Churches warned to report suspected child abuse

Double blogging today! Just a note on how the Penn State scandal is on the church radar. Of course, many have noted the parallels between the alleged PSU coverup and the Catholic church sex abuse scandals.

In fact, I blogged last month about the charges against Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, the first U.S. bishop to be charged with failing to report sex abuse allegations. Finn is alleged to have found child pornography on the computer of a member of his clergy.

The Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church has taken a proactive stance, adopting a “safe sanctuaries” policy regarding children in the care of their church leaders. Safe sanctuaries mandates that two adults be with children at all times, among other guidelines.

The Susquehanna Conference took advantage of the Penn State scandal to remind its members of the state and UMC policies with an open letter posted Tuesday morning.

“If the 2-adult rule had been observed, the alleged incident of abuse of a child in the shower would have never occurred. If Safe Sanctuary policies had been in place, maybe the young boys would not have been harmed,” said the letter, attributed to Superintendent Mark Webb.

“Now is a perfect time to review your safe sanctuary policies, making sure they are up to date and are being followed!”

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Churches warned to report suspected child abuse

  1. Jo says:

    Excellent policy!

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