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What a Nightmare!


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1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

What exactly is the purpose of correcting my grammatical errors? And this is not the first time you've done this, so there seems to be some need on your part to act the part of the superior teacher feeling the need to correct the inferior student.   It's really quite off putting. 

Sorry, Fair Dinkum.  I actually thought you were doing it deliberately to trigger me -- that's the overall attitude you convey.  But perhaps you really don't know English grammar well, and I have overestimated you.  8)

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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

Opposing  party statements are defined as non hearsay.

from the Federal Rules of evidence Section 801 

(d) Statements That Are Not Hearsay. A statement that meets the following conditions is not hearsay:

. . . 

(2) An Opposing Party’s Statement. The statement is offered against an opposing party and:

(A) was made by the party in an individual or representative capacity;

(B) is one the party manifested that it adopted or believed to be true;

(C) was made by a person whom the party authorized to make a statement on the subject;

(D) was made by the party’s agent or employee on a matter within the scope of that relationship and while it existed; or

(E) was made by the party’s coconspirator during and in furtherance of the conspiracy.

 

This is why "anything you say can be used against you in a court of law"

 

You are quoting the Federal Rules of of Evidence, in which I am well acquainted (past prosecutor). It is true opposing party statements are exclusions (not exceptions) and they are not considered hearsay in a civil lawsuit, although some can be used and some cannot be used in a criminal court. 

The "anything you say can be used in a court of law" is part of the Miranda given when someone is placed in custody but before interrogation and that in itself has some complexities. For instance what a person says while in the back of a police car can be used, but what a person writes down while under interrogation in some instances can not be used. Although oral and written statements could be considered hearsay.

I'm not disagreeing with you, I was just pointing out the term you used earlier ("always") sometimes it is not "always."

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4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I'm aware of that. But the quote I posted represents Arizona specifically. It's saying that in Arizona the law classifies clergy as mandatory reporters, with the exception of the bold below. Doesn't that stand out to you? Why would Kirton and McConkie not tell the bishops to report? Child abuse like in this case, isn't reasonable at all within the concepts of religion right? I'm more than happy to have you explain, if wrong. 

What the bishop didn’t do was report the abuse to police. He didn’t have to. Although Arizona law classifies clergy, as well as many others, as mandatory reporters of child abuse, there is an exception for clergy to not report if they believe it is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.”

If you are a cleric (bishop, pastor, rabbi, priest, mullah, etc.), your receipt of a confession is confidential under law.  It doesn't matter whether it is a rape, murder, or other serious crime.  If the cleric turns the confessing perpetrator in, it is tainted evidence, and anything gained thereafter is "fruit of the poisoned tree," and inadmissible in court.

One can be a mandated reporter outside the confessional, and that is the law nearly everywhere.  Certain professionals and vocations are actually listed as mandated reporters, but that does not include ordinary people like you and me.  We can choose to report, if we want, but we are not required to do so by law.

Thus, a doctor or nurse examining a child in the course of their professional duties who sees injuries indicating child abuse, are required to report it directly to police or CPS immediately.  That is mandated reportage.

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5 hours ago, rongo said:

I wouldn't describe this as "devil may care" at all. And, yes, I don't see any doctrinal, scriptural, or General Authority exposition on the meaning and parameters of confession in the LDS view. The handbooks simply make it clear that confidentiality is to be kept, but nowhere do we see it treated as a sacred ordinance subject to mortal sin, like in the Catholic Church. People who see it this way are reading their own views into it. I think it's simply a practical matter in our church. If the person confessing doesn't expect it to be confidential, then far fewer would be willing to confess. 

That's why I had the impression that you do not see it as strongly confidential, and that appears to be correct.  Both Mormons and non-Mormons see the confidentiality rule as so loose as not to really mean anything.  I see that as a huge mistake, and I do not ever characterize it in Catholic theological terms.  That would also be a mistake.  The sacraments and the sealing power are immense, but normally given short-shrift in Mormon parlance.  Mormons seem almost quaint in their old pioneer pragmatism and by-gosh-and-by-golly ways.  Perhaps that's a good thing.  Perhaps I am taking it all too seriously.  :pirate:

5 hours ago, rongo said:

The problem with child abuse is that the perpetrators are sick, and past abuse is usually not a one-off. There is a very real danger of recidivism. That's why we annotate records and don't allow even repentant abusers to hold callings with youth and children --- for life. In a very real sense, confession of this should be seen as "a continuing criminal pursuit of abuse" if there are children in the home or there is access to children. 

