02/09/2016, 11.15
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Pope: The confessor who feels himself to be a sinner is man of forgiveness, reconciliation

"Forgiveness is a seed, God’s caress".  When a person approaches the confessional: "it is because he or she feels something weighing them down and wants to be freed", they may not know how to say it, but "tell them with gesture to come closer." "There is no need to ask questions."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The confessor who feels himself to be a sinner is man of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of peace, because "when someone forgets they need forgiveness, slowly they forget God" and in turn does not "know how to forgive ".

This was Pope Francis’ message during Mass celebrated in St Peter's Basilica this morning with the Capuchins who came from around the world for the translation to St. Peter’s of the remains of the two saints of the Franciscan Order: Padre Pio and Father Leopoldo Mandic.

Taking his cue from today's liturgy, the Pope spoke of two attitudes: that of "greatness before God," or "the humble King Solomon ", and the "narrowness" of the "doctors of the law" bent on mere precepts.

"Your tradition as Capuchins - he said - is a tradition of forgiveness and giving forgiveness. Among you there are many good confessors: it is because they feel they are sinners". "When someone forgets they need forgiveness - he added - slowly they forget God, you forget to ask for forgiveness and do not forgive." "The humble, the one who feels he is a sinner, pardons abundantly in the confessional", the others like the teachers of the law who feel "pure", "the masters," instead merely "condemn."

"I speak to you as a brother, and would like to talk to all the confessors, especially in this Year of Mercy: the confessional is there to forgive. And if you cannot give absolution – it is a possibility - please do not be harsh to the person. The person who comes to you, comes to seek comfort, forgiveness, peace in his soul; to find a father who embraces him and tells him: "But, God loves you." "Be men of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace".

Francis then spoke of how often priests have heard "I never go to confession, because once I was asked these questions."

He then spoke of a meeting with a great confessor and distinguished between "words" and "gestures" that seek forgiveness, like when a person approaches the confessional: "it is because they feel something weighing them down and want to be free of it", maybe they do not know who to say it, but "tell them with a gesture to come closer." "There is no need to ask questions."

"Forgiveness is a seed, it is God’s caress. Have faith in God's forgiveness. Do not fall into Pelagianism, eh? You must do this, this, this, this ... ". He warned or you “forgive greatly", or,  " condemn greatly ", "or you do the office of Jesus, who forgives giving life, prayer, so many hours there, sitting, like those two, over there; or you do the office of the devil condemning, accusing ... "

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