Image illustrating a confession
An appeals court in the US will decide whether what is said in confession can be used against a person in a court of law, said a Detroit Free Press report on USA Today.
The Michigan Court of Appeals three-judge panel has been asked to decide whether a Baptist pastor violated Michigan's priest-penitent privilege by testifying against a church member in a rape case.
"This is a very dangerous case because it could have very serious repercussions for religion," the rape suspect's lawyer, Raymond Cassar of Farmington Hills, said Tuesday.
"If a pastor is allowed to testify against a member of his church about privileged communications, no one will want to confess their sins to their pastors anymore."
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Teri Odette argued in court documents that the privilege doesn't apply in this case.
"The communication was initiated by the pastor - not by the defendant - and was done to ascertain whether the victim was telling the truth, not for the purpose of spiritual guidance," she said.
Court to weigh use of religious confessions (USA Today)