In 44 States, Clergy Don't Have to Tell Police When Someone Confesses to Child Sex Abuse

Under current Utah law, members of the clergy are not required to report confessions of child sex abuse. Utah State Rep. Angela Romero wants to change that.

Romero is drafting a bill that would require any religious leader in a position of authority to become a mandatory reporter—an individual required by law to notify authorities of any admissions of abuse. Teachers, coaches, doctors and others who work with children are often mandatory reporters. Failure to report can be considered a criminal offense.

In a statement on Facebook, Romero said the bill was not targeting any particular religious group, but was rather intended to protect children from harm.

"Too often cases of sexual abuse involving ecclesiastic leaders have been covered up and the victims are denied justice," she wrote. "We already have laws that mandate reporting whenever anyone learns about abuse of a child or a vulnerable person. Ecclesiastic leaders need to be held to the same standard."

If the measure passes, Utah would be one of only seven states that explicitly require priests, ministers, rabbis and other religious leaders to report confessions of child sex abuse to law enforcement.

"My concern is getting somebody off the street that shouldn't be on the street, regardless of if they confessed to a clergy member or regardless if someone they know told a clergy member," Romero told Fox 13. "Regardless of what that religious institution is, it needs to be investigated by law enforcement."

In most states, clergy have ecclesiastical privilege, a right similar to attorney-client privilege allowing them to refuse to disclose any admission made in the context of a confession.

Currently, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia are the only states that have laws requiring clergy to be mandatory reporters.

The statutes are a little murkier in Tennessee, Indiana and Connecticut: Priests have been allowed to voluntarily break their priest-penitent privilege, but it's uncle...

Read the rest of the story here.

Showing 2 comments

  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2019-07-21 07:40:18 -0500
    The AG’s in every state need to do away with the SOL, for the children of sexual abuse……..the facts = the truth. my abuse happened when I was 12 / 13 years young.
    I was in my fifty’s when I started to remember……fact= truth

    The Pope’s / The Vatican need to stop putting the blame on 60’s sexual revolution…….fact = truth…..the Priest /Nun’s sex abuse on children started decades before the 60’s revolution…..!

    The Pope’s / The Vatican need to stop saying Priest / Nun’s….sexual abuse is due to the Priest / Nun’s being gay……the fact of the matter is" and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out"

    On this earth we have, born this way heterosexual" at birth born this way homosexual"…….Not born this way" Pedophilia’s…..!

    The Pope’s / The Vatican need to stop turning a blind eye to their pedophilia priest and nun’s………provide them with the medical help they need…..!

    Pope’s / Vatican need to try and walk in the footsteps of the victim’s….!
    help the victim’s…….the victims of priest / nun’s sexual are in the thousands…..!

    The Pope’s / Vatican abuse list" is a very long list"………decades long……fact….!

  • Patricia Sulecki
    commented 2019-07-21 07:38:56 -0500
    2015 I started a petition at
    petition title:All rapist should be register sex offenders ;this includes pedophile clergymen… clergy" catholic priest and nun’s are capable of such crimes as sexual abuse on children (Ask a Survivor ) hear the victims voice and see our faces.(Abolish the Statute of Limitation) do to clergy sexual abuse on children" past & present.

    By law: all pedophiles should be registered sex offenders.
    including" clergy" catholic priest;"
    abuse;" we are asking for help in seeking justice.
    pedophiles, found a loophole in the religious system; become a Priest
    and get away with rape, sexual abuse and torture on children. Why does the sex offender laws change when it pertains to ( pedophile ) clergymen?

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