Clergy as Mandated Reporters

05/24/02 12:00AM



(Host) The Dean administration wants the clergy to be required to report allegations of child sex abuse. And administration officials say that requirement should extend to information that's discovered in the confidential confessionals of the Catholic Church.

William Young, the commissioner of Social and Rehabilitation Services, says any information on child sex abuse must be reported:

(Young) "Thirty states have... laws that make clergy mandatory reporters. Twenty-seven of those states don't exempt the confessional from mandatory reporting."

(Host) Currently, the clergy is not included in the mandatory reporting law that covers teachers, childcare workers and others who come into contact with children:

(Young) "It's important that mandated reporters report. But why wouldn't any Vermonter of conscience if they suspect a child is being abused, report?"

(Dillon) Governor Howard Dean, who used to practice medicine, says the doctor-patient privilege does not cover medical professionals who learn of child abuse. He says priests should also be required to report abuse allegations.
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