I'm not aware of anyone who has confessed to past abuse, and who says, "And, I'm still doing it. Probably will again tonight, too." Because of our imperative to protect children, our flock, and the Church's good name, I think we should use all of our influence to encourage those guilty of this to cooperate fully with the legal system. Where there is refusal to do this, they aren't really repentant. They want to make partial amends and take their stripes, maybe, but they aren't willing to do everything they can or that needs to be done. 

"The Church's good name" should have nothing to do with this.  That was the mistake made by the Roman Catholic Church in ignoring serial pedophiles and often transferring them to new assignments, often out of country.  Both they and the LDS Church have been successfully sued for lack of "due diligence" in such cases, and a lot of tithing dollars have gone to lawyers and victims.  $Millions.  That is why such stark changes have been made.  However, we are never going to achieve perfection in handling criminality.  No matter how good our intentions, we can only do the best we can, which will include errors in which bad guys get away, and in which innocent parties go to prison (in one particularly egregious case in New Zealand, an innocent LDS man went to prison for pedophilia, even though he was innocent [and the entire high council knew it], but nothing could be done).  The difficult question is how are we going to have confidentiality in the confessional?  If lawyers, doctors, and clerics can just go out and reveal what they know whenever they feel like it, that is the end of meaningful confession and confidentiality.  Can that be a good thing?

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1 hour ago, Vanguard said:

I think there should be a distinction between priest-penitent and the rest. In the case of p-p, there should be no member privilege. Do you agree?

Why the distinction? do you think they are worse than lawyers, doctors and spouses?

I know and work with plenty of Lawyers and (as a group) they are generally less moral than priests and doctors.

I personally have seen much good come from the priest penitent privilege.

 

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Having read the entire sentencing hearing transcript ( except for a few paragraphs explicitly describing the abuse), my conclusion is there is definitely something mentally disordered with the mother.  She was given many, many opportunities to leave, Adams was even gone for three months due to work.  He likely horrifically abused her along with their daughters.  She writes of intentionally choosing not to remember or think about some things and her counselor believed she had suppressed memories rather than lying, but she even after her husband was arrested apparently told her daughter it was nonsense to say she was raped.  They also give her parent training for 18 months and at the end of that time period her description of discipline was to give her kids vinegar until they threw up.  After 18 months....and no sign of remorse even though she loved her children and they loved her.  She demanded according to the prosecutor that the plea be "no contest" meaning she is not admitting guilt.

It appears from her brother's testimony the marriage relationship was off from the beginning (hiding the plan of getting married from the family) as well as she was very socially inept and inexpressive in her youth as well as an adult...which could explain why she was so easily and thoroughly a victim herself, but she never said anything to the family about being abused herself or the children.  Her brother was a border patrol officer and a chaplain himself, it sounds like he at least would have acted if told.

I think the Court made the right decision so the children would know there were consequences to their mother not protecting them, that it was wrong and they had a right to be protected, especially since it appears at times the mother continued to be dismissive about what was done to them.  Probation for four years afterwards and the kids being adopted by someone besides family was wise as well (the eldest daughter had difficulty being around those who knew due to extreme embarrassment)....I am assuming this happened by how the news reported the adoptions plus the recommendations.  The extended family really wanted to care for the children and appeared to be doing everything they should, so not their fault it didn't happen, just needed to give the kids a new beginning.

Which all leads to me not getting why if it was legally optional for the bishops to report it, why they didn't at least call CPS.  Not clear on if the second bishop actually counseled with the parents or just contacted the abuse hotline about it (the confession apparently took place close to the end of the first bishop's tenure). Haven't read anything from the bishops firsthand and the homeland agent was naturally presenting things biased against the mother so may have left out stuff about the bishop as he did the mother (she wanted to talk to a FBI agent in her ward after the "free talk" interview, but was told to talk to her attorney instead so unlike how he represented her she looks like she was willing eventually to admit she knew about the abuse in the past), but if the father admitted to abuse continuing multiple times to the bishop after the mother promised to keep the kids safe...it would be obvious nothing was changing.  They excommunicated him for it relatively quickly, but nothing appears to have been done to ensure protection for the children...at least nothing was reported by the Homeland agent who reported the conversation with the bishop.  The judge in the sentencing seemed bewildered why the bishops didn't do something about it, so it appears it was a legal option to report it.

