The bill would extend to a range of positions and professions across church, state, and private insitutions, but provides explicit exemptions for the confessional, and priests would not be required to report abuse they learned about in that context.
Excerpts from story as reported in CNA (Catholic News Agency):
.- A law has been proposed in the District of Columbia which will broaden the classification of those required to report instances of child abuse or neglect. The bill would apply to clergy but make exceptions for the sacrament of confession.
“Teachers, health professionals, and clergy have a special responsibility to protect children, but far too often abuse goes unreported or is covered up,” said Attorney General Karl Racine in a statement to the media.
“To help stop child abuse in the District, this bill requires more adults to report it and trains them on how to spot it.”
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington released a statement saying that the archdiocese was aware of the draft bill but had not yet seen a final version. Director of Media and Public Relations Chieko Noguchi noted that the archdiocese had “long been supportive” of such policies.
Currently, everyone over the age of 18 in the District of Columbia is required to report suspected or known abuse of a child under the age of 16 to police. Mandatory reporters, however, are subject to enhanced requirements, and can receive thousands of dollars of fines and up to six months in prison for failing to report cases of abuse.
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Source: DC attorney general proposes bill to make clergy mandatory reporters
Newly inaugurated state attorneys general are promising to continue investigations of clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic church as thousands of victims are reaching out to state hotlines and online reporting systems
At least 14 attorneys general around the country have confirmed investigations or reviews of clergy abuse in the wake of a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailing seven decades of child sexual abuse by more than 300 predator priests. Six of those offices — New York, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Florida and Delaware — are helmed by newly elected attorneys general, including three of the states reporting the largest numbers of victims contacting them.
Almost 3,000 calls, emails and online reports of clergy abuse have been made in the last five months. Nearly half of those calls were made to the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office after its investigation was released.
That number doesn’t account for reports made to seven states that declined to disclose numbers from their reporting systems to The Associated Press, including states with large Catholic populations like New Jersey and California with a dozen dioceses. The number could be much higher with those included. Several states are seeing lower responses; Delaware reported only five victim contacts as of the beginning of the year.
Read more . . .
Source: Philly.com [Philadelphia Enquirer] New attorneys general to continue investigating clergy abuse
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Child Victims Act, for which we have been fighting for 15 years, will pass this year with his full support. With both houses controlled by Democrats, the leadership of Sen. Brad Hoylman, now Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, he is surely correct. The barrier to passage until now has been Republican lawmakers kneeling to the Catholic bishops and in particular New York City Archdiocese’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The latter is not going down, though he is decidedly going down on this issue, without a final whining tour about justice for child sex abuse victims.
Dolan’s latest volley was an op-ed in the New York Daily News that is filled with misstatements and ugly implications. He tries two “Hail Mary” passes. First, he says that the governor’s bill will not treat public schools the same as private institutions. This is simply not true, but even if it were, there is no question the intent is to put private and public entities on the same footing and any additional language Dolan wants to further nail home this point can be easily added. The Democratic leadership in New York is 100% on board in wanting to protect children from sex abuse in every arena. Therefore, at least from Dolan’s rhetoric, he should be on board with the CVA. Not so fast.
Read more . . .
Source: Verdict.Justia.com Cardinal Timothy Dolan Proves Once Again the Church Will Never Reform Itself without the Law and Civil Society Behind It
The announcement follows a similar one in D.C. and in more than a dozen other states.
Virginia is the 13th U.S. state this year — plus the District — to announce an investigation of the Catholic Church, a historic high.
Source: Virginia attorney general opens investigation of possible child sex abuse and coverup in the Catholic Church
A law firm suing California bishops for the records of priests accused of sexual abuse released its own report Tuesday listing more than 200 clergy in the San Francisco Bay Area it says are accused of misconduct.
Source: New Report Lists 263 Bay Area Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse
Two people familiar with the probe say federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on dioceses across the state that seek a trove of sensitive files and testimony from church leaders.
Source: Federal prosecutors open probe into clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Department of Justice is launching an investigation into child sex abuse within Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic churches, the latest fallout of widespread allegations made public by a grand jury probe this summer. Here’s a timeline of events since the report’s release.
Source: How a Catholic sex abuse report in Pennsylvania echoed around the U.S.
June 2018 meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania attended by the press, activists, attorneys, and state politicians. Presents Watchtower policy related to Jehovah’s Witness child abusers.