352.400. 1. As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall mean:
(1) "Abuse", any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse, injury or harm to a child under circumstances required to be reported pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183;
(2) "Child", any person regardless of physical or mental condition, under eighteen years of age;
(3) "Minister", any person while practicing as a minister of the gospel, clergyperson, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other person serving in a similar capacity for any religious organization who is responsible for or who has supervisory authority over one who is responsible for the care, custody, and control of a child or has access to a child;
(4) "Neglect", failure to provide the proper or necessary support or services by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of a child, under circumstances required to be reported pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183;
(5) "Religious organization", any society, sect, persuasion, mission, church, parish, congregation, temple, convention or association of any of the foregoing, diocese or presbytery, or other organization, whether or not incorporated, that meets at more or less regular intervals for worship of a supreme being or higher power, or for mutual support or edification in piety or with respect to the idea that a minimum standard of behavior from the standpoint of overall morality is to be observed, or for the sharing of common religious bonds and convictions;
(6) "Report", the communication of an allegation of abuse or neglect pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183.
2. When a minister or agent designated pursuant to subsection 3 of this section has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect under circumstances required to be reported pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183, the minister or designated agent shall immediately report or cause a report to be made as provided in sections 210.109 to 210.183. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or sections 210.109 to 210.183, a minister shall not be required to report concerning a privileged communication made to him or her in his or her professional capacity.
3. A religious organization may designate an agent or agents required to report pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183 in an official capacity on behalf of the religious organization. In the event a minister, official or staff member of a religious organization has probable cause to believe that the child has been subjected to abuse or neglect under circumstances required to be reported pursuant to sections 210.109 to 213.183 and the minister, official or staff member of the religious organization does not personally make a report pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183, the designated agent of the religious organization shall be notified. The designated agent shall then become responsible for making or causing the report to be made pursuant to sections 210.109 to 210.183. This section shall not preclude any person from reporting abuse or neglect as otherwise provided by law.
(L. 2002 S.B. 923, et al., A.L. 2003 H.B. 445)
Missouri General Assembly