There are times I really wish our bishops were professionals.

And given the second bishop called, this suggests the hotline people also knew it was continuing.  And that really, really concerns me as they are professionals.

But there is more to the story than I have read so far, so perhaps there are reasonable answers to be had.  

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

Why the distinction? do you think they are worse than lawyers, doctors and spouses?

I know and work with plenty of Lawyers and (as a group) they are generally less moral than priests and doctors.

I personally have seen much good come from the priest penitent privilege.

 

Perhaps in a close knit faith community the role of a bishop (ward father?) is qualitatively different than an attorney or doctor. The attorneys and doctors are your friend for a fee (as with any other profession) whereas the bishop has a much more substantial stewardship that extends far beyond a person/s material and/or legal well-being. When a bishop is hamstrung from taking definitive action to protect an innocent child in his own faith community for which he has spiritual oversite, it seems much more a travesty when these things go unreported. I'm ok with the doctors and lawyers - I never looked to them for my own spiritual well-being and growth anyway.

Does that actually seem that far-fetched to you?

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Looks like I missed the first partvof the hearing.  The border patrol friend of the mother is testifying.  Adams was fired once for making terroristic threats against the station and had been in the habit of talking about people getting " picked off".  She says she was always personable with him so she wouldn't be one of his victims when he finally lost it (she spoke as a certainity in happening, not a possibility....of course this is after he has been exposed, atessted and offed himself).  She went to the same ward as his family, the mother and kids were there weekly, the father an occasional appearance (maybe because he was excommunicated?).

She is the best friend of the mother's and taught all the kids minus the youngest in Primary.  Rarely went to the house as the father didn't allow visitors.  When he was out of town went over to watch stuff on church TV.  She could tell the family had issues and the mom would hang around church not wanting to go home as it was the only place he allowed her to go without him.  So she intentionally made friends with her and was made her visiting teacher as well.  She would sit with the family during SM.  Looks like she prodded a lot hoping her friend would open up about what was happening at home.  The kids never said anything about their dad, which she saw as a bad sign.  Mom didn't open up about the abuse until after he was arrested ( this counteracts what was said elsewhere about her being told around the same time as the bishop unless I misread it).

Ach...the mother told her ( after the arrest) that Adams gave her a choice, either she beat them or he would for discipline so she would So it wasn't as bad.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, Amulek said:

You mean 'change the law...again.' This is an experiment Arizona has already tried. 

If you look at the history of the state's mandatory reporting statute (e.g., here), you will see that they added clergy to the list of mandatory reporters back in 1990 only to remove them when they revised the statute again back in 2003.

I suppose they could always change their mind again. But, in my opinion, there's really no point. 

I've yet to see anything which would lead me to believe that removing the clergy-penitent privilege is a net benefit for society. It's a pretty significant intrusion on religious liberty for pretty much zero benefit to society (because once people know clergy are required to report they will just stop confessing to clergy until they have already been caught or are on their deathbed - neither of which will do anything to help victims). 

 

I think if asked, the Church would support a law requiring all bishops and stake presidents to report child abuse.  The Church has a policy of mandatory prosecution for embezzlement of tithing and offering funds.  Child abuse is egregious beyond belief.  Sure, you can get help to cope with the abuse later on in life, but it permanently changes you.  It causes trials in your life beyond anything a pshrink can imagine.  I know because I'm in my sixth decade and the years of sexual abuse I suffered has tainted me to this day.  It caused me horrible trials and I still suffer the consequences to this day.  I've had lots of therapy to deal with it, but I will never know who I could have been had I not been repeatedly molested over five years.  I'm now comfortable with myself and I am past the pain of the memories, but all my actions will always be tainted by it. 

