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Statut juridique du clergé

Neither administrative nor civil law treat the clerical status separately, i.e. their status in administrative or civil proceedings is the same as that of laymen. If a minister acts on behalf of a church legal entity, he/she will have the status of agent of the private law entity. The same is valid in the field of criminal law except the confessional secret.
According to Section 8 of Act no. 308/1991 Col. the State acknowledges a pledge to secrecy of individuals commissioned to perform spiritual activities. The Criminal Act provision as to the duty of each citizen with knowledge of a criminal act does not apply to a person who would violate the confidentiality of the confessional, or to information that has been confided to them orally or on paper under condition of secrecy. Criminal Rule no. 141/1961 Col. enables clergy called as witnesses to refuse to testify for the same reasons.
The inviolability of the confessional secret and the right to refuse to give evidence before State bodies is guaranteed by the Basic Treaty between the Slovak Republic and the Holy See, and the Treaty between the Slovak Republic and registered churches and religious communities in the SR, in addition to the Criminal Rule.

D 3 octobre 2012    AMichaela Moravcikova

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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