Bill to Make Priests Report Abuse Put On Hold in California

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Democratic state senator in California has put on hold a bill that would have required clergy to report knowledge of child abuse or neglect from their co-workers, even if they learned about it in confession.

The law already requires California clergy to report knowledge of child abuse and neglect. But there is an exception for clergy who learn about it from a confession.

Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo had authored a bill that would have removed that exemption only if the conversation involved other clergy members or co-workers.

The bill passed the Senate by a 30-4 vote in May. But Tuesday, Hill said the bill did not have enough support to pass the state Assembly this year.

The Catholic Conference of California opposed the bill.

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