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13 Jan 2016 News Vatican Comments (1)

God is totally and always reliable, He is a solid and stable presence says Pope Francis

On Wednesday, during his weekly traditional Angelus address, Pope Francis introduced a new series of catechesis dedicated to mercy for his general audiences, te…

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18 Jul 2015 Q&A No comments

Eucharist Miracles 4: Bolsena-Orvieto, Italy, blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over the priest's hands onto…

In 1263 a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it diffic…

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06 Oct 2014 USA No comments

'Decisive' role of marriage in focus as Court declines cases

Washington D.C., Oct 6, 2014 / 03:39 pm .- The Supreme Court’s decision not to review defense of marriage appeals by five states has been met with disappointmen…

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17 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

German cardinal discusses importance of pro-life issues

In a message for the annual German pro-life march, which will take place in Berlin on September 19, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference said that “a…

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31 Aug 2016 Americas Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Turkey gives early release to man convicted of murdering priest

Witnesses say 16 year-old Oguzhan Akdin shouted 'Allahu Akbar' while he shot the priest twice in the head A man imprisoned for killing an Italian Catholic prie…

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28 Apr 2016 Vatican Comments (1)

Vatican watchdog reports sharp rise in suspicious financial activity

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15 Jun 2016 Middle East No comments

Patriarchs call for liberation of Iraqi lands where Christians lived

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21 Jan 2016 Q&A Comments (3)

Did St. Peter view his authority as equal to other Church leaders?

Full Question How can you say Peter had authority over other church leaders when he referred to himself as only their "fellow elder"(1 Pt 5:1). This proves Pet…

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24 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (13)

Was Jesus the Son of God or just a holy man and a prophet?

Full Question I don't have a problem with Christianity per se. I believe Jesus was a holy man and a prophet, even though I don't think he was unique or God…

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Why can’t priests hear confessions through electronic media such as telephone, e-mail, or Internet?

Full Question

Why can’t priests hear confessions through electronic media such as telephone, e-mail, or Internet?


Confession on the telephone or by e-mail is not permitted by the Church for a couple of reasons. First, the sacrament of confession is a personal encounter with Jesus in which he:

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)

Second, maintaining secrecy is essential. The “Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him” (CCC 1467). E-mail, the Internet, and telephones are never completely private.

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. (9)


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