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42 minutes ago, Ratbag said:

I think if asked, the Church would support a law requiring all bishops and stake presidents to report child abuse.  The Church has a policy of mandatory prosecution for embezzlement of tithing and offering funds.  Child abuse is egregious beyond belief.  Sure, you can get help to cope with the abuse later on in life, but it permanently changes you.  It causes trials in your life beyond anything a pshrink can imagine.  I know because I'm in my sixth decade and the years of sexual abuse I suffered has tainted me to this day.  It caused me horrible trials and I still suffer the consequences to this day.  I've had lots of therapy to deal with it, but I will never know who I could have been had I not been repeatedly molested over five years.  I'm now comfortable with myself and I am past the pain of the memories, but all my actions will always be tainted by it. 

I so agree, I'm so sorry Ratbag. I know so many that this has caused their lives to change forever. 

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The day bishops start reporting crimes like this to law enforcement all but the most deranged people stop confessing. It is important to remember that the bishop can and should report abuse if the evidence did not come from a confession. So should anyone. It is a very narrow privilege but it exists for a good reason. The idea that if clergy start reporting abuse from confessions that it will stop all kinds of abuse is foolhardy. If the law changes they will never hear about it and one possible ally to the abused will not be able to act. People compare it to a teacher reporting abuse but generally the abuser does not confess to the child’s teacher. The child does. If a child seeks out a Bishop’s help for abuse the bishop can report it.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Certain professionals and vocations are actually listed as mandated reporters, but that does not include ordinary people like you and me.  We can choose to report, if we want, but we are not required to do so by law.

Where I live, we made everyone age 18+ a mandated reporter last year. We'll see how that works. One of the greatest risks in child protection is so thoroughly overwhelming the system with unsubstantiated reports that genuine problems are missed.

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The day bishops start reporting crimes like this

We don’t have all the story so I may be wrong, but it sounds like it was much more complicated than a straightforward confession between clergy and penitent. For one thing it went on for at least two years. Sounds more like he was bragging about it like he did when he was arrested.  I am shocked he confessed.  He doesn’t sound capable of guilt and was very resistant to others’ persuasion.  They were going to still elope after the family found out about the marriage just because...or so it seemed to the brother if I understood him correctly.  He got fired because he threatened his bosses with taking them out when he lost his temper, which was a common occurrence.  The friend saw it as likely  he would shoot up his work or church and she was always nice to him so when the time came she would have time to pull her gun and take care of him herself (I think she would make for a very interesting visiting and primary teacher).  And according to the mother’s later comments, he was raping her from the beginning of their marriage.  Not someone I see confessing.  

 I would also really like to know more about what the mother had to say to the bishop in the multiple counseling sessions. She was the one coming to church every week for the seven years, the husband was only attending on occasion after his excommunication and possibly before (the friend reporting this joined the ward after he was able excomnunicated).  He was notorious for having affairs and had been suspended from his job once due to lending his car to an illegal woman he was having an affair with who was stopped by police for something I can’t remember, but her friend said she was clueless about all that even though it was obvious to everyone else.  

From what was reported it is possible the bishop didn’t act because of the mother insisting he not do so contrary to the claim she did nothing because she relied on church counsel (it was reported by both the agent and the friend that both through the official church through the bishop and more personal offers of members, she had broad support for leaving him even from those not knowing of the abuse).  However, she was fearful if she left him he would track her down and kill them all according to her friend/visiting teacher with a gun and willing to use it. The friend was actually convinced he would do it to the point she was offering to stand guard while the mom packed and then take them to a hopefully safe place.  He had even cloned her phone so he would know all the texts and calls she was getting.

The bishop couldn’t force her to leave him anymore than the friend could,  but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was completely confused by her behaviour.  If she refused to discuss abuse and was denying it all along with her friend, there is a good chance imo  that she refused to discuss it with the bishop as she had a huge habit of avoidance of any subject she was uncomfortable with according to family and her therapist and she would go off on weird irrelevant tangents rather than answer hard questions.  A lot of stuff didn’t come out until after the plea deal was signed...which made the state suspicious of her claims of abuse of herself and saw her as manipulative while family and friends saw her as controlled by Adams.

