BATON ROUGE (LA)
February 22, 2018
By Trey Schmaltz and Chris Nakamoto
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See also the earlier opinion of the LA Supreme Court.]
A long legal battle between the Catholic Church and a woman who argued she tried to use a confession as a way to report sexual abuse against a church parishioner has ended.
In a news release announcing its pleasure with the outcome, the Diocese of Baton Rouge said it and Father Jeff Bayhi had been dismissed from the lawsuit.
The lawsuit argued a priest should have to report being told about child abuse while hearing a confession – a meeting faithful believe is an exchange between themselves and a messenger of God who can clear their sins. In most cases, state law requires people with knowledge of child sex abuse to report such crimes to authorities. Though, a September 2017 ruling by a district court judge in Baton Rouge found priests were not bound under the law.
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