The Sacraments

Where is it said that Sacraments must be administered in person, I can’t find where it s said.


I found the relevant canons.

Minister of Baptism

Canon 861 - p.1. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, presbyter, or deacon, with due regard for the prescription of can. 350 n.1.
p.2. If the ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or other person deputed for this function by the local ordinary confers baptism licitly as does any person with the right intention in case of necessity; shepherd of souls, especially the pastor are to be concerned that the faithful be instructed in the correct manner of baptizing.

Minister of Confirmation

Canon 882 - The ordinary minister of confirmation is the bishop; a presbyter who has this faculty by virtue of either the universal law or a special concession of competent authrority also confers this sacrament validly.

Canon 883 - Talks about Presbyteral Ministers by Law

Canon 884 - Talks about Presbyteral Ministers by Conession

Minister of Eucharist - This is pretty obvious priests and bishops

Minister of Penance

Canon 965 - Only a priest is the minister of the sacrament of penance.

Canons 966-967 - have to do with faculty to hear Confession

Minister of Annointing of the Sick

Canon 1003 - p.1. - Every priest, and only a priest validly administers the annointing of the sick.

Minister of Holy Orders

Canon 1012 - The minister of sacred ordination is a consecrated bishop.

Minister of Matrimony - I may have this one wrong so correct me if I am wrong

Canon 1108 p.1. - Only those marriages are valid which are contracted in the presence of the local ordinary or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and in the presence of two witnesses, according to the rules expresssed in the following cannons…

So this does specify in person implicitly.

Hope this helps. God bless.

I think the OP may be asking if ANY Sacraments may be administered by a minister who is not physically present with the recipient.

Most Sacraments include some requirement that the two be in the same place. For example, Baptism requires that the minister applies water. Obviously this cannot be done over the phone.

But, what about Confession? Since ancient times, this has been done with the minister and penitent physically separated, yet able to communicate through a screen. In modern times, there are many other methods that people may communicate without physical contact. Has the Church ever taught that we cannot validly confess over the phone? This *does *constitute arricular Confession, as far as I understand the term.

Canon 960 - Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the only ordinary way by which the faithful person who is aware of serious sin is reconciled with God and with the Church; only physical or moral impossibility excuses the person from confession of this type, in which case reconcilliation can take place in other ways.

Commentary on the second part of the canon

The alternative means of sacramental reconciliation which are referred to include a less than complete individual confession of sins bollowed by individual absolution and, most obviously, the exceptional mode regulated by the three canons which follow. [refer to general absolution]. Reconciliation with God and the Church may of course also be accomplished by means of sacraments other han penance, above all through the Eucharistic celebration, as well as by non-sacramental penance and contrition.

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