The judge is set to hear arguments in a civil lawsuit by the attorney general's claiming that elders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation failed to report an unlawful sexual relationship between a woman and a 14-year-old boy, both of whom were congregation members.
State law requires any person, agency, organization or entity who knows or in good faith suspects that a child is being abused or neglected to call a 24-hour hotline. The law specifically states that the reporting requirements apply to health care workers and organizations, school employees, social workers, psychologists and law enforcement officials.
But a lawyer for the Sussex County congregation is arguing that the elders are protected from the reporting requirements by clergy privilege, similar to the confidentiality of a church confessional.
Hearing Set in Delaware Suit Against Jehovah's Witnesses Elders' Failure to Report Sex Abuse
The JW woman who was convicted in this case has already been given a six year sentence:
It is the elders turn now.
Where I live there was just a disclosure by the Mormon church of child abuse by a teacher to a student. When the church elders were told about it, they reported it to the authorities. It was the student who told the bishop about it. The Mormon church had no problem calling the authorities, it is my understanding both parties were members of the church. They didn't try to play the clergy privilege card. I hope it doesn't work for the JWs.
Can someone Stateside inform the Delaware Attorney General's office (and other agencies!!) that J.W.'s do not have a clergy? Because every J.W. who is baptised is recognised as a minister.
Also, no clergy-laity confessional is practiced by J.W.'s - only admissions of guilt to elders who then punish.
There's a world of difference between an admission of guilt and confessing to a clergyman!
It's time that law-enforcement agencies were made aware that the Org is "hanging on Christendom's coat-tails."
The Searcher - "...the Org is 'hanging on Christendom's coat-tails'."
So much for distancing themselves from "Babylon the Great".
In the Church of England if someone goes to a minister and starts a conversation that gives the minister the impression that they are going to say that they have been abused the minister must say something like " before you go any farther I must warn you that I may have to report what you are going to tell me to the police " . If the person then continues with the accusation a child and vunerable adult officer from the church is also informed to support the victim .
So JWs are not hanging onto Christendom's coat tails in that scenario .
The Searcher: Can someone Stateside inform the Delaware Attorney General's office (and other agencies!!) that J.W.'s do not have a clergy? Because every J.W. who is baptised is recognised as a minister.
What the WTS tells their followers and what they claim on their legal documents are two entirely different things.