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Incriminating Statements Made to Pastor Not Confidential Due to Public Setting, Retelling to Others

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 3-07.5. In some states, the clergy-penitent privilege only applies to communications made to a minister in the course of "discipline." While most courts interpret this requirement broadly to cover statements made in the course of spiritual counsel and advice, others have interpreted it narrowly to apply only to confessions made to Catholic priests.

An Illinois court ruled that incriminating statements made to a pastor by a murder defendant's former spouse were properly allowed in evidence by a trial judge because they were not made in confidence, and ...

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