The California Legislature is considering a bill, SB 360, that would partially remove the confessional exemption from mandatory reporting laws, holding clergy legally accountable for reporting child abuse.
Currently, under California law, “a clergy member who acquires knowledge of or a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential communication” is not subject to mandatory reporting laws. SB 360 will cut out this exemption when clergy or other church employees confess to child abuse, requiring clergy to protect abused children in their care.
This bill passed out of its Senate committee and is now headed to the full Senate for a vote. Please use our system to connect with your senator and ask that they vote yes on SB 360.