Date: April 12, 2023 06:24PM
I'm surprised at your narrow focus on Catholicism, which is a small part of the picture. There's no need to produce precedents about that religion because we have them about the LDS church itself.
1) LDS bishops are indeed clergy. The only standard is that the person in question is recognized by the religion and its followers as clergy, which is assuredly the case for Mormon bishops. There are no shades of legal responsibility based on education, qualification, or competence.
2) The clerical privilege differs from state to state and is determined by legislation and by common law. It generally includes not just confessions but all confidential information received in the performance of clerical duties--anywhere, in other words, where the expectation of confidentiality obtains.
3) The Virginia case was precisely about clerical privilege. The key was that the bishops and mission and stake presidents with the relevant information did not convey the information to other church authorities or to the police. If it had just been a question of a prominent family, as you suggest, the priest-penitent privilege would never have arisen. But it did, and the church lost.
4) Again, in most states the privilege--doctor-patient, attorney-client, priest-penitent--does not cover ongoing or future crimes. If you know or strongly suspect that a person will abuse a child, you are obligated to report it. Period.
I do not know Arizona well, but a quick internet search indicates that priests too are required to report.
"State law spells out which people are obligated to report:
. . .
Peace officers, child-welfare investigators, child-safety workers, members of the clergy, priests or Christian Science practitioners.
. . ."https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/04/11/understand-system-these-people-reporting-child-abuse-mandatory/495688002/