Southern Baptist Executive Committee again fails to agree on guidelines for an investigation into sex abuse allegations, SNAP urges them to vote to protect children

After a long meeting on Tuesday (September 28), the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) again failed to agree on the ground rules for a third-party investigation of the denomination’s handling of child sex abuse accusations. We call on the Executive Committee to stop dragging their feet on procedural steps and to stand up for protecting the boys and girls who attend their churches.

We applaud the SBC members' decision in June of 2021 to stop handling investigations internally, and we are dumbfounded that the Executive Committee will not waive attorney-client privilege as the denomination wants. These confidential exchanges are crucial to third-party investigators if the SBC wants a full and transparent look at how sexual abuse allegations have been handled in the past and, more importantly, to determine if there are predatory ministers or youth counselors still active today. The protection of young lives should be the priority, not the protection of the assets of the organization or the members of the Executive Committee.

The number of those on the Executive Committed who support waiving attorney-client privilege appears to be growing, and we are heartened by this development. Rather than use the privilege to continue to keep abusers and enablers hidden, the Committee should side with those who want a fully independent investigation that has full access to records and testimonies. This is the best way to better protect children within their denomination. Now it is time for the rest of the Executive Committee to see the light and to agree to move forward in a way that is transparent.

 

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP President, [email protected], 814-341-8386, Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]), 


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