Disputes Involving Churches Cry Out For Mediation

By now, there is not  a person in the United States who has not heard about the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long. If you haven’t been on the planet this week, Bishop Eddie Long, leader of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, one of the largest congregations in Atlanta, has been accused of sexual abuse in lawsuits filed by four young men who were members of the church.

This is the kind of case that cries out for mediation. Maybe they tried it, and it failed. If not shame on them.

Not only is the confidentiality of mediation paramount in a case like this, but mediation can fashion remedies that a court may not be able to order. Remedies such as apologies, future training, future psychiatric care, new church policies or even resignations are all remedies to which  parties can agree, but a court could not order. In short, remedies beyond a financial settlement can often result in a greater good being accomplished.

Hopefully, if mediation has not been tried, it will be before the whole sordid mess progresses too far.

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