The new bill by state Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, and Reps. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, and Chris Taylor, D-Madison, expands protection for children from abuse. It would no longer allow clergy to be exempt from reporting abuse that they learn about in confidential communication.
No other profession claims to be so exceptional that they should be exempted from such reporting, even those assuming therapeutic responsibility for offenders and victims, which clergy do not. When we hear the predictable push back and claims of exceptionalism from the Catholic Church, please remember that the church is one of the most offending institutions in allowing abuse by its professionals.
The church should be the first to welcome more regulation and accountability, rather than continuing to rely on its own failed judgment. I say this as a church-going psychologist.
Arden Mahlberg, Madison