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What's Protected by the Clergy-Penitent Privilege

Not all conversations with a minister are covered by the privilege.

Iowa
State:

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 3-08.05. 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.

An Iowa court ruled that a pastor could testify concerning a church member's confession that he had sexually molested a child since the confession was not in confidence ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 2010

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