Confession Over the Phone?

Hi Fr Phil,

I have a couple questions regarding the sacrament of confession. First of all, how often should one go? I think the church herself states once a year as a minimum, but how often is practical? I go every two to four weeks but I don't know if that's too much. I just find I receive a lot of healing each time I go and so I try to make frequent confessions.

And my second question, and I know it's pretty silly, but I am curious - why can one not make a confession over the phone? My confessor moved 2000 miles away and my life would be so much easier if I could call him up instead of finding a new one. I would probably make better confessions too. There's always something I hold back on, and I know I shouldn't but I do. Anyway that's another story...

Thanks for your great website. God bless.



Dear Brenda,

Having just finished seven hours of confessions, I want to encourage your practice of frequent confession. Besides celebrating the Eucharist there is no better way for a priest to spend his time.

You can make a confession over the phone, but to receive sacramental absolution requires personal presence. Every sacrament is Jesus personally and individually touching us and has an "outward sign." In the case of Reconciliation the outward sign is the imposition of hands or at least the extension of a hand over the penitent.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

P.S. As you might imagine, I receive requests for "email confessions." I give them roughly the same reply, altho email is yet another step removed. I believe most of those who emailed a "confession" eventually got up the courage to do the real thing.


See also: An Eternally Unbridgeable Chasm

The Fiery Furnace

Jesus Teaching Concerning Heaven

Other Homilies


Some Good News on Teen Pregnancy and Abortion

Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History

He Approached the Victim: "It's much more likely one of your relatives will lose his life by surgical abortion than by heart attack."

Germaine Greer on Birth Control

Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)

Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church

Deflating Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Stephen Jay Gould: Gorbachev of Darwinism?

Test Tube Offspring Want to Know Father

Erickson vs. Bartell Drugs

Call No Man Father

What is Original Sin of Sex?

Bicentennial Man (Hidden Assumptions)

Bogus Knights of Columbus Oath

Ossuary of James, Son of Joseph, Brother of Jesus