An idea: "E-confessions"

I am facebook friends with a local priest. I was thinking: Could I chat with him or send him a private message as a confession? Would that be valid?

No it wouldn’t. Man up and go talk to him in person. You’re a human being, and you were filled with the Holy Spirit at your baptism, confirmation, etc. YOU DO have the capability to do a real confession. I believe in you.

Lord, help this kid make a good confession.

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,

Remote confessions could have been done back in the 1st century through letters written, but it was not. The purpose of face-to-face confession is to bring out the true repentance of a sinner. Its easy to say you’re sorry for something if you’re not facing anyone. That is partly why we have confession.

I just wonder though, in danger of death would the Church make an exception? For example you are in the middle of a war and you have a sattelite phone. You are surrounded by the enemy who would definitely slaughter you when they capture you. If you have 5-10 mins, can you phone your chaplain or parish pastor back home and ask for an absolution? Although legit or not, I’d definitely try it if I were in that situation.

Look, this was just an idea. thank you for your advice. I go to confession about once a month, and I only said this because I think I committed a mortal sin today (cheated on one test question) and can’t get to confession till either tomorrow night or next weekend (I work this Saturday). I go to Mass every morning, and I don’t want to commit sacrilige by taking the Eucharist.

One small piece of friendly advice: Forget “e-confession” or “texting” or any other such nonsense. If you’re that worried about having cheated on a test, go to church a few minutes early, catch the priest in the sacristy before Mass, and make a normal confession.

I will. I should be able to catch him because Mass doesn’t actually start until 6:40 am, and I’m at adoration from about 5:300 till then.

Back then, a confession of being Christian was likely a death sentence.

The seal of the confessional is both absolute and inviolate. In such a case, the penitent would have to make an act of contrition as perfectly as possible, then rely on God’s mercy. A priest cannot violate the seal of the confessional even to save lives - it is that solid. Confession must be one-on-one and in person, since all other forms of communication may be intercepted, and the seal would be broken.

But that doesn’t invalidate the Sacrament. Furthermore, being in a confessional isn’t an airtight way to make suire no one hears your confession unless your parish has invested in heavily padded, soundproof rooms. I’ve been in confessional where the priest have two windows, and while waiting for my turn I can hear what the lady on the other side is confessing. I just prayed as loudly as I can in my mind to block of understanding what the lady is saying. But if I was malicous enough I could have evesdropped.

No, it has to be in person, not over the phone or online

I think there was a Vatican document about this a while ago

I believe your soul is safe. That is not a grave matter. That is at worse a venial sin.
Confess it next time your in the confessional. If you feel unworthy at any time you do not need to receive the Eucharist. It is recommended at least once a year to partake.

You don’t have to receive the Eucharist every time you go to Mass. When I go to Mass (even Sunday Mass) but haven’t had the opportunity to get to Confession, I just stay in the pew during Communion. If you have a mortal sin, don’t feel like you are obligated to receive Communion at Mass, in fact doing so would be another mortal sin…

I know it’s another mortal sin to receive Communion in a state of mortal sin. that’s my whole point. I wanted to get a confession in ASAP.

I read somewhere that the wife and children of Orthodox priests who are living in remote areas might be permitted to confess by e-mail to another priest if they cannot reach another church on a regular basis. I can see the reasons for that but I can’t see why it should happen within Catholicism.

confession and absolution must be made and received in person.

Maybe you noticed the other thread I made about cheating being a mortal sin. Well, someone responded to it and said I didn’t sin, due the the details:

I was trying to draw and label the reproductive cycle of a flower. I had all the stages drawn out, but I couldn’t remember the name of one of the labels. My professor was across the room, talking to another student, and I heard him say the word I was looking for. So, according to who posted on that other thread, I did not cheat.

That is one problem that we all sometimes have to deal with, but the Priest cannot hear a remote confession, or one that he believes will be overheard. My point is not about confessions made face-to-face, but only about telephonic, written or electronic confessions. Can’t do those, as there is no way the Priest can be certain of the confidentiality, and thus, the seal.

First, you did not seek the answer. Second, when you heard it, you immediately recognized it as correct. Thus, you had the knowledge, but only lacked the access to it - which came about providentially.


I am unsure what the teachings are in the Orthodox Church, but in the Cathoilc Church the priest may not absolve someone only if he is a party to that person’s sin against the 6th commandment? Which means the priest cannot forgive a woman for having sex with a priest if he is that priest. Unless there is danger of death. There are Roman Catholic married priests. I should as my UGCC priest about this next time.

Not that I want to prolong this, but I just want to share that I work for an IT department for a company that values high level security. I can tell you that emails and other electronic communications can be made 1000x more secure than a confessional.

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