Pope hears confessions at World Youth Day's 'Forgiveness Festival'

Pope hears confessions at World Youth Day's 'Forgiveness Festival'

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Pope Benedict XVI heard confessions from four young people in Madrid at the August 20 event billed as a “Forgiveness Festival,” where 200 priests also offered the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

A drawing took place from the pool of World Youth Day volunteers who wished to go to Confession with the Pope, according to Vatican Press Office Director Father Federico Lombardi.

To be included in the pool, the volunteers had to be able to speak one of the three languages that the Pope speaks best: Italian, French or German.

Two volunteers from France, one from Switzerland, and one from Spain were chosen. Originally, three young people were to be chosen, but a fourth was selected in case one could not attend. In the end, however, all four arrived and met with the Pope.

Pope Benedict concluded the confessions in the morning and went to the Cathedral of El Almudena, where about 2,000 seminarians were expecting him for a special Mass.

A World Youth Day volunteer named Guadalupe was at the Forgiveness Festival, and told CNA that she had “never seen anything like it in my life.”

Young people “cried with joy and excitement. It was very nice to see so many people united,” she reflected.

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