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Pope Francis joins penitents, makes his confession at Vatican basilica

March 28, 2014

Before hearing confessions in St. Peter's basilica on March 28, Pope Francis surprised his aides by making his own confession.

As he was being escorted toward the confessional that had been reserved for him in the Vatican basilica, the Pope broke away from his aides and headed for an open confessional, where he knelt as a penitent. After a few minutes he then rejoined his aides, took his assigned seat in the confessional, and heard confessions of others.

Vatican journalists could not recall any previous occasion when a Roman Pontiff had made his confession in public view.

The Pope was participating in a a "festival of forgiveness" in the Rome diocese, during which priests were available for confessions all day in several churches.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Mar. 29, 2014 6:52 AM ET USA

    This is a lesson for all Catholics, the pope exposing to us the reality of this great sacrament with his own actions. I hadn't thought about this before, but wouldn't it make a stir in any parish if a bishop or even a priest in his Roman collar were seen waiting in line (sad to say but they're never very long nowadays)to go to confession? It would drive home what Pope Francis has been at pains to emphasize since the first moments of his pontificate, viz. that we are all sinners.