Lawmakers push to require clergy to disclose confessions of child abuse


September 4, 2019

By Pamela Manson

Legislators in two Western states are pushing measures that would require clergy members to report confessions of child sex abuse to authorities.

State Sen. Jerry Hill of California and state Rep. Angela Romero of Utah want their states to join about a dozen others in treating members of the clergy the same as numerous other professions – including teachers, doctors and social workers – who are required to inform law enforcement when they learn a child has been abused.

In most states, clergy members are not mandated reporters if a penitent tells them about the abuse in a confession, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

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