MrShorty

Oregon Woman sues Church for reporting abuse

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12 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I love everything you wrote, but I’m not sure anyone alive (other than the perp himself) (maybe) can really speak definitively on this part.

Isn’t it kind of a fundamental notion within the church, that repenting of gravely illegal activity entails making yourself right before the law, making restitution to the victim(s), and paying any debts to society that may be owing? 

Why hadn’t he confessed already?  Did he really think that he’d be able to jerry-rig the repentance process—which logically should have included apologizing to his victim and her family, getting her whatever mental health counseling she needed, coming clean to his own wife, etc—in such a way that this sordid affair would never the radar of law enforcement/child protection authorities?

The more I think about this, the more questions I have . . .

I don't dispute anything you wrote. I'm just irritated at the special hated status certain types of people seem to have in society, even in Church society.

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2 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

FWIW, Utah’s child abuse reporting statute is online at https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title62A/Chapter4A/62A-4a-S403.html?v=C62A-4a-S403_1800010118000101.  There is a specific exception for clergy members who hear a confession of child abuse from the perpetrator herself—if they hear about it from any other source, they have to report it.

It actually puts defense lawyers in kind of a weird situation, because AFAIK there’s no Utah case law explicitly carving out an exception to the statute for attorney-client privilege.  When I did defense work, I got around the statute by telling my clients to tell me their story “as a hypothetical”.  Other defense attorneys, I think, just choose not to think about it too much.

By the way, I have seen child abuse cases where the referral was initially called in by a lawyer representing a clergyman who had found out about the abuse directly from the victim.

And this is the important part of the law (regarding clergy) for bishops and stake presidents within the Church:

Quote
(a) the perpetrator made the confession directly to the member of the clergy; and

(b) the member of the clergy is, under canon law or church doctrine or practice, bound to maintain the confidentiality of that confession.

 

As our leaders are not under any canon law or church doctrine they technically -- it appears -- (JAG you will read law better than me) the reporting of the abuse must be reported. We are specifically told to report if we are a bishop or stake president -- Church policy. So, in Utah if a bishop doesn't report he will be liable as there is no canon law, doctrine, or practice that prohibits telling this type of sin.

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6 hours ago, Vort said:

In exactly the same vein, characterizing the husband as "evil" is a step too far. I will never cease to be amazed that many of the very same people who weep and howl so loudly for the unkind accusations of evil hurled at their homosexual brother or sister will happily join in the lynching of a brother or sister struggling with pedophilic impulses. The hypocrisy is overwhelming.

Sure, we're all repulsed by the idea of pedophilia. But if simply being repulsive is sufficient excuse for public condemnation, then how can anyone complain about deprecations toward homosexuals? It's a clear double standard. And we're all scared by the idea of a predatory pedophile targetting children, especially  our own children. But this guy was looking to repent. Why doesn't that count for anything in the sympathy department?

Are you trying to say here that the repulsion you feel for homosexuality is exactly the same as how you feel about pedophilia? That for you, two consenting same-sex adults having sex in the privacy of their own home, is the same as an adult, either gay or straight, molesting a child?

M.

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5 minutes ago, Maureen said:

Are you trying to say here that the repulsion you feel for homosexuality is exactly the same as how you feel about pedophilia? That for you, two consenting same-sex adults having sex in the privacy of their own home, is the same as an adult, either gay or straight, molesting a child?

I'm pretty sure my meaning is obvious to any intelligent and unbiased reader fluent in English.

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9 minutes ago, Vort said:

I'm pretty sure my meaning is obvious to any intelligent and unbiased reader fluent in English.

In other words, you're not going to give a straight answer, which means I understand you correctly.

M.

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2 hours ago, Maureen said:

Are you trying to say here that the repulsion you feel for homosexuality is exactly the same as how you feel about pedophilia? That for you, two consenting same-sex adults having sex in the privacy of their own home, is the same as an adult, either gay or straight, molesting a child?

M.

I read @Vort as saying that pedophiles are fellow children of God who happen to have been “born that way” and who therefore deserve our compassion and forgiveness, though not our trust; and that the latter-day libertines who have spent the last twenty years crowing about how “God created some people with unorthodox sexual desires, and He doesn’t make mistakes, and love is love, and He wouldn’t want someone to have to live a loveless, celibate life” had better do some soul-searching pronto.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

And this is the important part of the law (regarding clergy) for bishops and stake presidents within the Church:

As our leaders are not under any canon law or church doctrine they technically -- it appears -- (JAG you will read law better than me) the reporting of the abuse must be reported. We are specifically told to report if we are a bishop or stake president -- Church policy. So, in Utah if a bishop doesn't report he will be liable as there is no canon law, doctrine, or practice that prohibits telling this type of sin.

