Child Sex Abuse Bill Being Withdrawn

(Bismarck, ND) — A North Dakota bill that would have required clergy to report child sex abuse learned about during confession or other private religious conversations is being withdrawn. The bill was withdrawn last week after the Catholic Church publicly condemned it as a “direct assault” on its faith. Co-sponsor Senator Judy Lee asked for it to be withdrawn because “the bill has become a distraction.” Clergy are currently mandated reporters of child abuse under state law, except when the information is obtained while acting as a spiritual advisor. For Catholic priests and for pastors of some other denominations, that only includes the seal of confession.

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