. . . The Rev. Louise Fairweathre-Baxter, a United Methodist minister in Fullerton and one of the law's strongest proponents, said she has "already announced to my congregation that I'm a mandated reporter."
As the tradition of silence is broken, she said, perpetrators and victims will feel freer to speak. She recalled the case of an 85-year-old woman who approached her after a sermon and confided that she had been molested as a child—but never told a soul.
Speaking before an interfaith gathering last week, Fairweathre-Baxter also said the bill should help end an era when religious institutions could serve as employment havens for pedophiles unable to gain such close access to youths in the secular world.
"We can no longer just move them to the next congregation or the next parish," she said.