Texas Rules of Evidence Rule 505
Rule 505. Privilege For Communications to a Clergy Member
(a) Definitions. In this rule: (1) A “clergy member” is a minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science Practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization or someone whom a communicant reasonably believes is a clergy member. (2) A “communicant” is a person who consults a clergy member in the clergy member’s professional capacity as a spiritual adviser. (3) A communication is “confidential” if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present to further the purpose of the communication.
(b) General Rule. A communicant has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing a confidential communication by the communicant to a clergy member in the clergy member’s professional capacity as spiritual adviser.
(c) Who May Claim. The privilege may be claimed by:
(1) the communicant;
(2) the communicant’s guardian or conservator; or
(3) a deceased communicant’s personal representative.
The clergy member to whom the communication was made may claim the privilege on the communicant’s behalf—and is presumed to have authority to do so.
History: Added Feb. 25, 1998, eff. March 1, 1998; amended effective April 1, 2015