Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Maryland
The Requirement for Clergy to Report
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-705(a)(1)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including a law on privileged communications, a person other than a health practitioner, police officer, educator, or human services worker who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect shall notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-705(a)(3)
A minister of the gospel, clergy member, or priest of an established church of any denomination is not required to provide notice when they have reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect if the notice would disclose matters in relation to any communication that is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and either of the following applies:
- The communication was made to the minister, clergy member, or priest in a professional character as part of the discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister, clergy member, or priest belongs.
- The minister, clergy member, or priest is bound to maintain the confidentiality of that communication under canon law, church doctrine, or practice.