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Pope Francis urges faithful to go to confession

February 19, 2014

Recalling that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance on Easter evening, Pope Francis devoted his Wednesday general audience to confession.

Pope Francis noted that “forgiveness is not the result of our efforts, but is a gift, a gift of the Holy Spirit” in which penitents receive the mercy and grace that flow from the heart of Christ.

In response to the statement, “I confess only to God,” Pope Francis reminded those in attendance that we also sin against our brothers and against the Church, and thus we need to be reconciled to the Church through a priest. To the objection, “I am ashamed,” Pope Francis replied that shame is “good” and “healthy” because it makes us humble.

Pope Francis urged the faithful who have not been to confession for a long time to “be brave,” “not waste a day,” and go to confession.


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Feb. 20, 2014 8:40 AM ET USA

    The Holy Father has indicated his desire to delve deeper into issues affecting the Church. In the area of the confession of sins by the faithful it is disturbing to note that very overwhelming percentages of Catholics surveyed in areas around the globe do not accept the Church's moral teachings, nor her specific precepts that bind each of her baptized members. In confession, sins must be identified and confessed. How many either do not go at all or refuse to confess sins they embrace as ok?

  • Posted by: abc - Feb. 19, 2014 6:24 PM ET USA

    It is very good that the Pope often talks about confession, but he could also issue some concrete directives to restore this Sacrament's place in the Church, such as requiring reinstallation of confessionals and urging priests to sit there more than 45 minutes a week. It is of little effectiveness to urge people to go to confession if the local church all but impedes it.