healthy way. They are not psychologists or therapists and are not trained with how to deal with pretty tough issues sometimes. IMO, I think Bishops discussing sexual things with teenagers is super problematic across the board and only a few probably do it really well. It is really difficult to communicate effectively in the best of circumstances and teenagers discussing  sexual things with Bishops is not an easy thing to do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There are more stories like this it seems, nearly every week or even every day. I know many are sick of me sharing these, but I hope it will do some good so people will speak out against clergy being exempt from reporting. The church didn't step in sooner, reading what happened sent me over the edge. It didn't stop at the first bishop, it didn't stop with the bishop after him who went to the highter ranking leaders of the  church either, they let these children endure the abuse for an extended amount of time. The victims...a young girl and her infant sister...a baby! I didn't know what to do first, cry or scream. Surely we can't agree with the leaders in the church allowing those poor children to endure a minute in that house with that evil, sick shell! I can't even call him human. The article explains in detail. I can't do that here, it's too difficult.

I can't post the link because this site won't let me for some reason, I get the 402 Forbidden. So if you care to, type in... Paul Douglas Adams in Bisbee, Arizona - Mormon officials being investigated for not reporting  child s e x abuse. 

Here's part of the article:

According to Edwards’ testimony, one of the bishops is a prominent Sierra Vista doctor who said Adams first told him about the abuse around 2011. The bishop did not notify police nor a child welfare agency, but did tell Adams’ wife, apparently hoping she would take the children away from the home.

Edwards also testified that when that bishop left the position in 2012, his successor bishop claims to have contacted higher-ranking church officials for guidance on dealing with Adams. The second bishop told the HSI agent he was advised there was no duty to report the abuse under the clergy exemption in the mandatory reporting law.

Under state law, clergy members need not report suspected child abuse if they obtain the information by way of “a confidential communication or a confession” and if the clergy determines maintaining that confidentiality is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.”

The statute does not address whether the confessional communication exemption applies only to admissions of past abuse, or whether reporting is required when a clergy member has reason to believe a child is being subjected to ongoing criminal sexual abuse.

The second Adams daughter was born in late 2015 or early 2016.  The sexual abuse apparently continued in the home until Adams’ arrest. By then Paul Adams had been excommunicated from the church although court records are unclear as to when that occurred or what reason local officials gave for the action.

 

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

There are more stories like this it seems, nearly every week or even every day. I know many are sick of me sharing these, but I hope it will do some good so people will speak out against clergy being exempt from reporting. The church didn't step in sooner, reading what happened sent me over the edge. It didn't stop at the first bishop, it didn't stop with the bishop after him who went to the highter ranking leaders of the  church either, they let these children endure the abuse for an extended amount of time. The victims...a young girl and her infant sister...a baby! I didn't know what to do first, cry or scream. Surely we can't agree with the leaders in the church allowing those poor children to endure a minute in that house with that evil, sick shell! I can't even call him human. The article explains in detail. I can't do that here, it's too difficult.

I can't post the link because this site won't let me for some reason, I get the 402 Forbidden. So if you care to, type in... Paul Douglas Adams in Bisbee, Arizona - Mormon officials being investigated for not reporting  child s e x abuse. 

Here's part of the article:

According to Edwards’ testimony, one of the bishops is a prominent Sierra Vista doctor who said Adams first told him about the abuse around 2011. The bishop did not notify police nor a child welfare agency, but did tell Adams’ wife, apparently hoping she would take the children away from the home.

Edwards also testified that when that bishop left the position in 2012, his successor bishop claims to have contacted higher-ranking church officials for guidance on dealing with Adams. The second bishop told the HSI agent he was advised there was no duty to report the abuse under the clergy exemption in the mandatory reporting law.

Under state law, clergy members need not report suspected child abuse if they obtain the information by way of “a confidential communication or a confession” and if the clergy determines maintaining that confidentiality is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.”

The statute does not address whether the confessional communication exemption applies only to admissions of past abuse, or whether reporting is required when a clergy member has reason to believe a child is being subjected to ongoing criminal sexual abuse.

The second Adams daughter was born in late 2015 or early 2016.  The sexual abuse apparently continued in the home until Adams’ arrest. By then Paul Adams had been excommunicated from the church although court records are unclear as to when that occurred or what reason local officials gave for the action.

 

This is incredibly sick and disturbing. Even if it wasn’t a requirement to report it how could anyone in good conscience not report it? And the first bishop was a medical doctor? I’m truly astonished!

