Section 12-21-166

Confidentiality of communications with clergymen.

(a) As used in this section, unless a contrary meaning is clearly intended from the context in which the term appears, the following terms have the respective meanings hereinafter set forth and indicated:

(1) CLERGYMAN. Any duly ordained, licensed or commissioned minister, pastor, priest, rabbi or practitioner of any bona fide established church or religious organization and shall include and be limited to any person who regularly, as a vocation, devotes a substantial portion of his time and abilities to the service of his respective church or religious organization.

(2) LEGAL OR QUASI-LEGAL PROCEEDINGS. Any proceeding, civil or criminal, in any court, whether a court of record, a grand jury investigation, a coroner's inquest and any proceeding or hearing before any public officer or administrative agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof.

(b) If any person shall communicate with a clergyman in his professional capacity and in a confidential manner (1) to make a confession, (2) to seek spiritual counsel or comfort, or (3) to enlist help or advice in connection with a marital problem, either such person or the clergyman shall have the privilege, in any legal or quasi-legal proceeding, to refuse to disclose and to prevent the other from disclosing anything said by either party during such communication.

(Acts 1979, No. 79-184, p. 295.)