January 26, 2005
Bill Would Require Religious Leaders Report Child Abuse
January 26, 2005 [Associated Press]
Religious leaders would have to report suspected child abuse under a bill that was reintroduced Wednesday.
The legislation passed the Senate last year but died in a House committee after fundamentalist religious groups argued that it established a church and state relationship.
"We had some evangelical ministers who felt they had a separation of church and state issue, and some that had told me that they preach from the pulpit that parents should reprimand and punish their children and they didn't want to come back the following week and report them for child abuse," said Sen. Robert Spada, a northern Ohio Republican who proposed the bill.
The bill, which is essentially unchanged from last year, would not apply to the "sacred trust" of a confession or to something said confidentially to a minister.
Other religious groups, including Roman Catholics and Methodists, supported the bill last year. Doctors, teachers and other professionals are required to report abuse.
Posted by Nancy at January 26, 2005 12:58 PM