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Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 2

A Military court of appeals ruled that a confession made by a soldier to his pastor was not protected by the clergy-penitent privilege since the pastor was acting as a marital counselor.

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.
Key point 3-08.05. In most states a counselee can waive the clergy-penitent privilege by disclosing the privileged communication to someone other than the minister. In some states the minister also may waive the privilege.
The Clergy-Penitent Privilege

* A Military court of appeals ruled that a confession made by a soldier to his pastor was not protected by the clergy-penitent privilege since the pastor was acting as a marital counselor at the time of the confession, and the soldier "waived" the privilege by repeating the confession to others. A soldier sexually molested his four-year-old daughter. The soldier's wife learned of the molestation, and contacted the family pastor. The ...

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Posted:
  • November 1, 2004

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