AI in the Confessional?


Has there been any mention or concerns about this? Is it really a private confession in the confessional these days with smart phone apps etc possibly listening?


Interestingly, on his radio show, Patrick Madrid made it a point to share that he NEVER takes his cell phone (or any other electronic technology) anywhere near the confessional JUST IN CASE. Good advice in my opinion.


My sins are really boring these days. I don’t really care who eavesdrops.


Years ago, baptist church, the pastor was on a hot mic while in his office. You should have seen the people run to tell him.


OK I had something not related to cell phones but was a RUDE awakening for me.

YEARS ago we had a visiting Priest say Mass once and I went to Confession. THANK YOU JESUS there was only myself, my son, a friend and an older lady in Church at the time. He didn’t sit in the usual chair the Priest sits in but sat in the chair closer to the door and I had to sit where the Priest usually sits. I went in said my Confession (And of course this one happened to be very specifically sin laden with not too nice sins that are NOT regular for me). When I got out I went and sat with my son. Our Confessional is ALL THE WAY in the back of Church and my son (As we usually do) was sitting in the 2nd pew from the front on the right side. When I got into the pew my son told me “I heard what you said in Confession”. I said “Oh you heard mumbled voices.” He said “NO, I heard exactly what you and the Priest said.” All I can think of is that he may have put the microphone pack on ahead of time and turned it on without realizing it. TALK ABOUT EMBARASSED FOR SURE. My voice does carry and my Priest has had to tell once or twice to lower my voice but I KNOW that for EVERYTHING to be heard he had to have a mike on. I figured OH well what’s done is done. That Priest has never come back and I’ve never had that happen again.


I’ll side with Patrick Madrid on that. No electronic devices in the confessional, although as pointed out, there could be hot mics there. You can’t worry about that, if it happens, it happens. Take whatever precautions you like.

Having said that, there are more issues at home. Smart TV, Alexa like devices etc. I have a computer with a camera in the bedroom. Lens is covered. The audio, I don’t care… if someone wants a recording of me snoring, or brushing my teeth, have at it. Knock yourself out.


I do put a sticker over my laptop camera eye, ever since I read about some school administrator who had gotten control of all the students’ laptops remotely and could turn on their cameras and watch what they were doing in their rooms. He was eventually caught, but after that, I made sure to use one of the 1000 address labels I always get in the junk mail to cover up that eye. I peel it back if I have to skype or make a video, then I put the sticker back down.



Leave your phone in the car.


If that happened to me it would send me over the edge of paranoia. I’d probably avoid Confession for as long as I could stand it, and then question the heck out of the priest to make sure he doesn’t have a mic on and that his phone definitely could not be recording me.


Nope even if the whole church heard I’d have just smile and said “THANK GOD FOR HIS DIVINE MERCY”


All will be revealed in the end anyway, right? :grin: And we will be happy, like your response becauseeeee God and His Great Mercy!!


WOW. Poor you! Did your son know that since he heard your confession he was bound by the sacramental seal unless you freely told him otherwise?


Did anybody go back and tell that priest to TURN OFF THE MIC?


“Dave, what are you doing Dave?”

HAL the inquisitor “confessor” bot. “My son, hope is the first step in the road to disappointment.” (paraphrase of the Librarian from Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War). Why does this sound like something the Adeptus Mechanicus would cook up?

Oh, you’re talking about eavesdropping, not actual AI in the confessional. That is… disappointing.


It’s never crossed my mind, but I do take my phone in the confessional. Before confession, I examine my conscience and write down all sins that come to mind in the notes app of my phone. Afterwards, I delete the list. Is this a problem?


Honestly I didn’t think of the possibility of the mic thing until MUCH later.


If your worried about it, stick your phone in airplane mode or turn it off.
And the priest really should have his mic off when doing confessions.



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