Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 12:19 pm
Priests who are good confessors must recognize their own sins in order to forgive and comfort penitents, Pope Francis said one day before the start of the Lenten season.
"I speak to you as a brother, and through you I would like to speak to all confessors, especially in this Year of Mercy: the confessional is for forgiveness," the Pope said in his homily Feb. 9 in St. Peter's Basilica. He celebrated the Mass with Capuchin Franciscan friars from around the world.
Even if priests cannot give absolution in some cases, the Pope told them, "please, do not beat up on the penitent."
Someone who comes to the confessional is seeking "comfort, pardon, peace in his soul."