Catholic Dictionary

Term

OFFICIAL SECRET

Definition

Confidential information entrusted to a person holding an official position in the Church or civil society, as in the medical, legal, or counseling professions. An official secret may not be communicated, without the permission of the one who confided the information, unless very grave necessity requires it. The seal of confession arising from the sacrament of penance is a special form of official secrecy. Confessional matters may never be divulged.