[U]nbeknownst to Hurd, the church was secretly recording his call, even though they knew that the discussion of sin would be the topic of conversation, an unconscionable thing for a church to do. Not knowing he was recorded, Hurd even eluded to the alleged sins of others, who did not agree to have their sins divulged to the elders, and certainly not to the world at large.
(Pulpit & Pen) Imagine you had a private conversation with ordained clergy, confessing your sins. Then imagine those clergy members secretly recorded that call and later chose to anonymously put that info online in order to punish you.
That’s what Apologia church leaders did when Tim Hurd called them to confess some ill-will in his heart and apologize for certain things he had said about them and why.
In most denominations, that breach of clergy-penitent privilege would be enough to revoke one’s ordination. Confidence between clergy and the sin-confessor has been considered ‘inviolable,’ and has even been recognized by United States law (since at least 1813). It’s certainly expected that confessions of sin would not be made public unless it’s a matter of church discipline or criminal behavior when there is a victim in immediate danger.