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8 hours ago, katherine the great said:

This is incredibly sick and disturbing. Even if it wasn’t a requirement to report it how could anyone in good conscience not report it? And the first bishop was a medical doctor? I’m truly astonished!

I would be a little careful with this one. If what the article says is true and the bishops were aware of the situation in full I agree that this should have been reported but part of the trial appears to be sealed and I would hazard the possibility that mom’s defense attorney had a vested interest in trying to shift blame to the church leaders and the attorney did plea for leniency on those grounds. It looks like they may have even got it. Her sentence was very light considering the crimes she was covering for. They are still only investigating whether charges should be brought against the former bishops. I hope the reports are misleading or wrong and they did not know as much as the article implies. Under clergy penitent privilege laws in Arizona I am not even sure if they could report it and have it be actionable since it is reported their only source was a confession. I am not willing to throw them out as covering it up yet. When more details emerge I might be. I hope not. :( 

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9 hours ago, katherine the great said:

This is incredibly sick and disturbing.

Yes.  All the more reason, then, to be dispassionate and patient when examining the evidence, particularly at the outset.  I don't think we can or should rush to judgment here.  We know very little about what happened in this case.  Moreover, critics and dissidents regularly rail against the Church by posting sensational stories, like this one, with the calculated purpose of inciting anger against the Church (particularly when such topics are introduced with histrionics such as "over the edge" and "cry or scream"), and more particularly, against its volunteer bishops.  The objective is to foment ill will and outrage.  And it works.  But such emotionalisms don't seem to have much utility, and even carry some real risk when regularly interposed against an unpopular (in some circles) religious minority.  So perhaps we should not immediately and reflexively rage against the Church and its bishops, and should instead wait for further information to arise.

I have a good friend who I think would be a wonderful bishop.  He has told me that he genuinely hopes he never gets called as a bishop, because he dreads the thought of his reputation and character being smeared.  He knows that an allegation of misconduct or negligence alone is sufficient to indict him in the eyes of some (such as, apparently, Tacenda, and perhaps you as well).  I have no doubt that he would do a stellar job, but even a false allegation could be tremendously damaging to him and his family.  I don't know if he would refuse the calling if it was extended to him (I think he would probably accept), but I find it troubling that we are living in a time in which genuinely good and decent men are obliged to put their reputations and character on the line by accepting a calling of bishop in the Church.  

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Even if it wasn’t a requirement to report it how could anyone in good conscience not report it?

When the "anyone" is a priest/clergy, or a doctor, or a mental health therapist, or an attorney, they can be obligated by law to "not report it."

There are various and sundry legal and public policy reasons for this.

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And the first bishop was a medical doctor? I’m truly astonished!

As an attorney, I have been privy to many, many communications from clients that I am prohibited by law from disclosing to anyone, including law enforcement.  

Doctors, mental health therapists, and clergy are likewise situated.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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11 hours ago, Tacenda said:

There are more stories like this it seems, nearly every week or even every day.

It may be more accurate to say that you discover more stories like this every week. I mean, the story you are referencing here isn't a "new" story. The guy committed suicide in prison nearly two years ago now prior to his trial. 

 

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I know many are sick of me sharing these, but I hope it will do some good so people will speak out against clergy being exempt from reporting. 

I think that's the crux of the issue: should there be such a thing as priest-penitent privilege in the first place. I think that's the sort of thing that reasonable minds can disagree on. 

Most of the 'argument' I see for removing such privilege comes - not from reasoned argument about how it would improve society (with data to back it up) - but, instead, appeals to emotion followed by the demand that we 'do something.' I don't find such tactics terribly persuasive.

Personally, I tend to favor keeping such laws in place - though in my home state no such exemption exists for clergy (or even for attorneys!).

 

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The church didn't step in sooner [...]

Well, to be fair, we don't really know what the church actually knew. The bishop allegedly told the mother something, hoping she would remove the children from the home. When that didn't happen, what more do you think the church should have done? It isn't like the bishop could just send in the RS Pres and have her take the children out of the home - that's called kidnapping. And the bishop couldn't go to the authorities without exposing himself to liability for violating privilege, so it seems there wasn't much more he could have done (as sad as that may be in this particular case).

 

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Surely we can't agree with the leaders in the church allowing those poor children to endure a minute in that house with that evil, sick shell! I can't even call him human. 

I certainly don't want children (or anyone else, for that matter) to be abused in any way. Ever.

But I suspect that you don't want clergy just brazenly disregarding the law either - otherwise what happens when some continue such disregard after you have been successful in changing the law to require mandatory reporting?

 

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40 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What is being attributed to them is hearsay and speculation, and was presented during a criminal proceeding in which they were not involved, were not present, and were not represented by counsel.  

