Jump directly to the content

Confidential and Privileged Communications

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege applied to confidential statements made to a pastor.

Washington
State:
State v. Martin, 975 P.2d 1020 (Wash. 1999)

The Clergy-Penitent Privilege

Key point 3-07.2. In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made in confidence. This generally means that there are no other persons present besides the minister and counselee who can overhear the communication, and that there is an expectation that the conversation will be kept secret.
Key point 3-07.5. In some states the clergy-penitent privilege only applies to communications made to a minister in the course of "discipline." While most courts interpret this requirement broadly to cover statements made in the course of spiritual counsel and advice, others have interpreted it narrowly to apply only to confessions made to Catholic priests.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege applied to confidential statements made to a pastor, ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 1, 2000

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Using Social Media Safely
Using Social Media Safely
Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers
12 Law & Tax Guidelines for New Ministers
Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.
Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling
Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling
Develop specific policies and procedures that protect your church, lay caregivers, and those who receive care.
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.