Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela | ARCHIVES
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Director of Divine Worship

Home : News : Pope Francis/Vatican
3/19/2017 8:46:00 AM
Make confession more available, God's heart is always open, pope says
CNS/Evandro Inetti, poolPope Francis kneels before a priest to confess during a Lenten prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 17.

CNS/Evandro Inetti, pool
Pope Francis kneels before a priest to confess during a Lenten prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 17.

Catholic News Service


VATICAN CITY — Hear confession every time someone asks, Pope Francis said, and don't ever put limited hours on the sacrament of reconciliation.

"Please, let there never be those signs that say, 'Confessions: Mondays and Wednesdays from this time to that time,'" he told hundreds of confessors and other participants attending an annual course sponsored by the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the absolution of sin.

"Hear confession every time someone asks you. And if you are sitting there, praying, leave the confessional open because God's heart is open," he said March 17.

Confession "is a pastoral priority," and is a daily call to head to the "peripheries of evil and sin, and this is an ugly periphery," he said.

"I'll confess," he told his audience, that the Apostolic Penitentiary "is the tribunal that I really like because it is a 'tribunal of mercy,' where one goes to get that indispensable medicine for our souls, which is divine mercy."

A good confessor, he said, has begged God for "the gift of a wounded heart, capable of understanding others' wounds and of healing them" with God's mercy, he said.

Accompany men and women "with prudent and mature discernment and with true compassion for their suffering, caused by the poverty of sin," he said.

So much harm is done to the church and human souls when a confessor is not guided by prayer and the Holy Spirit in discerning what God wants to be done, he said.

"The confessor never follows his own will and doesn't teach his own doctrine," but is called to be God's servant in full communion with the church.

Be ready to use confession as an opportunity to evangelize and remind people of the basic, essential truth of faith and morality. Pray to God for the gift of humility and the recognition of one's own sins that God fully pardoned, he told them.

This kind of prayer is not only "the prime guarantee for avoiding every harsh approach that fruitlessly judges the sinner and not the sin," he said, it also reminds confessors they are "simple, albeit necessary, administrators" of God's free gift. "And he will certainly be pleased if we make extensive use of his mercy."

Pope Francis also asked confessors to be very careful in discerning whether a person may be suffering from a mental disorder, "which must be verified through a healthy cooperation with" experts, or from demonic influence or possession.

Whenever a confessor recognizes the presence of evil spirits, he said, never hesitate to refer to an exorcist, who is charged with "this sensitive and necessary ministry" in each diocese.







Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search








News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2017 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved