Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope exhorts priests: be available for confessions

Catholic World News - March 28, 2014

Speaking on March 28 to a group of 600 priests, Pope Francis said that any priest who does not devote himself to hearing confessions “is like a shepherd who does not take care of his lost sheep.”

In an address to participants in an annual course on the internal forum, organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Pope made three main points about the role of the priest as confessor.

First, he said, “the agent of the ministry of reconciliation is the Holy Spirit.” Therefore priests must be “men of the Holy Spirit.” He urged priests to approach this ministry “not with the attitude of a judge or even that of a friend, but with God’s charity.”

Second, the Pope continued, priests should “work hard upon ourselves…so as never to be an obstacle” to penitents. He reminded the priests: “Confession is not a sentencing court, but rather and experience of forgiveness and mercy.”

Finally, the Pope said that since the sacrament of Confession has often been neglected in recent years, priests to take pains to restore appreciation for the sacrament. “It is essential that in every parish the faithful know when they can find available priests,” he said. “When there is trust, the fruits can be seen.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,337 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,662.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Mar. 31, 2014 2:21 AM ET USA

    I wish it had been a world-wide effort, but my diocese did nothing.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17