I don’t know the Church’s practice; those sorts of decisions are above my ecclesiastical pay grade.  I had been under the impression that “confidential” means “confidential” and that Church leaders would only break confidentiality if they were legally required to do so.  Then again, not being a bishopric member and not having ever had occasion to confess illegal activity to my bishop; I can’t claim any firsthand experience. ;) 

There is talk of a bill being floated at the next legislative session that would remove the ecclesiastical exception for the Utah abuse reporting statute, and folks are kind of waiting with bated breath to see if the Church weighs in on such a bill.  From a policy standpoint, I favor keeping the exception.  If it’s removed, then perps simply won’t confess this kind of activity and will keep struggling with it in secret.  If John Q. Ward-Member is struggling with pedophilia, and I had to choose between no one knowing versus my bishop knowing but not being able to explicitly pass that information on—I’d rather that at least my bishop knew, so that he could continue to counsel Brother John while taking discreet action to safeguard the ward’s children.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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1 hour ago, Maureen said:

In other words, you're not going to give a straight answer, which means I understand you correctly.

M.

In other words, your question was idiotic and not worth answering.

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7 hours ago, Vort said:

In other words, your question was idiotic and not worth answering.

Indeed pretty typical of her... Oh I can pretend not to understand so I can ask a gotta question.

The simple fact is for years now we have been told that homosexual actions are hard wired into an individual and should be allowed to expression because clearly God made them that way.

When it is pointed out that the same logic and reason holds for pedophiles instead of recognizing the flaws in their case and arguments they give an emotional appeal against pedophiles.  50 years ago homosexuals had the same emotional appeal used against them and look where we are now.

The simple reality is that humans have a sex drive given to them by God.  God has in turn give very explicit command that it is not to be used except in very limited circumstance.  People who chose to ignore this suffer the consequences.

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9 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I don’t know the Church’s practice; those sorts of decisions are above my ecclesiastical pay grade.  I had been under the impression that “confidential” means “confidential” and that Church leaders would only break confidentiality if they were legally required to do so.  Then again, not being a bishopric member and not having ever had occasion to confess illegal activity to my bishop; I can’t claim any firsthand experience. ;) 

There is talk of a bill being floated at the next legislative session that would remove the ecclesiastical exception for the Utah abuse reporting statute, and folks are kind of waiting with bated breath to see if the Church weighs in on such a bill.  From a policy standpoint, I favor keeping the exception.  If it’s removed, then perps simply won’t confess this kind of activity and will keep struggling with it in secret.  If John Q. Ward-Member is struggling with pedophilia, and I had to choose between no one knowing versus my bishop knowing but not being able to explicitly pass that information on—I’d rather that at least my bishop knew, so that he could continue to counsel Brother John while taking discreet action to safeguard the ward’s children.

Isn't this though one of the ordeals with the Catholic church (at least from what I have understood). That people -- clergy -- knew while it was still happening and nothing was done to actually prevent it?

How is a bishop supposed to prevent this illegal action anywhere outside of the ward meeting time? I mean, he could protect his family -- that's it. If he tells anyone in the bishopric to keep watch for so-and-so at the ward around little children (implicitly he has already broken the clergy confidentiality).

Bishop helps so-and-so to confess and go through repentance. While going through repentance, a member who isn't aware of the situation allows there children to visit the home where illegal activities are happening and it happens to their son/daughter. What good did the counseling from the bishop do?

The only sure way to prevent is to report.

Having been a home teacher of where the bishop knew and I didn't know and I was bringing my children over to meet the family. Yes, that put me off a little. The bishop knowingly put my family in harms way. I should have been informed this way I knew I shouldn't bring any of my children over (by the way my 15 year old son was my companion). This situation though a little different because he had already served time. If this wasn't an individual who had served time (known), and only confessed his sin to the bishop -- the bishop and I would have had greater words than me simply accepting the decision the moment I found out.

