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Author Topic: confession over the internet?  (Read 2464 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: June 09, 2010, 05:05:51 AM »

is it possible for an Orthodox faithful to contact a priest over the internet or the phone and had confession?
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 05:41:11 AM »

Probably not, because of the potential privacy issues inherent in such forms of communication.  The Internet is particularly susceptible to breaches of privacy.  Remember that in confession, the secrecy of what you confess to your priest is to be protected above all else, which makes privacy absolutely necessary.  (A priest can actually be deposed for revealing what he hears in a confession.)
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 05:42:48 AM »

Probably not, because of the potential privacy issues inherent in such forms of communication.  The Internet is particularly susceptible to breaches of privacy.  Remember that in confession, the secrecy of what you confess to your priest is to be protected above all else, which makes privacy absolutely necessary.  (A priest can actually be deposed for revealing what he hears in a confession.)

interesting...thanks for replying.

I know that he can't tell anyone my sins, but I still say "don't tell anyone, ok?"
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 09:52:02 AM »

I once had a spiritual father (now reposed) to whom I did confession over a phone with some frequency. He would listen to my confession and offer guidance and support, however he would not give me absolution  but told me to advise my local pastor of my session with the spiritual father and have the pastor give absolution as absolution must be in person not  by letter, phone, or internet. He cited St Seraphim of Sarov as an example of a long-distance father confessor and spiritual father but noted that St Seraphim would not offer absolution except in person.

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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 10:50:28 AM »

I have read (I think somewhere on this site) of the Coptic Orthodox being able to make their confessions via telephone simply because the environment in Egypt is very dangerous for Coptic Christians even to be seen walking about.  I don't know if that is the case.  I would imagine that there are cases, even here in America, where phone confessions were absolutely necessary. It should not become a rule, but only exercised in cases of emergency.

But really, this phenomenon should not come as a huge surprise as many other christian "churches" have drive-thru communion and video consecrations.  Could one do a baptism over the phone?
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 11:31:56 AM »

I once had a spiritual father (now reposed) to whom I did confession over a phone with some frequency. He would listen to my confession and offer guidance and support, however he would not give me absolution  but told me to advise my local pastor of my session with the spiritual father and have the pastor give absolution as absolution must be in person not  by letter, phone, or internet. He cited St Seraphim of Sarov as an example of a long-distance father confessor and spiritual father but noted that St Seraphim would not offer absolution except in person.

I know of folks who have this kind of relationship with their spiritual fathers.  As long as it is a beneficial relationship, I personally don't see a problem with it.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 02:07:08 PM »

I have read (I think somewhere on this site) of the Coptic Orthodox being able to make their confessions via telephone simply because the environment in Egypt is very dangerous for Coptic Christians even to be seen walking about.  I don't know if that is the case.  I would imagine that there are cases, even here in America, where phone confessions were absolutely necessary. It should not become a rule, but only exercised in cases of emergency.

But really, this phenomenon should not come as a huge surprise as many other christian "churches" have drive-thru communion and video consecrations.  Could one do a baptism over the phone?

About the egypt thingy !. Nope its not so dangerous to that extent  but there are several occasions where people were killed, i live in egypt . I go to church in the night and early mornign , i take a long walk there and i could see people lookign at me and they are very normal. But i wont deny that some people look with disgust , but most of them are fine . BUT

Monks in egypt are at great risk ! , they have been attacked by barbarianns and their " praying areas " ( i dunno wht ar ethey called in english ) were destroyed and burned Sad and the police never helped them Sad

Also recently , on the 7th of january Sad . After they took the holy communion they left the church and then a car drove by and shot them dead  Sad they wer about 5 who died , aged rangin from 10-25 But those people who died are known as martyrs now Sad this even was a tragedy


there are many more ! you could go to youtube and see

look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSZz2QspyuA

it is in arabic but you could see the other videos and read their titles , and you could see alot of facebook gropups "stop killing christian egyptians "

But again its exaggurating to say that no coptic goes down and walk in the street!
Our churches are all over the country , its a blessed country and even Lord Jesus Christ said so and im very proud !
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 03:23:33 PM »

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is it possible for an Orthodox faithful to contact a priest over the internet or the phone and had confession?

