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  1. It may have served wise to also include on the panel a professional legal resource. The heart of this particular situation comes down to a rape accusation. If this were purely a accusation of inappropriate behavior by a leader in the Church I would absolutely agree with the panelist on how the Church should have responded initially. However, since the tape does not reveal a clear confession of rape but of inappropriate behavior, which of course needs a proper response and action by the Church, the formal response to the media couldn’t have been as pastoral as we would ideally want.

    In an ideal world I too wish the Church would have responded with a more sensitive narrative. The reality is that the response is a purely legal one due to the seriousness of the victims allegations. Sure, this will not appease the sensibilities of all those who are badly hurt by abuse and have been harmed by authority etc.. I guess that is understandable. Nevertheless, let’s hope for absolute clarity that can only be navigated by an objective investigation which cannot merely fall on the Church’s behalf alone since we are really faced with a serious criminal matter vs. just an ecclesiastical breach.

    These situations are not easy by any means but let’s let this work through and hopefully we can have the assurance that real justice is served and judgement will be met using sound due process and not judged by the scraps of media narratives and internet hype alone.

    Sorry if I sound too apologetic but I do fear our country and it’s citizens are beginning to utilize pitch forks versus sound constitutional due process. Hyper-Activism mingled with politics have possibly stolen our reasoning. Didn’t we once used to believe “innocence till proven guilty” was the standard? It now appears that accusation alone may be the final word. I hope I’m wrong and hope most feel the same way. If not….well…..I guess wil have to stand alone.

  2. Just wanted to add one more thought that I believe needs attention. The idea that the first recourse of a criminal offense is to first report to a crisis counselor or center is concerning. If we are referring to a abusive criminal event, which is also defined as abuse, the first thing that should be done is to report such immediately to the civic authorities. If the Church hotline is staffed with legal resources that would be inline with sound reason. Example: A victim of a home evasion, though such could cause horrible traumatic damage, should obviously be reported first to civil authorities not a crisis manager. The second recourse then could be for crisis support to help the victim deal with the trauma. How many stories do you hear in which a victim of a sexual attack doesn’t report such to authorities in a timely manner in which results in the abuser or attacker possibly evading prosecution. Obviously, it is understandable that your panelist would have a bias per the occupational perspective. Neverthkess, I would humbly disagree with her statement.

    Enjoyed the podcast! Though, the group could have had a rounder background to explore all the nuances that are involved. These things are more complicated unfortunately than sometimes appears on the surface.

    On a positive note some of the pastoral discussion was enlighting. I just though wonder if we really have all the information to make some of the judgements being made by the panelists. I know I don’t.

  3. Thankful for this podcast! I entered the MTC on February 2nd, 1984, and these events took place only weeks before then, according to the accuser. I have been quite devastated by this and so appreciate the gentle soothing this broadcast has brought me. May I also say that Jennifer Finlayson-Fife’s answer to her prayer that there are false traditions in all religions, and that she was “called” to stay, felt like an answer to my prayers as well! Thanks to all of the contributors and thanks, Dan, especially, for the wonderful Christ-like work you do.

  4. I’m a avid Mormon Matters listener… Most episodes are quite good, this episode was not good. Incredible boring, it seems like Dan felt like he had to say something, with this issue in the news, but frankly seems more interested in hearing his own voice than what his guests had to say. And, I really don’t see why an ex-Mormon pastor of some other church has a seat at the table… Its not like her church has a pristine background with abuse. And finally… DALE’s comment was spot on… ” I just wonder if we really have all the information to make some of the judgements being made by the panelists.”

    The only bright spot of the blog… Although not her best blog appearance, Jennifer Finlayson-Fife is always good!

  5. I’d like to add a female voice and additional thoughts to the concerns brought up by the previous comments from male listeners. After a long tradition of undisclosed sexual predation in human history, it is encouraging that awareness is being raised in all sectors of society, secular and religious, of this very serious matter. But I’m concerned with what I see as a pendulum swing to the other extreme. I’ve heard comments on Open Stories podcasts and in this podcast that conclude or assume that the rape charge is true when we don’t know if it is or not. Bishop consistently denied, or at least did not remember, attempting to rape the accuser. The admissions he does make are a far cry from the rape charge leveled against him. It seems that accusation has little chance of being proven, and, in that case, we mustn’t assume that he did try to rape her. In addition, I’m concerned with the notion of automatically believing an accuser of sexual abuse. The standards of due process are founded on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” I think it would be better to say, “We take seriously all charges of sexual abuse and take measures to protect possible victims until the truth of the charges can be determined.” This crisis has the potential of dividing us in other ways if we are not careful.

  6. Dan,
    In the press conference, Mckenna expressed that media has it wrong, Bishop didn’t ask her to expose her breasts, it was the other victim.
    Thanks for a great podcast! Lisa

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