Jump directly to the content

Priest Not a Mandatory Reporter in Child Abuse Case

Louisiana court rules priest not subject to civil liability for failing to report abuse.

Key point 4-08. Every state has a child abuse reporting law that requires persons designated as mandatory reporters to report known or reasonably suspected incidents of child abuse. Ministers are mandatory reporters in many states. Some states exempt ministers from reporting child abuse if they learned of the abuse in the course of a conversation protected by the clergy-penitent privilege. Ministers may face criminal and civil liability for failing to report child abuse.

A Louisiana court ruled that a priest who learned of a case of child abuse in the course of counseling with the victim was not a mandatory reporter of child abuse under state law and was not subject to civil liability for failing to report the abuse to civil authorities. A family began attending a Catholic church where they met, and became friendly with, a parishioner ("Don") and the parish priest. From the young age of eight ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • August 26, 2014

Related ResourcesView All

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws
State by state laws to report child abuse.
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church leaders and boards can take relatively simple, yet effective steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse.
Child Sexual Abuse Response Plan
Child Sexual Abuse Response Plan
Put a plan into action to prevent child sexual abuse from happening in your church.
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.