The confession to the bishop apparently only came out in the investigation because she had written about it in her journal and her attorney had asked her to review them. I don’t know whether she was afraid she would get caught lying about it (maybe she thought the attorney would ask for the journals) or she really had repressed the memory (of multiple times confessing?  maybe that wasn’t actually what happened and the agent misunderstood the bishop) or something else.  There are some really weird twists to the story with the mother.  The therapist and psyche evaluations pretty much sound like they didn’t know what was going on, except that she was very difficult with the story coming out in bits and pieces to be patched together and after 18 months showed only a little progress according to her therapist and no progress according to the children’s advocate and others. Granted it was five to seven years more of abuse of her children and likely herself to further damage her from when she had first talked with the bishop, but from what the brother said she pretty much had always shut down around authority figures, so expecting the bishop to figure out what was going on with her is unrealistic imo and that may have been part of his not reporting.  Add that to her husband threatening her...I could see her telling the bishop to say nothing in order to protect her and the children while downplaying the abuse big time or even lying with her “default answers” she said she used whenever uncomfortable....that weren’t lies as she told the FBI agent, but just incomplete....though they were obvious lies. 

Depending solely on the agent’s report of what the bishops said to draw conclusions about what they did is foolish, imo. Not saying he lied, just that he was focused on exploring the situation for one reason and therefore might have easily misunderstood what he was told due to faulty assumptions coming from a screwed up, contradictory story from the mom.  Since the agent didn’t know the bishops’ names before her “free talk” interview, it sounds like they weren’t involved in the investigation at all until she corrected her “default answer” through her lawyer and admitted being told in the presence of her bishop her husband was assaulting their daughter back in 2010 or 11.  The homeland agent just reported the one contact with the bishops, the FBI agent didn’t learn of it until they were in court, so it doesn’t sound like they were interviewed in detail or depth.

I am guessing there will be settlements.  The victims are certainly deserving of getting all the help they can get. There will undoubtedly be long term physical health issues resulting from the abuse as well as emotional ones. There will need to be a lot of support to keep the children from falling into self destructive paths or getting out of the ones they were already in as reported to the court.  

Edited by Calm
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From the OP link:

Quote

Meanwhile, parents of the two girls hired attorney Lynne Cadigan to explore a lawsuit against the church as well as Border Patrol agent Shaunice Warr. Warr was friendly with the mother and told investigators the mother shared with her that her husband was emotionally and physically abusing her and her children. As a peace officer, Warr is a mandated reporter, Cadigan said.

Either the reporter messed up or the lawyer lied to the reporter about what Warr said.  The mother only shared the info he was abusing her after he was arrested.  Prior to that she suspected it due to the family's behaviour, but the mom kept denying it.

Quote

Did Leizza ever talk to you about abuse?

A No.

Q Of her abuse?
A Not until after Paul was arrested.
Q Of him abusing her?
A Right. I tried to get her to. I asked every way

possible. I asked the kids. There was fear in the house.

 

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The day bishops start reporting crimes like this to law enforcement all but the most deranged people stop confessing. It is important to remember that the bishop can and should report abuse if the evidence did not come from a confession. So should anyone. It is a very narrow privilege but it exists for a good reason. The idea that if clergy start reporting abuse from confessions that it will stop all kinds of abuse is foolhardy. If the law changes they will never hear about it and one possible ally to the abused will not be able to act. People compare it to a teacher reporting abuse but generally the abuser does not confess to the child’s teacher. The child does. If a child seeks out a Bishop’s help for abuse the bishop can report it. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969.]

But, of course, that is less likely to happen now that, in response to a hue and cry from misguided people who believe children, as a rule, need protection from bishops, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given abusers yet another opportunity to conceal abuse by accompanying their victims to bishop interviews in order to make sure that no "dirty family laundry" is aired and that the victim doesn't say anything about the abuse.  Thank goodness! :rolleyes:<_<

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

But, of course, that is less likely to happen now that, in response to a hue and cry from misguided people who believe children, as a rule, need protection from bishops, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given abusers yet another opportunity to conceal abuse by accompanying their victims to bishop interviews in order to make sure that no "dirty family laundry" is aired and that the victim doesn't say anything about the abuse.  Thank goodness! :rolleyes:<_<

The law of unintended consequences strikes again. But though unintended, certainly not unforeseeable. This can happen when knee jerk critics of the Church, whose constant delight is “proving” the Church leaders are “wrong,” are allowed to get their way. Emotionally derived solutions, inspired by social justice warrior type righteous indignation, will do this.

Edited by teddyaware
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9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The day bishops start reporting crimes like this to law enforcement all but the most deranged people stop confessing.

