OSJ Confidentiality

In dealing with pastoral matters, 'confidentiality' is a vital requirement in all dealings with people, especially when it comes to the sacrament of confession.  

Any matters held as 'confidential' may not be shared with anyone else under any circumstances.

This sometimes conflicts with the duty of care that OSJ (UK) members have towards others, so these guidelines have been issued.

In principle:

1. anything shared 'in confidence' must remain 'in confidence' and not be shared with any other person(s) under any circumstances

2. if there is any doubt as to whether something has been shared 'in confidence' or not, it should always be assumed it is 'confidential'

3. you can always ask if any matters to be or have been discussed are to be held 'in confidence' or may be shared (and with whom)


1. anything shared in confidence shall remain so unless this puts the person sharing that information, or another, at risk of injury or harm

2. or unless permission is given to share this information with a person or persons in a better position to be able to offer advice, help or resolution

3. this particularly applies to those in training


1. if there is any possibility of a disclosure being made which may involve sharing information with others, then the person sharing that information needs to be advised accordingly

2. notes should not be taken or information recorded unless prior permission is given - these are subject to the provisions of the Data Protections Act (1998) 


1. this is a sacramental matter and is restricted to those ordained or authorised

2. the content of any confession is held in sacred trust and may not be shared with any other person(s) under any circumstances unless prior permission has been given


1. the granting of absolution may be conditional 

2. or even withheld until appropriate

3. whilst absolution may be offered, the consequences of sin still remain and have to be dealt with appropriately