Father Bayhi Case Study

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In 2008, Father Jeff Bayhi was a pastor in Louisana at the parish of St. John the Baptist in Zachary, Louisana when a fourteen year old girl came to him in confession. She revealed that a member of the church had been abusing her. Father Bayhi, now six years later, faces possible excommunication because the parents of the girl had sued him and the Diocese of Baton Rouge for not reporting the crime. In the district’s court, the parents won the appeal for forcing the priest to testify. However, the state’s highest court reverted the district court’s decision. The dilemma the court system faces is whether the priest should be forced to testify in court or if he shall be allowed to keep silent in accordance to his seal of confession. By forcing the priest to testify, this would allow for the truth to exposed about what happened between the girl and the abuser. Father Bayhi would also be acting as a witness to the case because the girl told him in confidence about what she had been experiencing, thus proving the now dead abuser’s guilt or innocence. By allowing the priest to keep his seal of confession, it would allow the priest to keep his seal of…show more content…
The practice of personal autonomy is respecting the choices a person makes in their life and regardless of how others feel, they should not intervene on their course of actions. So in respect to personal autonomy, Father Bayhi should act how he feels is necessary. If he wants to break the seal of confession to report this one case of abuse, he can do so. If he does not want to break the seal of confession, but may be intervene and help the girl by providing advice, he can do so. However, either way he decides to act on this situation, it should be solely up to him on what he decides. No one should be forcing him to choose a side because this decision not only impacts others, but his wellbeing as
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