Thank you for being a fact based person on the board.  I fear the fact based people will die out,  it will be a costly loss for the world.

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3 minutes ago, Amulek said:

 

I certainly don't want children (or anyone else, for that matter) to be abused in any way. Ever.

But I suspect that you don't want clergy just brazenly disregarding the law either - otherwise what happens when some continue such disregard after you have been successful in changing the law to require mandatory reporting?

 

Smac, to the bold, I would risk going to jail, if it meant saving those girls. But that's little ole' me. I'm not an attorney, I wouldn't think it through to the extent you have here.

Edited by Tacenda
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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:
Quote

I certainly don't want children (or anyone else, for that matter) to be abused in any way. Ever.

But I suspect that you don't want clergy just brazenly disregarding the law either - otherwise what happens when some continue such disregard after you have been successful in changing the law to require mandatory reporting?

Smac, to the bold, I would risk going to jail, if it meant saving those girls.

I appreciate, and even respect, the sentiment.  But there are some very good reasons for the privilege ("going to jail" is not really part of the equation). 

3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

But that's little ole' me. I'm not an attorney, I wouldn't think it through to the extent you have here.

There are, I think, often ways in which the privilege can be preserved while also finding ways to curtail ongoing abuse.

Thanks,

-Smac

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27 minutes ago, Amulek said:

It may be more accurate to say that you discover more stories like this every week. I mean, the story you are referencing here isn't a "new" story. The guy committed suicide in prison nearly two years ago now prior to his trial.

 

The story was posted this week. So not old. Yes, that dispicable man did commit suicide, when it became clear he would be convicted. 

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50 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Smac, to the bold, I would risk going to jail, if it meant saving those girls.

And if it didn't?  What if it would 'poison' any actions taken by law enforcement?  What if there was the risk of being sued for breaking privilege?  What if you were worried about the effect such a lawsuit might have on your own ability to provide for your family?  

Smac, I assume breaking privilege is a civil, not a criminal offense?

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15 minutes ago, bluebell said:

He committed suicide two years ago?  

Yes.  Per the article

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Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre confirmed Wednesday that there is an active criminal investigation “into the actions/failure to act of certain local individuals who had connection” with Paul Douglas Adams, a U.S. Border Patrol agent who committed suicide in late 2017 while awaiting trial on state and federal charges that he repeatedly sexually abused his two daughters.

The mother/wife went to trial "last summer," which I assume means 2019, and during that trial a Homeland Security agent gave testimony against her which implicated the two bishops.  I think that testimony is what triggered the county investigation into the two bishops.

Cochise County is a geographically large, but small-by-population (131k) county in the southeast corner of Arizona.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 12/12/2019 at 11:06 AM, Calm said:

And if it didn't?  What if it would 'poison' any actions taken by law enforcement?  What if there was the risk of being sued for breaking privilege?  What if you were worried about the effect such a lawsuit might have on your own ability to provide for your family?  

Smac, I assume breaking privilege is a civil, not a criminal offense?

I don't know.  I haven't looked into it.

As for your comment about law enforcement acting on "poison{ed}" information, I think you are referring to the "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" doctrine, summarized here:

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The "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine was born out of fourth amendment concerns over improper police conduct in the gathering of evidence. 

Generally, evidence obtained through the exploitation of illegal police conduct must be excluded from evidence at trial. This exclusionary rule deprives the prosecution of evidence tainted by official wrongdoing and thereby discourages future improprieties. 

An exception to the exclusionary rule is the "inevitable discovery doctrine."  The exception serves to block the setting aside of convictions that would have been obtained without police misconduct.  If the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the information inevitably would have been discovered by lawful means, then the evidence should be received.

The above case was in Illinois, and extended the "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" doctrine to "cover more than police misconduct cases, but also violations of the clergy privilege by clergymen."

As I read this case, in Illinois, it appears that if a member of clergy notifies law enforcement about a confession of abuse, in violation of the priest/penitent privilege, then any evidence (the "fruit") collected by the police consequent to that notification (the "poisonous tree") cannot be used as evidence aggainst the accused party.

There are exceptions and limitations to this, of course.  From the same link:

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In Nix v. Williams, the Supreme Court recognized the "inevitable discovery" exception to the rule requiring the exclusion of evidence obtained as a result of a violation of a defendant's constitutional rights. The court in Nix held that evidence arguably tainted by a prior illegality may be introduced if the prosecution is able to show that "the evidence in question would inevitably have been discovered without reference to the police error or misconduct." The rationale for the "inevitable discovery" exception is that, while "the prosecution is not to be put in a better position than it would have been in if no illegality had transpired," the prosecution should not be put "in a worse position simply because of some earlier police error or misconduct."

