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Can Catholics receive any of the sacraments via Skype?

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    Which sacraments? It's pretty difficult to baptize someone via Skype. It's pretty difficult to administer the Eucharist via Skype. Marriage might be possible via Skype. – Flimzy Oct 12 '14 at 13:48
  • A good answer to this question should focus on whether the physical presence of the partarker is relevant when the physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist is invoked. – Affable Geek Oct 12 '14 at 13:49
  • Out of the seven sacraments, i cannot think of even a single sacrament that can be received thru skype. – Jayarathina Madharasan Oct 12 '14 at 15:14
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    I would probably suggest broadening the question to say "remotely", as it's incredibly unlikely the church has any ruling about Skype in particular, but may have a ruling on other forms of remote communication (namely telephone). – Flimzy Oct 12 '14 at 16:20
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    cf. Why can't priests hear confessions through electronic media such as telephone, e-mail, or Internet? | Catholic Answers. Personal encounter with Jesus seem to be the key words. PS Correct me if I am wrong, blessings and indulgences can received over media. – user13992 Oct 12 '14 at 23:34
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Yes, you could conceivably be married by proxy, via Skype.

Can. 1104 §1. To contract a marriage validly the contracting parties must be present together, either in person or by proxy [per procuratorem].

There can be no online confession:

Can. 964 §1. The proper place to hear sacramental confessions is a church or oratory.

§3. Confessions are not to be heard outside a confessional without a just cause.

See the Substantive Norms art. 4, which forbids the recording "by whatever technical means" of what is said in confession:

§ 2. With due regard for § 1, n. 5, also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the more grave delict which consists in the recording, by whatever technical means, or in the malicious diffusion through communications media, of what is said in sacramental confession, whether true or false, by the confessor or the penitent. Anyone who commits such a delict is to punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding, if he be a cleric, dismissal or deposition.

All the other sacraments must be done in person because they require a physical matter:

  • holy water for Baptism
  • holy oil for Confirmation, Orders, and Extreme Unction (Last Rites)
  • wheat bread for the Eucharist
  • imposition of hands (+ investiture of the new Priests) in Holy Orders
  • The Canon Law you quote does not absolutely exclude confession. "Just cause" surely is defines somewhere. It also says nothing about the other sacraments, though you've inferred that for some reason. – 3961 Oct 13 '14 at 2:45
  • @fredsbend: See what I added. I hope that helps. – Geremia Oct 13 '14 at 3:15
  • A good edit, but water, oil, and wheat bread are common everywhere. Can they not be consecrated by proxy? – 3961 Oct 13 '14 at 3:59
  • @fredsbend: It is the duty of a priest or bishop to administer all the sacraments, except marriage (which is administered by the married couple themselves) and baptism in the case of necessity. Regular water can be used, in the case of necessity, to perform a valid baptism. Even if it were permitted to "consecrate by proxy," there would be no need to; the Eucharist is not absolutely necessary for salvation like baptism is. – Geremia Oct 13 '14 at 4:16
  • Wheat bread can be consecrated elsewhere and brought to (for example) a person confined to bed by a priest or if necessary a lay minister; but in that case there's no need for Skype. Conversely, a Mass (including a consecration) can be broadcast and the faithful participate in the responses, but the Eucharist is not received in that case. – Matt Gutting Oct 13 '14 at 13:39

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