Follow usTwitterFacebook


19 Sep 2014 USA Comments (3)

NY cardinal: parade decision is matter of gay identity vs action

New York City, N.Y., Sep 19, 2014 / 02:14 am .- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has clarified his support for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while acknowled…

Read more

28 Jul 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Did Pope Francis seriously just give nuns permission to play Pokemon Go?

Pope Francis is encouraging the use of social media for nuns, on the condition they use it properly and in moderation. Texting, tweeting or Pokemon? Mode…

Read more

25 Jun 2016 Americas Australia Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Pope Francis says Brexit vote leaves Europe with a ‘great responsibility’

Pope Francis has said the British decision to leave the European Union leaves a “great responsibility” for all of us to help ensure the “peaceful co-existence” …

Read more

27 Sep 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Gee, thanks Pope Francis! Why it is now harder to get a miracle

Pope Francis has approved new rules that will improve scientific accuracy when evaluating miracles. Before a person is beatified, a miracle is required. Befo…

Read more

23 Dec 2015 Europe News Comments (2)

The Priest who saved lives in Titanic to be canonized saint

Father Thomas Byles who was a passenger in the famous Titanic accident in 1912; where the ship which as at then dimmed "Unsinkable" hit an iceberg and sunk down…

Read more

17 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (1)

5 popular celebrities who aren't afraid of showing their faith

Practicing your faith and being in the limelight is not always an easy task, especially in a world where Christians and believers are persecuted for their faith…

Read more

04 Sep 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Are you a fallen RC, Catholic-connected, or a cultural Catholic?

Sam Clark wasn’t reared as a Catholic. He never converted, either. Yet Clark, 50, of Carson City, Mich., likes Pope Francis — “the most ecumenical pope in my…

Read more

17 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Synod leader: the Church must include, not exclude

Speaking at a diocesan conference in Sessa Aurunca, Italy, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops emphasized that the Church must “include” rather than “…

Read more

02 Dec 2014 Articles Comments (1)

The Carpenter's Dilemma

It is not known how the town carpenter found out that his betrothed was pregnant. Perhaps she told him herself after returning from a months-long journey …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Can someone go to confession online or over the phone?

  • Written by:
  • 1 Reply

Confession by nature is a “Personal Encounter” with Jesus through the ministry of a priest. Emails and Phones remove that physical aspect of this personal encounter which must be present for one to validly receive the Sacrament of Penance.

“He (Christ) personally addresses every sinner: “My son, your sins are forgiven.” He is the physician tending each one of the sick who need him to cure them. He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal communion. Personal confession is thus the form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church”  – CCC 1484

Another reason is secrecy. A priest is bound by a special oath (Seal of the Confessional) to keep everything a penitent says to him in the confessional absolutely secret. A priest may never reveal any detail of a penitents sin to anyone, not even civil authorities, even under the threat of their own death. Breaking the oath would lead to automatic excommunication (latae sententiae), the lifting of which is reserved to the Pope himself (Code of Canon Law, 1388 §1). Phones, email, etc are never secret and can always leak details of a penitents sins to third parties.

The Pontifical Council on Social Communications on The Church and Internet says:

“Virtual reality is no substitute for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacramental reality of the other sacraments, and shared worship in a flesh-and-blood human community. There are no sacraments on the Internet; and even the religious experiences possible there by the grace of God are insufficient apart from real-world interaction with other persons of faith.”


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    I still can’t get over this amazing limit on God’s power. Catholic God can’t hear and forgive sins without them going through a priest first. To me that’s an astounding admission of the limitations on Catholic God’s power. As for confession by phone, email, etc., maybe someone should tell God about this new technology called “encryption.”
    As for secrecy for the clergy – if it can be shown that a priest knows of impending capital or sexual crimes (particularly sexual crimes directed at children) of a confessor and fails to bring them to the attention of the authorities, that priest should share a jail cell with the perpetrator, as he is complicit, and to some extent an accessory, in the crimes that individual commits. It would be far better for a priest to do the right thing, and be excommunicated, if the priest is any kind of decent human being at all.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories