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Confidential and Privileged Communications

A Washington court ruled that a confession made to a group of ministers was protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and therefore could not be disclosed to a civil court.

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 3-08.05. 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 Washington court ruled that a confession made to a group of ministers was protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and therefore could not be disclosed to a civil court. A member of a Mormon church was accused of sexually molesting his two stepdaughters over many years when they were minors. ...

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Posted:
  • May 2, 2005

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