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Pope Francis has told priests to “forgive everything” heard in confession (CNS/Chaz Muth)

Catholics should not be afraid to bear their sins before God whose mercy is a model for the Church’s ministers, Pope Francis said on Friday. Source: CNS.

“Put this in your mind and heart: God never tires of forgiving,” the Pope said during a Lenten penance service. He then asked the approximately 600 people gathered at the parish of St Pius V in Rome to repeat his words with him: “God never tires of forgiving!”

Before putting on a stole to hear confessions in the Church, Pope Francis asked priests to “forgive always, like God who never tires of forgiving”.

“Don’t ask too much” during confessions, he told the priests, instructing them to “forgive everything”.

“Let us always grant forgiveness to those who ask for it and help those who feel fear to confidently approach the sacrament of healing and joy,” he said. “Let us put God’s forgiveness back at the centre of the Church.”

The Pope was spirited while reading the entirety of his lengthy speech, frequently stopping to add personal anecdotes and to solicit participation from the crowd. He had an aide read his speeches earlier in the day and said earlier in the week that he had persistent cold symptoms. 

Hundreds of people crowded outside the parish entrance to greet Pope Francis upon his arrival. Inside, pews were filled as the visibly animated Pope engaged with the crowd. 

Pope Francis asked people during his homily to “look at your sins, look at the bad things you have said and done”.

“In silence say to the Lord: ‘Lord, if you wish you can make me clean.’ And he can,” the Pope said, quoting the leper who asks Jesus for healing in St Mark’s Gospel. 


Pope tells priests: ‘Don’t ask too much’ during confession, forgive always (By Justin McLellan, CNS)