I would very much like to find somewhere online where I can do confession. I do not want to go to my local Priest, and I work ALL the time, so traveling to another town is not an option. (Not even sure I could get away long enough to go to the local Priest.) Are there any options for this?
I would also like to find someone who could help guide me spiritually online or through e-mail. Long story, but I stumbled upon a Protestant Minister who offered to do so. That is what got me to thinking about finding someone from the Catholic religion who could help me.
Father Z, in his blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, gives a definite no to this question:
*Subsequent to my review of the new iPhone app to help with (not substitute for) sacramental confession and absolution of sins, I have received some questions about absolution over the internet and even some challenges proposing that it is valid.
No. In my considered opinion, it is not valid. You cannot be absolved of sins at such a distance that you are not present to the priest giving absolution.
By the way, note that I stress whether or not absolution is valid or not. I speak mostly about absolution in what follows. You can “confess” to anyone! It happens all the time in bars. Only a priest can absolve your sins.*
*A document of the Pont. Council for Social Communications tried to straddle the divide, it seems to me, talking in one moment how the tools of social communication are bringing people together in new ways and blurring distinctions, at the same time as it asserted that
“There are no sacraments on the Internet”.
I agree. Whatever it may be that happens using the internet, or telephone, it would not be sacramental absolution.
If the question arises, “Can I go to confession online?”, the answer is “Sure you can! You just can’t receive valid absolution.” *
Confession with a priest can not be over the phone or internet.
With that said I often wonder if we are limiting God by not allowing this? The priest has no special ability to forgive it is all God and God is everywhere and has created everything.
Being in the presence of a Priest means a heck of a lot more then talking on the phone to to a priest about sin. There is something in our nature that desires this.
I struggled in finding a place to confess while in Utah and would map out my travels ahead of time and try to make confession or set up an appt. with the town I was traveling too. If you want it done you can make it happen.
As for online spiritual guidance, I like this idea and wonder if there is an option out there?
Thank you for your replies. So, there is no confession online.
I understand that no one works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, when I get off work, I have two children 3 and under. I might as well be a single parent, so in a way, yes, I do work all the time! However, as I have said, my local Priest is not an option. I have been to confession with him over other things. I guess the matter is more something I need guidance on, nothing really to confess anyway.
So, really I guess my question is worded wrong. What I need is online guidance/advice from a Priest or someone similar. Anything like this online or through e-mail?
I agree exactly. If receiving absolution for your sins is not worth making the time and effort to get up and go to the church, then it seems to me that one may be in a dangerous place spiritually. I understand that some people have anxieties etc., but to just not make the effort?
Sprirtual direction over the internet - absolutely. Sacraments over the internet? Can’t see it happening. Then people will want to go to Sunday Mass over the internet and use that as fulfilling our obligation. We have never been able to do that with TV, and it ain’t going to happen with the internet, either.
Everyone’s mentioned the excellent theological reasons why confession cannot be online, but here’s a very good practical reason as well – given the prevalence of identity theft (keyloggers, hackers, spyware, etc.) confessng your sins online cannot be guaranteed the seal of the confessional. Would you talk as candidly about your sins to some guy in a crowded bar as you would to a priest in the confessional?
Sacraments over the Internet.
Eucharist, Yes. I sometimes, I would say, for health reason, I cannot go the the mass. And I accompany the mass in Rome. I tell you, I am in rome. Sometimes you are in 1 million people coming to the Pope celebration and you cannot see nothing. So they put huge panel with the mass broadcasted over cables. I see no difference of these people from me who is at home devotion filled following the Pope. That is not a TV for me, that is Rome.
Now you cannot eat the Flesh of God and drink His Blood. I make a spiritual communion but I think it is not the same. You must go to mass. That is why some people bring the Body of Christ to sick people.
Internet is useful but it has got limits. You cannot drink a Coca or eat a McBurger over the net…
Look. that is no reason. The Grace and Sacrament when you are present with the priest are transmitted through waves, sound waves through the air, processed but the vocal aparatus of the priest and the ear aparatus of the person who goes to confession.
I think the Church wants to emphasize the presence of the priest. But, as here are 1 bilion christians, you need to be careful.
I wouldn’t consider myself a model Catholic. Doing a confession with a local protestant priest have it’s place. But we has Christians need to take the time to learn how to meditate.
The holy spirit lead myself to a Greek Orthodox Church. The Greeks perform an Orthros. (which is a blessing) Which has help me control my own emotions. Father Jordan never have force me to convert to the Orthodox Church. Which is a huge change from any Catholic Priest or Catholic church that I have gone too.
Father Jordan, understands my Gnostic Valentinus convictions. Catholic priests, on the other hand seem to have a strong conviction towards a very limited understanding of Yeshua. Maybe, this protestant minister relates more to you; then your local priest.
(My suggestion is to follow the holy spirit.)
If a priest - or even the Pope - says a blessing on a live telecast, do you receive it? What if it’s time-delayed? Or rebroadcast? What if the priest is dead?
Why not have but one Mass for the world, with the Pope as presider, and just allow people to watch the video whenever it suits them? Put your wafer in front of the speaker and have it be Consecrated. No room for innovations, no liturgical abuses, no mixed messages in the Homily. And no one will take your favorite pew.
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