Pope Francis to Capuchins: awareness of sin key to mercy
The Mass was offered in connection with the presence in Rome and at St. Peter’s of the relics of two great Capuchin saints, who were renowned in their earthly lives as priest-confessors: St. Pius of Pietralcina (or St. Padre Pio as he is popularly known) and St. Leopold of Mandic.
“I speak to you as a brother,” said Pope Francis to the Capuchins present, “and through you I would like to speak to all confessors, especially in the Year of Mercy: the confessional is for pardon – and [even] if you cannot give absolution – let me say hypothetically – please, do not beat up on the penitent; one who comes [to the confessional], comes seeking comfort, pardon, peace in his soul; let him find a father who embraces him and says, ‘God loves you,’ and makes the penitent feel that God really does.”
The Holy Father went on to express a desire to see confessors everywhere with broad minds and open hearts, who never tire of being vehicles of divine pardon, and who understand the suffering of penitents because they know themselves to be sinners and the first to be in need of God’s saving mercy.
“Either you perform the office of Jesus, who forgives, giving His [whole] life in prayer – so many hours there [in the confessional], seated as were those two [Sts. Pius and Leopold] there,” said Pope Francis, “or, you perform the office of the devil who condemns, who accuses – I do not know – I can tell you nothing else.”
The pope must have had terrible experiences with priests when he was growing up. For that, I feel sorry for him since it seems to have left him with a sore spot for priests. I've been to many parishes and many priests for Confession, and I've never experienced anything like seems to underlie these quips from the Holy Father.
Do you know why Pope Francis didn't wear a mitre for this mass: is this a Shrove Tuesday custom I don't know about? He sometimes ditches the ferula and palium (and Guido Marini) when celebrating mass elsewhere in Rome (e.g at the Gesu church), but up until now he's always worn a mitre on these occasions.
It's par for the course. Mass for the 'world-wide Capuchin community' in Italian, for God's sake - hardly a world language. Still, I suspect most of them don't know Latin either.
I too cannot ever remember a priest giving me a hard time in the Confessional. If anything, I think most priests are almost over-cautious to be easygoing on penitents.
I know this is a hackneyed analogy, but I'll throw it out there anyway. If a patient sees a doctor, the doctor diagnoses a potentially fatal illness, but tells the patient that he is in good health so he won't feel upset when he leaves, that doctor is a QUACK.
Confession IS the "tribunal of mercy" but the mercy part doesn't really take unless we have a person who acknowledges that they NEED God's mercy. If someone goes to Confession and the priest--the "doctor" treating his soul--fails to tell him objectively what he needs to do, then that priest is a quack. A priest can be as gentle and kind in his tone as possible, but he also has to be honest.
So I'm confused: What kind of mercy or treatment is Pope Francis requiring here?
More ambiguous and vague stuff from the alleged Vicar of Christ. Just what does "broad-minded" mean, anyway?
He does seem to have the tendency to grant that the common caricatures about priests are true, and it is in correction of these caricatures that he speaks. Honestly, where are all these hard-core, inflexible, wealthy and overly-pious priests that cause him so much worry?
I've been fussed at by Priests in the Confessional before and deserved every word of it.
The best question I've been asked by a priest in Confession is, "Why did you do that?"
I have had priests give me a firm talking to in the Confessional -- in the same way a father or brother would give a firm talking to a son or brother out of love.
I was thrown out of the confessional once. In 6th grade I went on a Lenten morning and was told to get out so some grown up who needed to be in confession could get in.
Our priests once again get only negative comments aimed at them, I in my lifetime have never seen a Pope PUT DOWN his priests on every occasion he can. There is something terribly wrong with Francis, it makes me angry how he treats his priests.
Only the priests of the Diocese of Rome are "his priests".
I totally agree with Anonymous at 11:18 it makes me angry as well that he is so tough on priests. The life of a priest is tough enough I would have thought without the Holy Father adding to his burden. He is supposed to be a father to them and should be treating them in the same manner as he exhorts them to treat the faithful. Having said that I have never come across priests in confession who have been as he describes. Does it mean that this is what priests in Argentina are like? Anyway, what young man is going to want to answer the call to priesthood at the moment when the man at the top comes across the way that he does?
I wonder if any of the apologists for Pope Francis can find a similar sermon from any other pope that scrapes the bottom of the barrel as some of Pope Francis's sermons do. To avoid blowing a fuse I just don't read anything that he says because it is usually far from edifying or building up and certainly not in the mould of St Francis.
The way many here attack priests, I find it very hypocritical that those same people now defend priests against what they perceive to be attacks from the Holy Father.
Could there be a difference between concerns about priests expressed by laymen on a blog, and concerns about priests expressed by the bishop of Rome via the Vatican media?
The Priests that are "attacked" on this blog are perceived to be modernists who do not really believe the articles of the Creed. The Priests the Pope is attacking are believing, traditional, devout Priests. Pay attention.
Can you identify any of the "believing, traditional, devout Priests" you say the Pope is "attacking"? No. Your comment is without merit.
The Pope has referred many times to Priests he calls "dogmatic," "rigid," etc. The obvious interpretation of this is conservative and traditional, all the while the Pope is appointing Vat II pimps, modernists, and welcoming to the Vatican a gabble of Marxists, homos, muzzles, and atheists. "It don't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
So, you can't identify a single "beliving, traditional, devout Priest" who you think the Pope is attacking. Got it.
Burke was not attacked. He was replaced for, I suspect, not being in favor of Pope Francis' plan to establish via Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus a simpler, less time-consuming process for granting annulments.
That's what CEO's do when an underling is unable or unwilling to carry out the boss' plans.
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