Cell phones at church


Went to confession last weekend. About 15 people in the confession line and 1/3 of them were on their cell phones, browsing and texting. I don’t even know what to say to that. Thoughts???


Any chance they were looking up guidelines for their examinations of conscience?


I often review an examination, list my sins to confess, pray Midday Prayer, and occasionally read a book on my phone while in line for confession. And yes sometimes I respond to a text someone sent me during mass.

Lines can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of standing still on concrete floors. I bring something to do.


I should add I often have my phone out cuz I don’t know where else to look. If I face forward I can often see the person confessing, if I look back it is into a row of people who don’t want you staring at them. There is another row to my right so I don’t look that way too much. So my choices are ceiling, floor, white wall or cell phone…


That maybe, like me they are reviewing an examination of conscious, or maybe praying g the LOTH.

I think the question here is why does this bother you so much?


What’s wrong with using a cellphone in line for confession? That’s not during mass


A lot of quiet smiling going on while they were texting. I don’t think it had anything to do with examination of conscience but I could be wrong.


Understandable. My church isn’t set up that way. Can’t see the person confessing. I don’t like to stare at people either.


Why would you need to say anything? What would be remarkable about people looking at their phone while standing in line?


What business of it is yours? How does it concern you?


What someone else does while waiting in line for confession is really none of your business, either way.


Why does it bother me? Because confession is a sacrament. And because everywhere I go everybody is glued to their phones. Restaurants, church, Walmart, driving. It’s become a disease in this country. It’s an addiction and it’s become an idol. I’m standing in the confession line trying to think and pray and get prepared for confession and people beside me are playing games on their phones. It’s annoying and I think inappropriate for the situation. But it’s between them and God.


How do you know for certain what anyone was doing.

Did you confess your sin of rash judgement of your fellow confessees?


It annoys me, that’s why. There is a time and place for things and the confession line just isn’t the time or place.


That’s not your call.


You are annoying yourself. Taking offense where none is given is uncharitable. And who made you the arbiter of what people can or can’t do when they are waiting? You really need a reality check.


I was just asking the question of what others thought about it. Seems I hit a nerve with you. And nothing is remarkable about people using their phones standing in a line. It was just annoying because of what line it was.


Waiting in line for confession is not participating in the Mass. They are not, at the time they are in line, actually participating in the sacrament.

Besides, the person on the other side of you might be annoyed at seeing that you’re annoyed at seeing…do you see where this is going?

Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to reform other men. A serious obstacle to recollection is the mania for directing those you have not been appointed to direct, reforming those you have not been asked to reform, correcting those over whom you have no jurisdiction. How can you do these things and keep your mind at rest? Renounce this futile concern with other men’s affairs! Pay as little attention as you can to the faults of other people, and none at all to their natural defects and eccentricities.
Thomas Merton

It is certainly not going to help your recollection prior to confession to be looking at what other people are doing. We all find ourselves distracted from time to time. If you find yourself annoyed by what you see out of the corner of your eye, just try to convince yourself that at least they are in the confession line and remind yourself that you don’t know whether they don’t examine themselves more often than you do. In never hurts to believe that even those seem worse than we are may actually be better.

Should the devil be able to tempt you to look down on someone else while you are in line to seek mercy? Don’t let him do it!!


It never fails. Any time I have posted anything on this forum, some people are just gunning for an argument. You can’t say anything, have an opinion about anything or ask a question about anything without being ridiculed, attacked or told to mind your business. A lot of the people on this forum are just hateful. Saying that I’m judging the people in the confession line (I wasn’t. Was just asking what others thought about using the phones in church). Telling me to get a life. (You have no idea what my life is like and what I have to deal with). And who made me arbiter of the confession line (Nobody. But who made you the accuser for the forum?) So that’s not judging me, right? You are doing exactly what you are accusing me of doing. I only browse this forum to see if there is anything I can learn about Catholicism from other’s posts. What I’ve learned is there are a lot of hateful people on here that just like to argue and attack because they have nothing better to do. Maybe they are the ones who need to get a life.


I often smile to myself when I read, if a point seems particularly good or if I can see God working to make something stick out to me, again.

Even if you are right, it’ll drive you nuts to bother about what everyone else is doing. I would suggest that you read a book in line, or perhaps pray the rosary and look at the beads, instead. I will admit I often do such things to avoid my own temptations to be judgmental.

Some posters may be spoiling for a fight, but I know I often like to suggest an alternative view just because it may not have occurred to the OP. Friends have done this for me many, many times and it’s really helpful.

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