Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State Scandal About To Change Southern Baptist Practices Toward Church Sexual Abuse

A rather important column was done by Southern Baptist Al Mohler today. See The Tragic Lessons of Penn State — A Call to Action.

Al Mohler I think for the most part has been one of the few high profile Southern Baptist Leaders not to come into criticism by the people that monitor abuse in the Southern Baptist Church. At least he is not on this list. I will be interested to see the reaction by people such as Christa Brown of "Baptist" SNAP.

I have always maintained that the evidence is all around that the many exact problems we saw in the Catholic Church as to sexual abuse can be found in equal number in the Southern Baptist Church and other like Faith communities. The reason they don't get the publicity is well defense attorneys cannot easily pierce the "corporate" veil in order to find liability beyond the local"Church" that can just close down and reopen.

Several recent high profile cases ( at least high profile in local media) might have jarred people into thinking different.

He says:

Church leaders and pastors must decide now — not later — that we will respond to any report of sexual abuse with immediate action and an immediate call to law enforcement officials. We must decide in advance what we will do, and not allow ourselves to think that we can handle such a challenge on our own. Every church and Christian institution needs a full set of policies, procedures, and accountability structures. As leaders, we must develop the right instincts for right action.

That is preganant with all sort of implications. Does that include mandatory reporting of sexual abuse allegations to the Convention ( both State and National) which has been resisted to give one example. We shall see. Times might be a changing.

It will be important to follow Mohler and see if this is just his first shot in the battle for reform.


TheZ said...

I'm sure you are right that the exact same abuses occur among Southern Baptists and other faith communities as have occurred in the Catholic Church.

However, that doesn't change the fact that the Pope is at least as guilty as Joe Paterno and Penn State admin in covering up sexual abuse of children. And it wasn't just one abuser--it was THOUSANDS.

Perhaps the Pope's view has indeed "evolved." Perhaps he is indeed repentant. It's nice and all that he made child sex abuse an official grave sin. But that in no way excuses his participation in the coverup.

He should resign, as should anyone else who kept the matter "in house" rather than immediately notifying law enforcement.

All Catholics--and any other decent people anywhere--should demand it.

James H said...


Has exactly is the Pope Guilty of covering up stuff at the Vatican. Before he was Pope his main duties were Doctrinal questions and having to inform poor old Ladies that no it was unlikely they were talking to the Virgin Mary.

He had only limited jurisdiction over some sexual abuse cases and its largely because of his reading those case files he fought to get expanded Jurisdiction.

There is a problem with all these and we must be wary. It seems the ones that fight to engage the problem are nowadays the first to get blamed for everything.

How in Heavens name are we going to get good people to deal with this problem if we are first to thrown them to the wolves for show trials and as scapegoats