Jump directly to the Content

Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 1

A Missouri court ruled that statements made by a child abuse victim to a minister at her church were not protected by the clergy-penitent privilege.

Key point 3-07.4. In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply there must be a communication that is made to a minister acting in a professional capacity as a spiritual adviser.
The Clergy'Penitent Privilege

* A Missouri court ruled that statements made by a child abuse victim to a minister at her church were not protected by the clergy-penitent privilege since they were not made in the course of spiritual counseling. An adult male (Gary) was charged with four felony counts of statutory rape after his 13-year-old daughter (the "victim") disclosed that Gary had raped her on several occasions. Gary was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in a state prison. During the trial, Gary sought to attack the credibility of his daughter's allegations by having a church member (Mary) testify that the victim had informed her during a telephone conversation that she had miscarried after ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • November 1, 2004

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Using Social Media Safely
Using Social Media Safely
Policies to keep your church staff and members safe when using social media.
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Best Practices for Technology Usage
Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
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.
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Understanding Pastoral Liability
Know the situations in which a pastor is personally liable for wrongdoing.