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Friday, March 24, 2017

Years ago, I asked my former Priest how he goes to confession and receives absolution, since he was alone and rarely saw another Priest.  He told me that he confessed over the telephone.  

When this was told to me, my "gut" reaction was that this was wrong, but I am not a theologian, so I was not sure and just trusted that this was acceptable.

I just came upon something that shows CLEARLY that this is invalid.

Absolution by telegraph was declared invalid by a Holy See commission, and this was reiterated on July 1, 1884, regarding the telephone.  Theologians consider that a negative reply in a case such as this is settled Catholic teaching.

The reason for this negative reply makes perfect sense:

All of the sacraments require some form of physical presence between minister and recipient. Even the possible exception of marriage by proxy still requires the personal presence of the proxy delegate. Likewise a general absolution in an emergency requires the physical presence of those who receive the grace of forgiveness.

The question of invalidity revolves around the essentially interpersonal nature of the sacraments. They are not magical rites but encounters with Christ in which the minister is the human instrument of this personal encounter.

It is really common sense, if absolution can be granted over the phone, why not the Consecration of the bread and wine?  Why have mission churches - a person could just hold the phone over the bread and wine and the Priest could then do the Consecration - no need for the Priest to actually be there!

Herein, again, lies the problem with people "hooking their star" on a man and "betting their salvation" on the words of a man.  The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, not an individual man.

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