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Religious Law Blog Posts

Religious Law Blog Posts (33)

PredatorThe State of Minnesota filed criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The charge was six counts of a gross misdemeanor criminal complaint, for putting children at risk in various ways. What lessons should organizations gather from this criminal complaint?

Talking about Church DisciplineChurches and other religious organizations often ask what can be said about members or employees who are being disciplined. If an employee or member is being dismissed, can other members know why? The answer may be yes—but it’s risky.

Free ExerciseTheresa Lynn Sidebotham testified on February 9, 2015 in front of the House Education Committee on a bill that would have protected student religious liberty rights on campus. 

Diverging ValuesWhat if your religious beliefs as an employee are in conflict with the organization’s basic values? Does it have to accommodate you anyway? Maybe, according to a recent Pennsylvania case.

Christian CollegeCan you have a union at a religious college? Only if the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) can exercise its jurisdiction over faculty members. NLRB has tried to do this several times. Shortly before Christmas in 2014, the NLRB developed a new test that lets it take jurisdiction over the faculty at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU).

Failures around child protection policies are heartbreaking on a personal and organizational level because children get hurt.

Mission organizations are heavy users of various forms of social media, on an individual and organizational level. With personnel, offices, and supporters in multiple countries and time zones, social media makes sense. It has enormous advantages, but also significant dangers. The law on social media is developing fast ... 

In most states, and under the common law, communications with spiritual leaders are protected under a privilege called clergy-communicant, clergy-congregant, clergy communications or something similar. But when does it apply? Ministers must think through this before they start listening to confessions and other important communications. In a case last year,  Pastor V. learned that one of his juvenile parishioners had sexually molested a young cousin. Horrified, he called in the boy and his mother, and pressed the boy to confess. 

See the rest of this blog at the Religious Law Network.

Reporting Child Abuse is Critical and Complex

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 18:30

Reporting child abuse is complex and important. Failure to report abuse can leave children at risk. Still, be wise before picking up the phone. An error in one direction may leave a child abused or make you criminally liable. An error in the other direction may damage a family, ruin a career, or expose you to a defamation lawsuit. 

Mr. Barth believes that public administrators can learn a great from the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, given that the guiding principles for large bureaucracies are similar to the large religious organization. He wrote a good article called “Crisis Management in the Catholic Church:  Lessons for Public Administrators." While Mr. Barth does not refer to the studies that show the rate of child sexual abuse is disturbingly high in public institutions, his work is surely relevant to that problem.

See more on this subject at the Religious Law Network.

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