Forgive Us Our Sins: The Inadequacies of the Clergy-Penitent Privilege

April
1998
Ronald J. Colombo

This Note will demonstrate that, as understood by most courts and legislatures, the clergy-penitent privilege does not conform completely to the requirements of the First Amendment. As a result, the privilege at times violates the Amendment's Establishment Clause by unduly preferencing religion. Additionally, at other times the privilege's protections are insufficient, offending the notions of religious liberty and tolerance upon which both the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause were built.

This article appears in the April 1998 Issue: Volume 73, Number 1