So, I guess I am saying I would rather him report and be able to report. Confessing a sin doesn't mean the action will stop, and at that time the only person protected is the bishop's family. He can't police the neighborhood.

Edited by Anddenex

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3 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Isn't this though one of the ordeals with the Catholic church (at least from what I have understood). That people -- clergy -- knew while it was still happening and nothing was done to actually prevent it?

 

Yup. 

The priest scandal caused huge damage to the church, but the cover up, arguably, caused much more. 

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In order for a Catholic confession to be valid, you have to tell everything. You can't withhold and mortal sins that you are aware of. IE-I can't tell the priest about my two mistresses and deliberately leave out the three other women I'm currently sleeping with. 

Well, this is exactly what the Catholic church did. Instead of just coming clean, they played games, lived in denial, and tried to cover things up. in other words, they did the one thing that they drilled into our heads that you can't do. 

The damage they did to the church, especially in New England, is unfathomable. 

Edited by MormonGator

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13 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 

I love everything you wrote, but I’m not sure anyone alive (other than the perp himself) (maybe) can really speak definitively on this part.

Isn’t it kind of a fundamental notion within the church, that repenting of gravely illegal activity entails making yourself right before the law, making restitution to the victim(s), and paying any debts to society that may be owing? 

Why hadn’t he confessed already?  Did he really think that he’d be able to jerry-rig the repentance process—which logically should have included apologizing to his victim and her family, getting her whatever mental health counseling she needed, coming clean to his own wife, etc—in such a way that this sordid affair would never the radar of law enforcement/child protection authorities?

The more I think about this, the more questions I have . . .

Seeing that he was going through a disciplinary council, he was most likely somewhere on the road of repentance.  A person does not have to go through that council if he does not want to.

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3 hours ago, estradling75 said:

....The simple fact is for years now we have been told that homosexual actions are hard wired into an individual and should be allowed to expression because clearly God made them that way.

When it is pointed out that the same logic and reason holds for pedophiles instead of recognizing the flaws in their case and arguments they give an emotional appeal against pedophiles....

From what I have read, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated. Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, just like heterosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

M.

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33 minutes ago, Maureen said:

Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, just like heterosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

Interesting. I was not aware that heterosexuality was ever included in the APA's DSM or the WHO's ICD-10.

34 minutes ago, Maureen said:

From what I have read, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated

Would you recommend any of these treatments for homosexuals with "ego-dystonic sexual orientation" - that is, they know they are homosexual but wish they weren't?

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51 minutes ago, Maureen said:

From what I have read, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated. Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, just like heterosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

M.

You are so 5 minutes ago.  Pedophilia is now the new homosexuality doncha know?  In 5 years (maybe less the way it is now hitting Hollywood), you'd be saying "From what I read, bestiality is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated.  Pedophilia is not a psychiatric disorder, just like homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder".

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6 hours ago, Anddenex said:

Isn't this though one of the ordeals with the Catholic church (at least from what I have understood). That people -- clergy -- knew while it was still happening and nothing was done to actually prevent it?

How is a bishop supposed to prevent this illegal action anywhere outside of the ward meeting time? I mean, he could protect his family -- that's it. If he tells anyone in the bishopric to keep watch for so-and-so at the ward around little children (implicitly he has already broken the clergy confidentiality).

Bishop helps so-and-so to confess and go through repentance. While going through repentance, a member who isn't aware of the situation allows there children to visit the home where illegal activities are happening and it happens to their son/daughter. What good did the counseling from the bishop do?

The only sure way to prevent is to report.

Having been a home teacher of where the bishop knew and I didn't know and I was bringing my children over to meet the family. Yes, that put me off a little. The bishop knowingly put my family in harms way. I should have been informed this way I knew I shouldn't bring any of my children over (by the way my 15 year old son was my companion). This situation though a little different because he had already served time. If this wasn't an individual who had served time (known), and only confessed his sin to the bishop -- the bishop and I would have had greater words than me simply accepting the decision the moment I found out.

So, I guess I am saying I would rather him report and be able to report. Confessing a sin doesn't mean the action will stop, and at that time the only person protected is the bishop's family. He can't police the neighborhood.

The issue with the Catholics, as I understand it, is that allegedly offending priests were deliberately being moved to a community where no one knew them or their history, and then placed in situations of trust where they could perpetrate again—while church leaders allegedly out of their way to admonish victims to keep the secular authorities out of it.  

