The Illinois Legislature passed a new law requiring Clergy to report cases of child abuse, neglect, battery, sexual assult, and molestation to the police. The law is fairly comprehensive, with one tiny exception, that anything learned in religious "confession" is still exempt. While disappointing, this is a step in the right direction.
Non-Confessional Scenario: Child or parent complains to the Priest, Pastor, or Presiding Overseer, or Elder about a member who sexually molested the child, and that automatically mandates that the clergyperson MUST report the abuse.
Confessional Scenario: If the molester goes to his Priest, Reverend, Rabbi, or Pastor and confesses in the religious setting of a confessional, then the Priest is NOT required to report, but may report.
JW Elder Scenario: If the molester goes to a JW Elder, this could be dicey, because the JW religious setting has confessional levels prior to setting up a Judicial Committee. Also, the Watchtower Society disavows having a Clergy class, and therfore, they may risk more civil suit action if they try to play this shell game, because the civilized society will not let them get away with this.
Regardless, as each State champions new tougher reporting laws, increase the times on the Statute of Limitations, and broadens the basis for civil suit and increasing the scope of liability, then eventually the religions that tend to shield pedophiles, such as the Watchtower religion, will be forced to get some Divine revelation and change, or be sued out of business.
Edited by - Amazing on 16 August 2002 23:19:31