That is a legitimate concern, yes.  And when "all but the most deranged" stop confiding in bishops, the bishops are deprived of the opportunity to counsel with them, encourage them to repent (and, if necessary, turn themselves over to law enforcement), to arrange for the immediate safety of the victims, and so on.

9 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It is important to remember that the bishop can and should report abuse if the evidence did not come from a confession.

Yes.  And this can and does happen.  A lot, actually.  But folks like _____________ don't seem to care, as they are too busy fomenting fear and mistrust of bishops, too busy characterizing them as nascent perverts and child molesters, too busy ginning up a moral panic that has a very good chance of doing affirmative harm by depriving victims of a valuable resource for the detection, cessation and reporting of abuse (bishops).

When the objective is to stir up ill will against the Church and its leaders and members, overarching concerns for the welfare of victims doesn't seem to matter.  Thoughtless, feckless outrage and virtue signalling carry the day.

Thanks,

-Smac

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14 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That's why I had the impression that you do not see it as strongly confidential, and that appears to be correct.  Both Mormons and non-Mormons see the confidentiality rule as so loose as not to really mean anything.  I see that as a huge mistake, and I do not ever characterize it in Catholic theological terms.  That would also be a mistake.  The sacraments and the sealing power are immense, but normally given short-shrift in Mormon parlance.  Mormons seem almost quaint in their old pioneer pragmatism and by-gosh-and-by-golly ways.  Perhaps that's a good thing.  Perhaps I am taking it all too seriously.  :pirate:

I think we could really use detailed, explanatory guidance from the Brethren on the rationale, parameters, etc. for confession. As you point out, there is a wide range of strongly held views on this among active members, but there is literally almost no explanation or guidance from the Church on this. The hotline/legal help's focus is on protecting the Church. 

"The Church's good name" should have nothing to do with this.  That was the mistake made by the Roman Catholic Church in ignoring serial pedophiles and often transferring them to new assignments, often out of country.

I'm arguing for the exact opposite fro the Catholic Church's hiding and moving of serial pedophile priests. I'm arguing that our clergy should sometimes insist on people confessing of horrific things turning themselves in and cooperating fully with law enforcement. That's very different from the Catholic situation. The Church's good name is definitely an important consideration, since there are cases where leaders know of probable danger and are told not to do anything. This doesn't feel morally or ethically right, and is a tough spot for leaders to be placed in. And, it looks terrible and is unjustifiable when this is learned publicly, via lawsuits and the media. The only justification for it seems to be grounded in Catholic terms of the sanctity of the seal of confession, or speculation that this will spike the wheel for prosecution.

   However, we are never going to achieve perfection in handling criminality.  No matter how good our intentions, we can only do the best we can, which will include errors in which bad guys get away, and in which innocent parties go to prison . . .  The difficult question is how are we going to have confidentiality in the confessional?  If lawyers, doctors, and clerics can just go out and reveal what they know whenever they feel like it, that is the end of meaningful confession and confidentiality.  Can that be a good thing?

I think the original reason for confession still stands, and will still be undergone by the truly repentant (working through the process of repentance the right way). I acknowledge concerns that people may not be willing to confess with the possibility that clergy will insist on cooperation with law enforcement, but I think there will still be sincere people who will do everything possible to atone for what they've done. The man I referred to desperately wanted to make an appointment with me, and when I couldn't meet until 6:00 PM, he went over to one of my counselor's houses. He was immediately shut down by him and told he has to meet with me, say no more. He and his wife came in together at 6:00, and they were both terrified. I told him that he should expect contact with law enforcement soon, and I exhorted him to cooperate fully (he had told his sister in Missouri, and she had called the police. She called him and told him, and told him to go straight to his bishop). Local police came to his house the next day and asked him to come down to the station with them. He waived his Miranda rights at the station and did a recorded confession and he was taken to jail. Originally facing 65 years, he pleaded down to 17 and that was that. His confession to police and the investigation turned up a lot more than what he had told me (other victims, computer evidence, etc.). I called the hotline after meeting with him, but things moved very quickly (I was impressed by how quickly, and between different states, too). Fortunately, I didn't have to do anything. I was called down to the station to be with the wife at her request, once he was taken away, and the detective and she filled me in on what had happened.

