Judge questions whether confession privilege should extend to Jehovah's Witnesses

by GodZoo 12 Replies latest social current

  • GodZoo
    A US judge is considering whether it is constitutional to have a law that protects the clergy of just one religious denomination from disclosing what is said to them in confession. (including what's said in judicial confessions by peodophiles.)

  • Simon

    It shouldn't "extend" to anyone - it should be removed from the Catholic church.

    The law should be the law and religious belief needs to operate within it, not the other way round.

  • Crazyguy
    I have a feeling the jws are gonna win this one. Someone needs to challenge the right of clergy client privilege.
  • Lieu

    Simon is correct, IMHO. There's only one mediator and it isn't a human. Also, if you "sin" against someone, you are supposed to go to that person and ask forgiveness before asking God directly for forgiveness, not some un involved human 3rd party.

    Confessional is an irrelevant non Biblical farse created by the very Europeans who created differing classes of Christian adherents from their pagan Roman and Greek customs.

    Jews don't confess their sins to any man. Jesus & the Apostles were Jews.

  • truthseeker

    They should not give JWs this privilege.

    Fact is, you don't just tell one Jehovah's Witness elder, you tell three of them, and then they send a report to Bethel.

    So where is the Clergy/penitent privilege when at least three elders know of someone's sin?

  • Simon

    The attorney-client privilege is important to protect the sanctity of the legal system.

    All the priest-confession privilege does is provide a way for an organization to cover up the crimes of it's own members. All religions are simply about image and PR. They should not get to be the judge in their own crimes.

  • sir82

    Someone needs to tell that judge that the information "confessed by the penitent" is shared among the 3 elders on the committee, then among all the elders on the BOE, then (potentially) more elders and the CO if there is an appeal, and finally with who knows how many persons in the Bethel Service Dept.

    By the time all is said and done, quite often dozens of people know all about the "penitent's confession".

    How is that even remotely similar to the Catholic model?

  • Mephis

    Aussie Royal Commission dismantled the nonsensical idea that JW judicial committees are in any way like Catholic confessions. Going to be interesting to see what this judge decides, and her question there already indicates which way she's currently leaning short of some mighty fast explaining. They'll fight this one tooth and nail, they have to or the whole sham of 'confessional privilege' to avoid reporting collapses in every common law country.

  • OrphanCrow
    Mephis: They'll fight this one tooth and nail, they have to or the whole sham of 'confessional privilege' to avoid reporting collapses in every common law country.

    And now we know why Monica Applewhite, the Catholic woman who touched the WT sacred manual, was on the stand in Australia. Her own sacred institution's practise of hiding behind "confessional privledge" is on the table.

  • Mephis

    There's a distinction there I think OC. Catholic confession is to the priest and stays with the priest. A JW judicial committee, as others have already pointed out, involves three elders plus more elders plus any other elders in other congos who are told, plus the CO, plus the branch. And then whoever in future years then gets access to the files. It's less a confession and more an announcement to an audience of unspecified number. But that number doesn't include the authorities who can protect a child and serve justice on an abuser.

    Applewhite's reasons were her own, but I'd suspect that it was easy money for not a lot of work. She was carrying out a literature review and then testifying on it.

    It shouldn't really impact upon Catholics, although there's some interesting discussions within other churches with sacramental confessions on when a priest will refuse to keep it to him (or her) self. The formulation often used is 'some things you tell me may not be things I can keep to myself'.

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