I have never heard Confessions remotely.
But I have to ask myself if the archbishop is right.
Remember the centurion from the Gospel. Jesus offered to go and heal his dying servant. But the centurion said that his house would be unworthy of the presence of Jesus. So Jesus healed the man remotely or virtually.
Was that not Jesus performing the Sacrament of the Sick remotely?
Through sacraments, we Catholics believe we receive God’s grace.
That grace comes to us from an infinite distance as God is both imminently present with us and infinitely distant from us.
If God’s grace can reach us from WHEREVER God is, can the grace of a sacrament not travel to us by sacrament from a distance of ten or fifty miles?
I remember John Shine in Waterford teaching us about Confessions. He said the sacramental grace of absolution could travel to us as long as we remained in the church building, but it could not follow us outside the building!
Grace exists in the eternal sphere.
Surely when we kneel down beside our bed at night and are truly sorry for our sins, we are immediately given fill forgiveness- and there is no priest present.
Could obligatory confession to a priest be part of the effort by clerics to bring all power, sacramental and otherwise under their control?
In Marriage, for instance, the ministers of the sacrament are the couple and the priest is only the witness?
12TH JULY – JIMMY YOUNG POEM