I don't think he's the norm. I think most will panic and dig in with self-preservation. But, many people who have done terrible things really do believe in the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration, and for them, confession is submitting to priesthood keys as part of "doing all they can do" in the repentance process. For them, full cooperation with law enforcement is a relief because you are doing literally all you can do from that point, with nothing left off the table, and you rely on the atonement for everything else. You cannot make the situation right or eliminate the damage, but you can show good faith and do what you can to mitigate suffering for the victims. I think this should be our ecclesiastical focus. 

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I think, too, that often with confessions like this the confessions are already not eligible for privilege (e.g., when done with a spouse present, a common occurrence). 

I had four victim families in my ward from a young adult who confessed to another bishop in the stake. He had him visit with him with the first couple and tell them, and under their questioning, he slowly admitted to other families, and they were also told in the bishops' office. This situation is also outside of "privileged" conversations, since the couples were brought in, but I don't fault him for doing it. The couples wouldn't have otherwise known. The couples went and turned the matter into the police. 

He called the hotline, and this is not what they would have advised him to do. But, I think what he did do was more "right" than what he would have been advised to do by Church legal.  

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

I think, too, that often with confessions like this the confessions are already not eligible for privilege (e.g., when done with a spouse present, a common occurrence). 

I had four victim families in my ward from a young adult who confessed to another bishop in the stake. He had him visit with him with the first couple and tell them, and under their questioning, he slowly admitted to other families, and they were also told in the bishops' office. This situation is also outside of "privileged" conversations, since the couples were brought in, but I don't fault him for doing it. The couples wouldn't have otherwise known. The couples went and turned the matter into the police. 

He called the hotline, and this is not what they would have advised him to do. But, I think what he did do was more "right" than what he would have been advised to do by Church legal.  

Why would the hotline not want him to do this?  He didn't alert the authorities.  He was able to get the young adult to confess in front of other people.  I would have thought that Church legal would have no problem with that.

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17 hours ago, rpn said:

I don't disagree that repentance includes pleading guilty.    I just don't believe it includes giving up one's constitutional right to not go confess to police.

The person confessing can do what he wants, including refusing to cooperate with police or voluntarily turning himself in. That is his right. I think, ecclesiastically, LDS clergy should try to persuade him to do the right thing, even if this will probably mean imprisonment and post-prison consequences. How does he expect to be able to make it to the celestial or terrestrial kingdom otherwise? Shouldn't that be the main thing, not narrow and short-sighted self-preservation? If he avails himself of his constitutional rights (as is his right), I don't think that LDS clergy should have to stifle their own conscience, especially when there is probable continuing danger or when this twists the knife with healing and closure for victims. 

Good people certainly disagree on this, but I think the Church's interest in this is more out of protecting itself and its reputation than it is out of a Catholic view of the sanctity of the seal of confession. 

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30 minutes ago, webbles said:

Why would the hotline not want him to do this?  He didn't alert the authorities.  He was able to get the young adult to confess in front of other people.  I would have thought that Church legal would have no problem with that.

Because you now have involved additional outside (non-clergy) people who aren't even law enforcement, either. That now makes the confession not confidential at all. Had he asked the hotline if he should have the young man tell the parents, I'm certain that he would have been strongly advised not to. It only went to the police when the parents took it to them. 

Thing is, that's the only way other victims were found --- the pointed questions by the upset parents. "You also babysat for this family, right? Did you do this there, too?" Shoes dropped and new families kept cropping up. 

I babysat quite a bit when I was a youth, and my oldest son has as well, but those days are long gone, I think. Parents just can't risk having boys babysit, and there is a chance that false accusations might be made. It's sad. 

Edited by rongo
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15 hours ago, Vanguard said:

Perhaps in a close knit faith community the role of a bishop (ward father?) is qualitatively different than an attorney or doctor. The attorneys and doctors are your friend for a fee (as with any other profession) whereas the bishop has a much more substantial stewardship that extends far beyond a person/s material and/or legal well-being. When a bishop is hamstrung from taking definitive action to protect an innocent child in his own faith community for which he has spiritual oversite, it seems much more a travesty when these things go unreported. I'm ok with the doctors and lawyers - I never looked to them for my own spiritual well-being and growth anyway.

Does that actually seem that far-fetched to you?

So you are OK with people being able to confess their sins confidentially to a lawyer and a doctor and a spouse but not to a spiritual leader?

 

 

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