A Mormon Bishop says he’s being kicked out of his Church for protesting a policy that asks children sexually explicit questions. Sam Young is scheduled to have an excommunication hearing Sunday, September 9th.
Young has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 57 years, even serving as an ordained Bishop for five years. But now, he’s on the verge of being excommunicated.
"I'm charged with organizing more than one public action that expressed opposition to the Church or its leaders. That is a lie. I am organizing public actions to express opposition to a policy that harms children," Young said.
"We have an institutionalized practice directing and condoning congregational leaders. To take children behind closed doors, all alone and ask them sexual questions-- often explicit, filthy, pornographic questions."
Young spearheaded “Project LDS Children” including protests, demanding Church leaders from asking young kids explicit questions about sex in one-on-one interviews.
"Last year a document was leaked from Church headquarters that was about a regional training and sure enough, right there in the regional training, it said with regards to sex-- be specific and explicit in your questions," Young said.
He claims questions like “When was the last time you watched pornography?” and “Did you engage in oral sex?” can be asked of children as young as 8-years-old. He says those questions can amount to child abuse.
The Church tells us the interviews are for the spiritual well-being and guidance of children and that it recently changed its policy to allow parents to be in the room.
But Young says it’s not enough.
Michael Norris leads a group of survivors of sexual abuse by priests, called SNAP. He says he considers these probing questions a form of abuse.
Norris claims he was abused by a Catholic Priest when he was 10-- abuse that can haunt a victim forever.
"I abused drugs. I abused alcohol. I at one point tried to kill myself. I fortunately, have turned my life around, but it has a lasting effect. It happened 45 years ago and I'm still living with it every day," Young said.
Young admits he was never asked these questions as a child and says he never asked those questions as a Bishop. But he later learned that four of his six children were and he wants the practice to stop before it’s too late.
"Some have committed suicide over the shame they received in the Bishop's office," Young said.
The Church would not comment on Young's excommunication hearing this Sunday.
Despite his efforts to change the institution's practices, Young says he wants to remain a member of the LDS community.
The Church also tells FOX 26 there are times a discussion of moral cleanliness is appropriate. During any interview, if the leader suspects any abuse, there is a help line available for counseling and legal advice.