Skip to content

Southern Baptists convene to discuss handling of sex abuse allegations

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
6/11/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

While the Catholic bishops of the United States convene in Baltimore this week, with the addressing of clergy sex abuse scandals high on their list of priorities, another religious group will convene to discuss the same issue, from their side of the pew - the Southern Baptist Convention.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
6/11/2019 (2 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Southern Baptists, sex abuse, allegations


Birmingham, Ala., (CNA) - In their annual convention, which begins this week in Birmingham, Ala., leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention will discuss policies, such as the expelling of churches that fail to report abuse, for handling sex abuse allegations against leaders in the ecclesial community, the AP reported.

In February, in the wake of nearly a year of high-profile Catholic clergy abuse scandals, two Texas newspapers published a three-part investigation into the SBC, uncovering at least 700 cases of child sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders and volunteers.

The joint investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News revealed that since 1998, around 380 SBC leaders and volunteers have been accused of sexual misconduct '" some resulting in lawsuits and convictions, others in personal confessions and resignations.

"For years, there were people who assumed abuse was simply a Roman Catholic problem," Russell Moore, who heads the SBC's public policy arm, told the AP. "I see that mentality dissipating. There seems to be a growing sense of vulnerability and a willingness to address this crisis."

According to the AP, clerical abuse within the SBC was already a priority at the annual convention in 2018, but the recent investigative report has made the topic all the more urgent.

While the sex abuse scandals in the SBC resemble those within the Catholic Church in many ways, there is one notable difference - a lack of centralized authority, which makes the handling of abuse across the 47,000-some churches that belong to the community all the more difficult, as multiple SBC members have noted.

"It's a perfect profession for a con artist, because all he has to do is talk a good talk and convince people that he's been called by God, and bingo, he gets to be a Southern Baptist minister," Christa Brown, an activist who wrote about her own experience being molested by an SBC pastor, told the Houston Chronicle in February.

In an essay about the abuse scandal published on his website, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called for a third-party investigation of all cases of abuse within the SBC. He also lamented that "the SBC ecclesial structure directly contrasts with the edifice of the Roman Catholic Church," making reforms difficult to enforce. SBC churches are united only by "friendly cooperation with and contributing to the causes of the Southern Baptist Convention," he noted.

In response to the abuse crisis, J. D. Greear, President of the SBC, commissioned a Sexual Abuse Advisory Group, which last weekend released a report after examining how the SBC can "at every level can take discernable action to respond swiftly and compassionately to incidents of abuse, as well as to foster safe environments within churches and institutions."

The 52-page document includes testimonies from survivors of abuse by SBC leaders, as well as recommended protocols for the handling of abuse allegations within congregations, which includes establishing "care teams" that will accompany sex abuse victims through steps such as reporting abuse and seeking psychological help.

"We must filter every decision with this question: How does this decision protect and care for the alleged victim?" the report states.

"Only when sin is exposed to the light of truth, true repentance, healing, and change can begin," Greear told the AP.

According to the AP, the SBC anticipates several protestors at their annual convention, in part due to the sex abuse crisis, and in part because of an ongoing debate about the all-male leadership of the ecclesial community.


Comments


More U.S.

Planned Parenthood to pull out of Title X program

Planned Parenthood, the country's largest provider of abortion services, has announced that it will withdraw from the federal Title X ... continue reading


Labor Department rule aims to widen religious freedom protection for employers Watch

Image of

The Department of Labor announced Wednesday that it is considering a new rule that would allow federal contractors who identify as ... continue reading



After Philadelphia police shootings, Chaput calls for 'sensible solutions' to violence Watch

Image of

After a standoff between police and a gunman in Philadelphia yesterday, in which six officers were shot, Archbishop Charles Chaput of ... continue reading


Hundreds of lawsuits filed on first day of NY litigation window Watch

Image of

Over 400 lawsuits were filed in New York state on the first day of a one-year window in the statute of limitations, allowing abuse ... continue reading


RICO suit against Buffalo diocese alleges conspiracy in sexual abuse cases Watch

Image of

Twenty-two plaintiffs filed a lawsuit Aug. 14 against the Diocese of Buffalo, a province of the Society of Jesus, multiple priests, eight ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.