One should first find a good spiritual father, and then work out with that spiritual father how one should make their confessions.  It is not at all uncommon today for people to have a spiritual father located some distance away.  In such cases I know that email is sometimes used for Confession as well as telephone and fax.  None of these mediums are entirely secure, and the person making their Confession should be aware of this.  Particularly inadvisable would be to use a company fax machine that might spit out a copy afterwards confirming delivery or which in any case will store the confession on the fax machine hard drive, or using email on an employer's network where the employer may view employee internet activity. 
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 03:28:44 PM »

The topic was addressed a little here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19144.0.html#top
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2010, 08:36:53 PM »

I once had a spiritual father (now reposed) to whom I did confession over a phone with some frequency. He would listen to my confession and offer guidance and support, however he would not give me absolution  but told me to advise my local pastor of my session with the spiritual father and have the pastor give absolution as absolution must be in person not  by letter, phone, or internet. He cited St Seraphim of Sarov as an example of a long-distance father confessor and spiritual father but noted that St Seraphim would not offer absolution except in person.

I know of folks who have this kind of relationship with their spiritual fathers.  As long as it is a beneficial relationship, I personally don't see a problem with it.

I am one who has confessed via phone and by letter.  Absolution was done in person, however.  I was told by a Priest that it is not unheard of for a Priest to give a person a blessing to confess to a pious layman.  The confessing person would then tell the priest that he had confessed and read the general confession and receive absolution. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 10:30:09 AM »

is it possible for an Orthodox faithful to contact a priest over the internet or the phone and had confession?
I have heard of this in the past (and others here attest to it), but it's not something I would be keen to do. But don't you live in a city with an Orthodox parish readily available?

IIRC, the Romans (or maybe the Greek Catholics, but anyway, someone in communion with Rome) have banned the practice of phone confessions.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 12:24:36 PM »

is it possible for an Orthodox faithful to contact a priest over the internet or the phone and had confession?
I have heard of this in the past (and others here attest to it), but it's not something I would be keen to do. But don't you live in a city with an Orthodox parish readily available?

IIRC, the Romans (or maybe the Greek Catholics, but anyway, someone in communion with Rome) have banned the practice of phone confessions.

There are some Orthodox Christians who do not use their parish priest as their father confessor or spiritual father.Many will use monastic spiritual directors whom they have felt called to go to. It is important that if you do not use a spiritual director or father confessor in your parish clergy that the local pastor is aware of who you are using and that you keep your local pastor up to date with your spiritual program.  By the way, most clergy have to use a spiritual father who is not co-located with them in their parish.

I have been told that if using a non-parish spiritual father, I should still let my parish priest know something about by spiritual dirctetion and program as he is responsible to give me communion worthily. If I go to spiritual father elsewhere, my pastor may assume I am not confessing and that I  am unable to recieve communion. It is very improtant to keep your pastor in the loop about your spiritual direction process.

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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2010, 04:08:37 PM »

There are some Orthodox Christians who do not use their parish priest as their father confessor or spiritual father.Many will use monastic spiritual directors whom they have felt called to go to. It is important that if you do not use a spiritual director or father confessor in your parish clergy that the local pastor is aware of who you are using and that you keep your local pastor up to date with your spiritual program.  By the way, most clergy have to use a spiritual father who is not co-located with them in their parish.

I have been told that if using a non-parish spiritual father, I should still let my parish priest know something about by spiritual dirctedion and program as he is responsible to give me communion worthily. If I go to spiritual father elsewhere, my pastor may assume I am not confessing and that I  am unable to recieve communion. It is very improtant to keep your pastor in the loop about your spiritual direction process.

Thomas
As long as their bishop doesn’t object, who am I to do so?

I’m still fairly new to Orthodoxy (two years of reading, one year of in-person inquiry) in an area where Orthodoxy is just now making inroads (the mission draws from a geographic area three hours wide), so one day making confession to Father is pretty much my only option as he’s one of three Orthodox priests I even know, with one of those currently on indefinite leave and having only met the second a couple of times.
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