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Why Your Church Needs Counseling Policies

One case illustrates why you need to be proactive in your counseling procedures.

Why Your Church Needs Counseling Policies

An Illinois court ruled that a woman who was sexually seduced by the pastor during marriage counseling could sue the pastor, a deacon, and the church.

The woman and her husband claimed that during the course of marital counseling the pastor initiated and continued a sexual relationship with the woman, thereby aggravating the problems in her marriage, alienating them from their church and church community, and causing them emotional and psychological damage. The couple sued the pastor on the following grounds: intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; breach of fiduciary duty; alienation of affections; assault and battery; and marriage counselor malpractice.

The couple also sued a deacon for slander and negligent supervision of the pastor. And they sued the church for negligence. Specifically, they claimed that the church was negligent in failing ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2013

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