Clergy as Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect - Montana

Date:

The Requirement for Clergy to Report 

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 41-3-201; 15-6-201(2)(b)

Professionals and officials required to report include members of the clergy as defined in 15-6-201(2)(b).

The term 'clergy' means any of the following:

  • An ordained minister, priest, or rabbi
  • A commissioned or licensed minister of a church or church denomination that ordains ministers if the person has the authority to perform substantially all the religious duties of the church or denomination
  • A member of a religious order who has taken a vow of poverty
  • A Christian Science practitioner

Privileged Communications

Citation: Ann. Code § 41-3-201

A member of the clergy or priest is not required to report under this section if any of the following apply:

  • The knowledge or suspicion of the abuse or neglect came from a statement or confession made to the member of the clergy or priest in that person's capacity as a member of the clergy or priest.
  • The statement was intended to be a part of a confidential communication between the member of the clergy or the priest and a member of the church or congregation.
  • The person who made the statement or confession does not consent to the disclosure by the member of the clergy or priest.

 

A member of the clergy or priest is not required to make a report under this section if the communication is required to be confidential by canon law, church doctrine, or established church practice.