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Do you think we need a religious ombudsman?
by Mark E Crossley
05/31/08
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This is an issue I feel that needs to be discussed, religious organisations may / may not have their own systems and procedures but often relationships with people can often shadow incompetent and people who should never be allowed to be in contact with people who are vulnerable and more so the controlling of the mind which some like to play on & on some occasions both of those issues.

A Religious Regulation Authority / Ombudsman need to be set up that:

1. Every religious organisation in the UK should sign up to a code of conduct by this body that has legal and financial powers.
All religious organisations must voluntary then mandatory sign up to the Religious Regulation Authority and adhere to a strict code of conduct like the Financial Regulation Authority.
2. To ensure all ministers & pastors have CRB checks, the names are placed on a national register with all people who are officially classed as ministers or workers within religious organisations placed on this register.
3. As part of the CRB process names are placed automatically on the Religious Authority Register for the safety of everyone concerned.
4. To expel a minister from any form of ministry indefinite or for a period of time that is enforced as a tribunal organisation. Anyone disregarding this are subject to legal and criminal action which could lead to imprisonment.
5. To recommend to a minister any further training, a letters of apology to a person or a performance management strategy for the individual / organisation involved.
6. A website that lists all complaints, the nature of them and the result which stays on for 2 years unless there is a complaint in the mean time.
7. The powers to financially penalise an individual or an organisation to the value of 5000 for any elements of gross misconduct which would be on a sliding scale.
8. In extreme cases the power to officially close a particular church should there be significant concern.
9. To have mystery church attendees who feedback to the authority about the experience received, video undercover work and a whole checklist that would be used as a points scoring system like Environmental Health do for Food.

I am sure that a body such as this should bring better quality religious organisations and where they do not sift or remove ministers from the denomination there is someone else who by law has the authority to do so for peace of mind so cow boys are eradicated, few and far between but are still out there and should not be ministering.

What do ministers, people who have been hurt, betrayed or abused by ministers think and the denominations they belong to feel about this issue?


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