Catholic World News

Pope urges priests: be available for Confessions during Lent

March 12, 2015

“Without doubt, among the sacraments, it is that of Reconciliation that best shows the merciful face of God,” Pope Francis remarked in a March 12 address to participants in an annual Vatican course for confessors.

The sacraments, the Pope said, are ‘the concrete way God created to move closer to us, to embrace us, without shame for our limits.” He said that confession should be a way of bringing the penitent to a greater realization of God’s mercy. That mercy, he added, assumes “the just commitment to make amends.”

For priests, too, confession should be a learning experience, the Pope continued. He remarked that confessors, as witnesses to the repentance of others, can be led to examine their own consciences more carefully.

“Every faithful penitent who approaches the confessional is 'sacred ground' to be cultivated with dedication, care and pastoral attention,” the Pope said. He stressed that priests, in hearing confessions, should always bear in mind that they are ministers “purely by the grace of God,” and it is God’s mercy that they invoke.

Pope Francis encouraged priests to make themselves available for confessions especially during Lent, to help the faithful prepare—and help themselves prepare—for “the final victory of Divine Mercy over all the evil in the world.”


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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Mar. 13, 2015 12:30 AM ET USA

    It would be good if priests would preach on Confession and Divine Mercy and then make themselves as available as possible for confessions in the time leading up to Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday (and always).