That’s different than—say—an LDS bishop who gets up in a fifth-Sunday meeting and says “brothers and sisters, I can’t talk about specifics, but please be aware that we do have someone in the ward who is struggling with this”, and who makes it a point not to put the offender in a calling that will give him access to new victims, and who contacts the victim’s family and advises them that he has reason to believe the victim needs counseling.

I certainly sympathize with the idea that “if the bishop knows, he should be required to report it!”; but the practical reality is that if we impose such a legal regimen—the result will simply be that for every child molester we nab via confession, there will probably be two or three more who would have confessed if the legal privilege had existed but won’t since it doesn’t. 

And as for convicted offenders—absolutely; one would hope the bishop would have access to the marked membership record and use that information wisely.  Additionally, every parent should know how to access their state’s sex offender registry, and run a search on their neighborhood every six months or so.

One other thing I’ll note is that there’s a difference in the attraction to pubescent children versus the attraction to mid-to-late teenagers.  I would be very cautious in exposing my family members to someone who fell in either category; but I don’t think I’d rule out taking my fourteen-year-old son to home teach a convicted pedophile who had perped on a six-year-old—provided he knew, in very general terms, that the home-teachee has a criminal record and that they should not be alone together. 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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4 hours ago, dprh said:

Seeing that he was going through a disciplinary council, he was most likely somewhere on the road of repentance.  A person does not have to go through that council if he does not want to.

Sure; but it’s also possible to go through church discipline with very ambiguous feelings as to how deep a sacrifice one is willing to make through the process.  

And if *he* was expecting to come clean at some point, then what cause for complaint does his wife have since all the bishopric member did was to speed up the inevitable?  The existence of the lawsuit suggests that the wife thought the legal authorities would not be involved—ever.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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3 hours ago, Maureen said:

From what I have read, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated. Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, just like heterosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

M.

Every professional training I’ve been to suggests that there is some measure of success in treating children who molest other children; but that it gets harder with age.  Once adulthood sets in I believe the bulk of the literature is that the behaviors can be contained but that the fundamental desires don’t go away.  See, e.g., https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/pessimism-about-pedophilia .

 

Pedophiles walk a very, very lonely road.  

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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3 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Every professional training I’ve been to suggests that there is some measure of success in treating children who molest other children; but that it gets harder with age.  Once adulthood sets in I believe the bulk of the literature is that the behaviors can be contained but that the fundamental desires don’t go away.  Pedophiles walk a very, very lonely road.  

I work with teenage sex offenders, and we work under that assumption, i.e. that they can change.  I see wonderful growth in our boys, so I am encouraged. 

As with anything, our attitudes, habits etc are more firmly ingrained and harder to change. 

All that to say, I agree with you.

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3 hours ago, Maureen said:

From what I have read, pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder which can be treated. Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder, just like heterosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder.

M.

I don't think all sex offenders are pedophiles though. I've read many reports of boys (perhaps girls too) watching porn and then experimenting on other children, particularly siblings.  

I work with teen sex offenders, I definitely think they can be treated, but I don't think they are pedophiles. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

The issue with the Catholics, as I understand it, is that allegedly offending priests were deliberately being moved to a community where no one knew them or their history, and then placed in situations of trust where they could perpetrate again—while church leaders allegedly out of their way to admonish victims to keep the secular authorities out of it.  

That, and they lied, stuck their heads in the sand, and then tried everything possible to downplay the situation. Claim "media bias", ignore calls for reform, blame "the gays". It showed their massive arrogance and frankly in some cases, outright cruelty.  If the leaders had integrity they would have accepted blame from the start and tried to make things right immediately. 

It's basically a plan for what not to do. Other churches (the intelligent ones) should take note. 
 

Edited by MormonGator

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

That, and they lied, stuck their heads in the sand, and then tried everything possible to downplay the situation. Claim "media bias", ignore calls for reform, blame "the gays". It showed their massive arrogance and frankly in some cases, outright cruelty.  If the leaders had integrity they would have accepted blame from the start and tried to make things right immediately. 

It's basically a plan for what not to do. Other churches (the intelligent ones) should take note. 
 

Yeah, I wan to be careful not to make over-generalizations; but my understanding was that there was also a sort of pervasive attitude of “the church and its agents are a sovereign entity answerable only to the Vatican and not foreign governments and so we don’t have to buy play by your rules” that complicated things.  :(  

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