Bills requiring clergy to report abuse discloses won’t advance in Utah legislature

KSTU-TV, Fox-13 [Salt Lake City UT]

February 18, 2023

By Ben Winslow

House Minority Leader Angela Romero confirmed to FOX 13 News on Friday she’s been told her bill and others mandating clergy report abuse disclosures to law enforcement will not be advancing in the legislature. There were four bills introduced in the legislature on the topic following reports of sexual abuse within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not being handed to law enforcement.

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has been vigorously opposed to it, arguing it breaks the seal of confession. Rep. Romero, D-Salt Lake City, said she had been told the LDS Church was neutral on her bill. But she planned to bring the bill back again and again.

“There’s strong concerns from the Catholic church in particular, and I’ll still continue to move forward with these bills because I really fell like it’s important we hold people accountable if they’re harming children,” she told FOX 13 News.

The chair of the House Rules Committee, which determines what bills move forward, told FOX 13 News he doesn’t feel like the bills are quite ready for hearings.