Confession by phone

I know this is a wierd question, but can a priest hear confession over the phone?
Here is the situation, I live in a rurual community with a priest assigned to our parish who is over 250 miles away. He is only able to make it our community on Saturdays to hear confession and say mass. I am really very sorry about a sin I committed and want to confess it. I have already said an Act of Contrition and have prayed the Rosary and I am truly sorry for my sin. But I was thinking that I should call him and confess over the phone. I don’t want to approach him with this request if it is forbiden by the church. Does anyone know?

Confession by phone or internet or other means, aside from in person before a priest or bishop, is not valid.

The sacrament of reconciliation cannot be conferred over the phone or over the internet. I can’t find a particular reference to the phone issue, but per this document, “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.”


Confess tomorrow when he is at your parish church for that purpose. You cannot confess over the phone.

Thank you to all, I will take care of it tomorrow.
God Bless

Also, I believe if you physically can not get to confession, but have made an act of contrition, truly are sorry, and intend to confess, you need not fear.

God Bless

I know you cant, but why?

I mean if you are behind a screen and the person can not see who you are anyway why does the distance matter? This form is completely anonymous. This sacrament does not involve the form of physical touch, the dousing of oils or water, or anything that must be eaten. It is strictly verbal. In my opinion they may change there mind on this one someday.

As for the man you do have to go to confession as soon as possible. The previously mentioned statment is only a hope in the mercy of God, which means no gaurantee.
For what is revealed to us is that according to the law you are going to hell. It is only if God acts outside of the law that he gave us do you have a chance for heaven.
Look at it this way you can hope for the best from God (That if you are sorry you can go to heaven) but expect and prepare for the worst. (With out confession the form given to us by God, you are going to hell, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars)

While I agree with what you say, I would tend to say in some circumstances it would be enough. In many cases, I feel sorry on some level, enough to go to confession at the next available oppurtunity. For example, I get into a car accident on my way to confession. Am I going to hell because I have unconfessed (Mortal) sin, espcially if I may not have perfect contrition?

Confession can only be done with one and one confrontation between the pentitent and the confessor. Confession over the phone or email or chat room, or any electronic means is invalid.

I think more generally that all sacraments, and blessings, must be received in person. The Pope’s Urbis et Orbis blessing is the one exception.

There are a number of reasons why confession by phone or internet is not valid.

  1. the penitent cannot be reasonbly certain, in many cases, that the confessor is a priest or bishop.

  2. priests only have faculties to hear confession under the authority of the local Bishop, in their own diocese, or with permission in another diocese. Confession by phone or internet would often violate the authority of the local Bishop.

  3. the confessor hearing confessions in a Catholic church can be reasonbly certain that he is dispensing the Sacrament to those able to validly receive it; but by phone or internet, there would be no reasonable way to determine if the penitent is a baptized Christian and a Catholic.

  4. Christ dispensed Sacraments in person, and all those He sent to dispense Sacraments do so in person. No one can be baptized by proxy, as some foolish persons have claimed. Similarly, no one can receive confession, except in person.

My response is for the OP. This is from the CCC, Part Two, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery. 1452 - "When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible."

As long as you have perfect contrition (which only you and God will know) and as long as you avail yourself of confession as soon as possible, your immortal soul should not be in danger of spending eternal life in hell. Again, YOU and God will be the ones who will know of your perfect contrition and whether you availed yourself of the Sacrament of Confession as soon as possible. And I will gently tell you that no other human being can sit in judgement on the condition of your mortal soul and tell you whether or not you are going to hell.

“God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him.”

So if this person needing a to do a confession by phone


sick and unable to go physically to church

those know a priest and this priest is real and a friend and has been their priest and confessor for many years

they both leave in different states

why is this confession invalid?

If the person needing absolution is a catholic and in need, Does God not want this person to be helped?

When in confession the two do not have any contact other than voice wise

again why is this invalid? i don’t see why this would be wrong, if the penitent was sick

can a priest then come over to the house personally will this then be valid?