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fishbulb

Barf. Not cool, Montana and Jehova's Witnesses.

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The unanimous decision from seven state Supreme Court justices found that religious authorities are not always obligated to report child sexual abuse to authorities due to an exemption in Montana state law.

Utterly despicable. Nothing angers me more than religious leaders getting away with child abuse.

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49 minutes ago, Lhalo said:

Time to change Montana state law. 

It might be time for the JW's to change their processes, too. They enabled the continued sexual abuse of a child and made the subsequent abuse of another child a reality in this case. Disgusting structure, disgusting decisions. Religion should never be cover for abuse like this.

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22 minutes ago, RallyMo said:

It might be time for the JW's to change their processes, too. They enabled the continued sexual abuse of a child and made the subsequent abuse of another child a reality in this case. Disgusting structure, disgusting decisions. Religion should never be cover for abuse like this.

I know all religions have their systemic corruption, but Jehovah's Witnesses are one of those that operate in secrecy. Very cult-like. My wife has family who are JW, and we're aware of some of the horrible things that have resulted from it.

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12 hours ago, Taylor said:

Utterly despicable. Nothing angers me more than religious leaders getting away with child abuse.

Did you read the article?

while I don’t agree with what the church did, the abuser was not a church official.

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For those that didn't read the article, the decision was made upon law which protects religious freedom. Unfortunately this is a double sided sword that enables churches to self determine confidentiality, but also restricts what would be considered due process for the victims. When does the confessional become public instead of sacred canon? The Supreme Court of Montana has decided to tread lightly on this complex matter. 

In the court's opinion on Wednesday, Justice Beth Baker wrote that the church was not a mandatory reporter of abuse because of the exception in the state law. The law states that "a member of the clergy or a priest is not required to make a report under this section if the communication is required to be confidential by canon law, church doctrine, or established church practice."

The opinion finds that Jehovah's Witnesses maintain confidentiality as part of their religious canon or practice unless they are required by state law to report child abuse to authorities. Nunez's lawyers have argued that "because the decision to report child abuse to local authorities ultimately lies within the discretion of each elder, confidentiality is optional, not required," the opinion states.

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