As you can see, the law here becomes pretty complex.  But the gist of it is that a well-meaning clergyman who violates the privilege may very well totally screw up law enforcement's ability to prosecute a wrongdoer. 

How this would turn out in Arizona, I don't know.  The law changes all the time, and varies in many ways from state to state. 

However, for those of you who so regularly fly into a rage at the idea of the Church maintaining a helpline to assist bishops in navigating these choppy legal waters, could you please take a step back and consider factors such as this? 

Could you consider the possibility that knee-jerk, off-the-handle outrage based on a single poorly-written news article might be inappropriate? 

That the Church's leaders (local and general) are also horrified at the prospect of abuse, but they also recognize that the "Law of Unintended Consequences" might play out?  That attitudes like Tacenda's "I would risk going to jail, if it meant saving those girls" may be well-intentioned, but may also have some very serious, though unforseen in the heat of the moment, consequences (such as the Church and its bishops screwing up prosecutions of wrongdoers by disregarding the privilege)?

And again, there often ways in which the privilege can be preserved while also finding ways to curtail ongoing abuse. 

This endless effort to cast the Church and its bishops as villains, as horrible people who don't care about the welfare of children, as people to be viewed with suspicion and contempt, and in the worst possible light, is tiresome, perhaps even despicable.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Fourth, this case may be one of those instances in which the bishops were actually constrained from reporting by the priest/penitent privilege (or were told as much).  It is important to understand that the legal issues pertaining to the privilege are complex and weighty, and involve the constitutional rights of the confessor.  And clergy are not the only people who may be put into such a horrible situation.  Doctors, lawyers, mental health practitioners, etc. may also be aware of allegations of abuse, but may be constrained by law and/or ethical rules against disclosing such things to law enforcement.

Is the constraint from reporting where priest/penitent privilege exists a legal constraint or a religious one?  With my limited and possibly unclear understanding, it is not against the law for a a clergy member to report where the privilege exists, but that the law prevents clergy from being legally constrained to disclose information.  Am I wrong there?  My understanding is that any constraint to disclose comes from within the Church canon or religious law rather than legal law. The Catholic Church, for example, unconditionally forbids such disclosure in and has established that expectation of confidentiality and trust.  Does our Church have such conditions/law/expectations however?  Is there the same "trust" in a LDS confession as there would be in a Catholic confession?  Without any explicit expectations of trust, could any suit against a Latter-day Saint clergy for invasion of privacy or defamation win if a clergy did decide to report a confession where a priest/penitent privilege law exists?

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Smac, to the bold, I would risk going to jail, if it meant saving those girls. But that's little ole' me. I'm not an attorney, I wouldn't think it through to the extent you have here.

The thing is it wouldn’t have saved them. If the bishop reported it to CPS based only on a privileged confession it most likely would have gone nowhere legally. The man could claim privilege and nothing said in it would be actionable. So you are asking the bishop to violate privilege and risk legal consequences and probably not help at all.

Failing to think it through is not a virtue. If you want to help the victims of abuse you have to figure out what actions will most help and not act solely on emotional catharsis. This is why many in CPS and family courts are seen as heartless or jaded when you see them dispassionately discuss horrifying abuse. It is not that they do not care (most do) but they do know that histrionics about it do not help the victims.

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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Is the constraint from reporting where priest/penitent privilege exists a legal constraint or a religious one? 

Both.  Secular law applies, but the Church also does not want bishops to be compelled to testify about things they learn from confessions of penitents.  See, e.g., this story (from 1994, but still relevant):

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A person's conversations with clergy cannot be revealed, even if that person isn't making a formal confession, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled.

The court's ruling clarified two points: members of all religions have a right to expect visits with their clergy to be confidential even if those religions don't include formal confessions, as the Catholic Church does, and someone seeking advice from clergy has the same right to confidentiality as someone admitting a wrongdoing.In a 5-0 decision released Monday, the court ruled that even non-penitent conversations with church leaders are confidential if the person intends them to be, if he is seeking spiritual guidance or if the conversation is part of church discipline.

"This ruling is an important restatement of the law so people in Utah can feel confident that they can talk to their priests, rabbis and bishops and know that what they say in confidence will be kept in confidence," said Oscar McConkie Jr., attorney for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ross C. Anderson, attorney for a woman seeking to know what her father told his bishop, was unhappy with the decision.

