During his general audience today, Pope Francis spoke of the need for confession, urging the faithful to seek God’s mercy through the sacrament, because God never tires of forgiving us. Speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis said:
“Priests, too, need confession, even bishops. We are all sinners. Even the pope goes to confession every two weeks because the pope, too, is a sinner,” he said. “My confessor hears what I say, offers me advice and forgives me. We all need this.”
The pope also emphasized the role that priests play in the sacrament of Reconciliation – that the Church does not “own” the power of forgiveness, but has been given this ministry by the Holy Spirit. He said:
“The Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives and calls us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. … God has given us a brother to bring us forgiveness in the name of the Church. Priests, who are the servants of this sacrament, must recognize that they also are in need of forgiveness and healing, and so they must exercise their ministry in humility and mercy.”
Read the full story at Catholic News Services.