Article: What Is The Clergy-Penitent Privilege And How Can It Protect Sex Offenders?

by AndersonsInfo 19 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Vidiot
    Simon - "Considering that the Catholic church has has such a problem with child abuse, you have to wonder whether they take advantage of the confessions of others to find victims for themselves."

    Jeezus, I can't believe I never even thought of that...

    ...and I've heard about offenders seeking out (consciously or otherwise) groups that would more easily facilitate their actions, but only ever considered that in the context of JWs.

  • Phizzy

    Here in the U.K the Priest Penitent relationship is not protected by Law. So here the JW's have NO excuse for not reporting even a hint of Abuse of a vulnerable person, STRAIGHT AWAY to the Authorities, those trained to deal with it.

    How often have they ever done that here in the U.K ? Rarely I would guess. One Elder that I always respected, went to an Elders meeting where they divulged that they knew for sure of a case of abuse by a JW against his daughter and another child, that Elder stood up and said " I don't know about your brothers, but I am going straight to the Police ". Good for him.

    A few years later we had a case of a lad around 16 abusing at least one young girl of around 4 years old (sick). One Elder told me that they were not going to involve the Authorities, and mentioned they "had to keep confidentiality", I said " No you DO NOT", pompous prat The Elder had to go and check, presumably with Bethel, he then later told me I was right, and the Authorities were involved, I think though I am right in saying the Parents did this first, because of the dithering of the Elders.

    The whole JW situation is a mess of huge proportions, and all because they will not put a proper Programme of Safeguarding in place, and do not instruct their Elders, and parents, to contact the Authorities forthwith. Which is the Moral duty of these people.. Disgusting.

  • Vidiot
    nd creating an environment where that can continuexvdfgPhizzy - "The whole JW situation is a mess of huge proportions, and all because they will not put a proper Programme of Safeguarding in place, and do not instruct their Elders, and parents, to contact the Authorities forthwith."

    And more and more, indications are that the late Ted fucking Jaracz - GB member and alleged abuser himself - was the primary architect of said mess.

    No wonder the GB is in siege mode over all this...

    ...nothing calls into question their claim of "God's Exclusive Earthly Organization" like egregious sex offenders in their ranks wielding authority to escape justice, and creating a widespread environment where that kind of thing can continue.

  • Hairtrigger

    Clergy-penitent privilege -in my HO- is basically a sicko form of get off that clergy use pleasure themselves with.

    I was born into a catholic family but gave up going to confession by the time I was 15. I gave up the Catholic faith by 19 . And ran into JW’s by the time I was 24. Lol yes from the frying pan into the fire!

    In all that time I could never figure out why a

    man need “confess” his so called wrongdoings to another human when an all omnipotent “god” could “see” and “hear” everything on his supercomputer brain!! Never did confess to anyone about anything ever since, unless a

    few close friends spoke

    about mutual stuff. At this point of time none of those so called sins seem to be faults at all but a part of human nature growing up.

    Back to the point . JW elders, priests , Oprah and others like them- again in my opinion -are sickos who derive sick pleasure in listening to - and causing them to relive their nightmares again- other people’s in the guise of helping them. Things that should be left to qualified psychologists and others in the medical field.

    U.S government should ban all such “privileges” and have people receive psychiatric help where needed.

  • Jazzbo

    The Courts have held that the Clergy Penitent privilege does apply to Witnesses. You might not like it but that's a fact. Until that changes, which is unlikely because precedent has been set, you can mumph all you want about how wrong it is but it won't make any difference.

  • Incognito

    Whether or not there is merit in the practice, a confessional is used by an individual to acknowledge and confess sin(s) they themselves have committed, to a single priest/minister, as a means to request absolution of the sin by God.

    If the confessor and minister are known to each other, they may recognize each other's voice, but the practice is often performed anonymously and is to remain confidential between those two individuals only.

    1) WT continually attempt to claim confidentiality of confession when a congregation member reports they are a victim of a crime. As a victim is not confessing a sin they themself committed (although elders often place blame on the victim), a report does not fit within the meaning or purpose of a religious 'confession'.

    2) Once a JW Elder or Elders share details of a claimed 'confession' with the branch, legal dept, or other Elders that were not actually present when the 'confession' was given, then the sacred seal of confession is broken as it is no longer confidential between the confessor and their chosen religious representative(s).

  • BluesBrother

    It is disingenuous of the WTS to claim clergy privilege in the matter of confessions. They have spent 100 years or more slamming the Catholic church in print. They proudly say that they have no priesthood and no elder can forgive sins. If a person confesses to an elder it does not stay in that room...... It is nothing like the Catholic confessional.

    How is a Court going to understand that if a smart lawyer tries to make it seem the same?

  • Fadeaway1962

    If a elder resigns or is removed anything confidential he was aware off there's nothing to stop him from disclosing that information , think a priest is bound by the Catholic church to keep things confidential .

  • blubberyk9

    The JW's obviously view themselves as above the law of the land. I know of a case where the "brother" confessed his pedophilia to 4 elders (2 in each of 2 separate situations) and when a sister needed their help to keep him away from her children, they had every one of them "forgotten" the confession. He was never reproved or "disciplined" either. It is very sickening. For the actual abuse, he was never disciplined either, although he was part of their organization. Instead it was forcefully covered up.

    So, even with confession there is no move to help those who may innocently fall prey in the future.

  • ZindagiNaMilegiDobaara

    If DOG is a hearer of prayers, then why the hell do I need to to go and confess my sins to a mere human who is no way any better/ nor worse than me. I can just pray to DOG and he can forgive me! (by the way there is no such thing as sins, we only break laws, moral laws, laws set by the govt, social laws etc but branding it sins is a cult-language in my opinion; used to control/brain wash). I call it wrongs not sins.

    My gripe with the wbts is they do not have a clergy class. only a body of odours so they should not have been given the clergy-penitent confidentiality exemption privilege ! THIS SO NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!

    This will become the norm /pattern in all of their lawsuits now and they will get away with murder !

    (Just venting)


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