Jump directly to the content

Confidential and Privileged Communications - Part 2

A California court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to letters sent to a pastor.

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 3-07.4. 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 3-08.01. The courts have not required that a counselee be a church member in order for communications to a minister to qualify for the clergy-penitent privilege. However, church membership is a factor that the courts have considered in deciding if the privilege applies to a particular communication.
The Clergy-Penitent Privilege

* A California court ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • September 1, 2006

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.