Helena, Mont., Jan 10, 2020 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- The Montana Supreme Court has unanimously reversed a $35 million judgement against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the grounds that the lower court wrongly ruled that the elders involved in hearing allegations of abuse did not enjoy the religious confidentiality protections guaranteed by state law.

A Montana district court wrongly ruled that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were mandatory reporters under state law, said the 7-0 decision written by Supreme Court Justice Beth Baker and announced Jan. 8.

Under the law, the court said, “clergy are not required to report known or suspected child abuse if the knowledge results from a congregation member’s confidential communication or confession and if the person making the statement does not consent to disclosure.”

Praise the Lord

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