The Law in the U.K is quite plain on this, they got their barrister to make it sound different :
The doctrine of priest-penitent privilege does not apply in English law as privileged communication is granted solely in the context of legal advice obtained from a professional adviser.
In R v. Shaw (1834) 6 C& P 392, a witness who had taken an oath not to reveal a statement which had been made to him by the prisoner, was ordered to reveal it. "Everybody", said Mr. Justice Patteson, who tried the case, "except counsel and attorneys, is compellable to reveal what they may have heard."
It was decided by the Court of King's Bench in a judgment delivered by Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke in the case of Middleton v. Croft that the Canons of 1603, though binding on the clergy, do not bind the laity. The reason for this is that though canons, in order to be valid must, as these did, receive the royal sanction, they are made in convocation, and, thus, without representation of the laity. Accordingly, if this canon infringed a right enjoyed by the lay subjects of the realm it would, seemingly, in as far as it did so, not be valid against them. Thus, a canon purporting to forbid clergymen from appearing as witnesses in any action which a subject might lawfully bring in the King's courts would, seemingly, be void as against the subject.