Which image is your experience of priests when you go to confession?
Pope Francis will go down in Church history as the pope who restored the Sacrament of Penance, Confession, to its rightful place in the Church and he will be known as the pope of Divine Mercy more so than Saint John Paul II.
Here is the papal quote of the day, which I translated myself, but not as good as this, in a comment under the ordination Mass:
In his homily at an ordination mass this morning, Pope Francis urged
those becoming priests to follow Christ’s example of mercy in the
sacrament of confession.
“Never grow tired of being merciful! Please! You have the capacity
to forgive as did the Lord, who did not come to condemn, but to forgive!
Have mercy, a lot!”
“If you come to have concerns about being too much of a ‘forgiver,’
think of that saintly priest…who went before the tabernacle and said,
‘Lord, forgive me if I have forgiven too much. But you have given me the
worst example!’” (The pope said this in the Italian way of showing humor.)
The Holy Father spoke to the men of his sadness at hearing of people
who had the experience of being “thrashed” or “yelled at” in the
confessional and never returned because they felt that “the doors of the
Church were closed in their face!”
“Please, don’t do this!”
Priests should rather follow in the way of Jesus, the good shepherd
who acts as the gate to the sheepfold. “The gate of mercy is the wounds
of the Lord: if you don’t enter into your ministry through the wounds of
Christ, you will not be good shepherds,” he cautioned.
Pope Francis also reminded those seeking ordination to be faithful
to the gospel they were taught rather than creating their own ideas.
“Teach that which you have learned in the faith, live that which you
have taught. A nourishment to the people of God will therefore be your
doctrine, which is not yours: you are not owners of doctrine! It is the
doctrine of the Lord, and you must be faithful to the doctrine of the