"The LDS Church seems to have received extremely favorable treatment at the expense of ascertaining the truth," he said.

The more I encounter vignettes about Rocky Anderson (the former mayor of SLC, and the "Ross C. Anderson" referenced above), the less I think of him.

7 minutes ago, pogi said:

With my limited and possibly unclear understanding, it is not against the law for a a clergy member to report where the privilege exists, but that the law prevents clergy from being legally constrained to disclose information.  Am I wrong there? 

I can't speak as to the full contours of this issue.  The privilege is generally based on state law, so that means 50 different iterations of it.  But then the legislatures step in with "mandatory reporting" laws, which complicate the matter even further.

However, in a previous post I wrote up a possible consequence to violating the privilege (the "fruit of the poisonous tree" discussion).

7 minutes ago, pogi said:

My understanding is that any constraint to disclose comes from within the Church canon or religious law rather than legal law.

I'm not sure that is correct.  I think in some jurisdictions, perhaps even most, the privilege belongs to the confessor/penitent.  Consequently, whether the clergyman can disclose the confession to law enforcement is a decision that, legally speaking, belongs to the person who made the confession.

7 minutes ago, pogi said:

The Catholic Church, for example, unconditionally forbids such disclosure in and has established that expectation of confidentiality and trust.  Does our Church have such conditions/law/expectations however? 

The Church has a strong preference for the privilege, but I don't think it is as strenuous as the posture taken by our Catholic friends.

7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Is there the same "trust" in a LDS confession as there would be in a Catholic confession? 

Generally, yes.  See the article above.

7 minutes ago, pogi said:

Without any explicit expectations of trust, could any suit against a Latter-day Saint clergy for invasion of privacy or defamation win if a clergy did decide to report a confession where a priest/penitent privilege law exists?

Possibly.  Again, there are all sorts of reasons for the privilege.

Thanks,

-Smac

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29 minutes ago, pogi said:

Is the constraint from reporting where priest/penitent privilege exists a legal constraint or a religious one?  With my limited and possibly unclear understanding, it is not against the law for a a clergy member to report where the privilege exists, but that the law prevents clergy from being legally constrained to disclose information.  Am I wrong there?  My understanding is that any constraint to disclose comes from within the Church canon or religious law rather than legal law. The Catholic Church, for example, unconditionally forbids such disclosure in and has established that expectation of confidentiality and trust.  Does our Church have such conditions/law/expectations however?  Is there the same "trust" in a LDS confession as there would be in a Catholic confession?  Without any explicit expectations of trust, could any suit against a Latter-day Saint clergy for invasion of privacy or defamation win if a clergy did decide to report a confession where a priest/penitent privilege law exists?

The privilege is generally at the discretion of the penitent and not the clergy (though in some states either can invoke it). It is in secular legal law in most states. If I confessed to a murder to my bishop in a circumstance that falls under privilege and the bishop called the police I could claim privilege and probably have that thrown out along with any evidence found due to that confession.

Short answer: At least in Arizona it appears the bishop cannot choose to report without the man waiving the privilege. Assuming nothing was involved that would remove the privilege of course.
 

I found a 2009 case in Arizona where a man confessed to his wife to abusing his stepdaughter. He went to his bishop with his wife present and made the same confession and the appellate court ruled that the communication was privileged and not admissible.

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Being a bishop in that position would be my worst night-mare!

I feel so bad for them.  To have a child abuser confess to you, knowing that it will likely continue despite your best efforts, and not be able to report it would be a dreadful burden that I would not wish on my worst enemy.  To feel like you are the child's only hope of stopping the abuse and feeling powerless to stop it outside of the law, would cause me to tremble in sleepless nights.  To keep that secret would be too much for me to bear.  What other options are there if the confessor shows no signs of stopping?

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6 minutes ago, pogi said:

Being a bishop in that position would be my worst night-mare!

I feel so bad for them.  To have a child abuser confess to you, knowing that it will likely continue despite your best efforts, and not be able to report it would be a dreadful burden that I would not wish on my worst enemy.  To feel like you are the child's only hope of stopping the abuse and feeling powerless to stop it outside of the law, would cause me to tremble in sleepless nights.  To keep that secret would be too much for me to bear.  What other options are there if the confessor shows no signs of stopping?

To be honest, I don't think this happens much ("this" being a situation where a bishop receives a confession of ongoing abuse, but can do nothing to stop it from continuing).  Bishops can usually figure something out to curtail the abuse.  He can persuade the confessor to turn himself in to law enforcement.  Or move out of the family home.  Or authorize the bishop to move the family out of the home.  

There are more options, as well.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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