Vatican City, Jun 27, 2019 / 18:01 pm America/Denver (CNA).
In a meeting with the Apostleship of the Sea on Thursday, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of mercy, and said he was giving sea chaplains the same expansive faculties he had given to the Missionaries of Mercy.
“I would like to say a word about peace of heart. Many sailors approach or come to see chaplains and priests with problems of conscience that make them suffer greatly, problems that they have never had a chance to bring up in those circumstances, so far from home, far from their native land,” the Pope said June 27 in the Vatican's Clementine Hall to participants in a meeting for chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea.
“Dialogue with a chaplain may well open up new horizons of hope. So I would say to you: be merciful, be merciful. And to favour that mercy, I grant to all chaplains of sailors the same faculties I have gave to the Missionaries of Mercy. In this way, you will be able to bring peace to so many hearts.”
During the Jubilee of Mercy, the Missionaries of Mercy had no limits on where they could validly and licitly hear confessions, and they were able to absolve sins otherwise reserved to the Holy See: rofaning the Eucharistic species by taking them away or keeping them for a sacrilegious purpose; the use of physical force against the Roman Pontiff; the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment; and a direct violation against the sacramental seal by a confessor.
Pope Francis noted the importance of maritime industry, and thus the chaplains who minister to seamen.