Rule 506. Member of clergy-penitent privilege
(1) As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:
(a) “Confidential communication” means a communication made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present in furtherance of the purpose of the communication.
(b) “Member of the clergy” means a minister of any church, religious denomination or organization or accredited Christian Science practitioner who in the course of the discipline or practice of that church, denomination or organization is authorized or accustomed to hearing confidential communications and, under the discipline or tenets of that church, denomination or organization, has a duty to keep such communications secret.
(2) A member of the clergy may not be examined as to any confidential communication made to the member of the clergy in the member’s professional character unless consent to the disclosure of the confidential communication is given by the person who made the communication.
(3) Even though the person who made the communication has given consent to the disclosure, a member of the clergy may not be examined as to any confidential communication made to the member in the member’s professional character if, under the discipline or tenets of the member’s church, denomination or organization, the member has an absolute duty to keep the communication confidential. [1981 c.892 §35; 1999 c.7 §1]
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