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Emphasize forgiveness, restore Confession, Pope urges Brazilian prelates

Catholic World News - September 27, 2010

Speaking on September 25 to a group of Brazilian bishops who were completing their ad limina visits, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the need for “restoring the trust of many priests in the sacrament of Penance.”

The Pope said that Confession and repentance of sins is essential to a healthy spiritual life. He argued that “the core of the spiritual crisis of our time has its roots in the obscuration of the grace of forgiveness.”

When modern men seek to abolish the concept of guilt, they cannot succeed, the Pope continued, because they “know in their hearts that it is not true, that sin exists and that they themselves are sinners.” Only a frank recognition of sinfulness can open the path to forgiveness.

Everyone needs God’s forgiveness, the Pontiff added. “We all need God as the Divine Sculptor Who removes the accumulation of dust and debris covering the image of God inscribed within us.” Moreover, he said, that relief from guilt and sin “cannot be completed with our own strength” but requires God’s grace and the ministry of the Church.

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