Day 1 - Fessler vs. Watchtower – Opening Statements and Motions in Jehovah’s Witness Child Abuse Trial
RO: It is the law that considers them as ministers when it comes to confidentiality and Priest-Penitent Privilege.
Well, not always...
My point is it was never that Watchtower considers Elders as a clergy class but the laws fo the land that defines what is considered a minister and what is considered confidential information.
"It seems to me that you just want wt to be punished whether they have done something wrong or not. That is not fair."
Fisherman, what I wish and what the outcomes of a civil court hearing determine are independent of each other. But the evidence from the ARC strongly suggests it is the victims who have been treated unfairly
In my earlier post, in place of the word "guilt" I should have said, "regardless of outcome". Apart from that the essence of my reply still stands.
You state that you find Richard Oliver "quite objective"; fair enough too; even JW organization would consider his responses in that light. As I have said before, Richard Oliver's responses would please JW organization
Richard Oliver said,"Watchtower has always considered Elders as layman." Please provide the citation for this statement from JW organization's own literature as it is at odds with the organization's own describing elders as "ministers". I think you will find that it is the organization's legal department that has framed the argument in terms of Priest-Penitent privilege.
Abortion is law in the US and a civil court cannot change that. Neither is it the subject matter of such lower court to change JW elders clergy penitent priviledge. A lower Court can however determine whether or not certain communications between between clergy and penitent are protected under the related laws of confidentiality for JW elders or anybody else, without changing the law. However, such unfavorable determination can also unfavorably affect the church facing a similar scenario in the future.
JW do not consider their elders, shepherds, leaders as part of the clergy (of christendom,) neither do they refer to their kingdom halls as churches, but US legislation does. And US legislation protects JW elders and Kingdom Halls same as it does churches and priests under any other name that US law determines qualifies, and also holds them accountable under the same legislation. It is not up to personal opinion.
G 8/10 p 9
10. The clergy-laity distinction
“All you are brothers,” said Jesus to his followers. (Matthew 23:8) The early Christians, including the Bible writers, had no clergy class. This Biblical pattern is the one that Jehovah’s Witnesses follow.
G 8/09 p 23
In order to adhere closely to the pattern set down in the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses have, not a clergy class, but unpaid spiritual shepherds and teachers who willingly minister to God’s flock. Why not see for yourself by visiting a Kingdom Hall in your locality?
Jehovah's Witnesses view all baptized Witnesses to be ordained ministers. Again law is what defines a minister/priest and a penitent in the priest-penitent relationship.
Regardless of titles - or lack of them - and legal reframing for the purpose of preserving reputations - it is specious to say JW organization views all as "brothers" [and sisters] therefore they do not have positions that by all indication represent leadership over others. That is utter nonsense for even the pope acknowledges that all are "brethren in the eyes of Christ."
Now you say that JWs view all baptized Witnesses as ordained ministers - which is contrary to your earlier reply when you said "the watchtower views elders as laymen" - talk about having it every which way for the sake of argument. So playing up the elders' role when authority is required but reducing its importance when the law comes knocking.
To be fair, though, JWs are by no means alone. As the ARC has found, even the churches of Christendom have been challenged and exposed for hiding behind clergy-penitent privilege. In that regard, the Catholic Church and JW organization are in the same league.
You have to look at the definition for laity.lay people, as distinct from the clergy.
- ordinary people, as distinct from professionals or experts.So JWs view all members as ordained ministers with no professional class. It can be described as the difference of people in the pews and those at the pulpit.
RO- You're obviously getting bored over at JW Topix.
Why did you use the extended meaning of laity? Have a look at the definition of laity again -noun
- 1.lay people, as distinct from the clergy.
- 2.ordinary people, as distinct from professionals or expertsNumber 1 is applicable.
That is the definition that came from a simple Google search