Bill would require pastors, priests to report suspected abuse they learn of as a spiritual advisor

State News
law, justice, gavel, law books, courtroom_2745713082101505-159532

North Dakota could become the first state in the nation to force clergy to fess up.

Under state law, members of the clergy are considered mandatory reporters of suspected crimes. However, there is an exception.

Pastors and priests are not required to report information they learn as a spiritual advisor.

Republican Sen. Judy Lee of West Fargo wants to change that with Bill 2180.

That would threaten a priest or pastor to 30 days in jail if they refuse to report suspected abuse.
She says this is not about arresting the offender, but getting that child help.

Catholic critics of the bill say priests often recommend that an abuser or victim gets help when they report such cases during confession.

They also feel it would be counter productive and victims would be scared to speak up for help.

“Do you cross this line which violates first amendment issues, expecatiation of privacy parishoners have and be counter productive,” said Christopher Dodson, the North Dakota Catholic Conference Executive Director.

“I have a hard time thinking its ethical, or moral or even religious. I don’t care if it’s a Shaman, a Rabbi, a priest or a pastor or whoever it might be, for them not to recognize, particularly that a child might be abused and not report it,” said Lee.

The Catholic League says no other state in the country requires priests to divulge information during confession.

They said Utah and California tried it last year, but it got shut down.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 3/2

Simons Defense

Vision Zero

ATW: Kathy Aspaas

ATW: Chatting w/ the Champs Velva Wrestling

ATW: Class B State Preview pt 2

ATW: Class B State Preview pt 1

When could we hit widespread 60s?


Tom's Tuesday Afternoon #OneMinuteForecast 3/2

District Basketball

Watching the Skies: Mars, Pleiades star cluster pair up very closely

Monster Bluefin reeled in off OBX

COURTESY VIDEO: Monster Bluefin reeled in off OBX

Virginia school district cancels Dr. Seuss celebration, citing ‘racial undertones’ in his books

Monday. March 1st, 2021 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

KX Convo: Randy Bina

Minority Scholarship

Mandan Fire

COVID & Gyms

More Video

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

KX News Trending Stories

Latest Stories

More Local News