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Pope tells priests to go to confession more often

Pope John Paul II has told priests that they should frequent the sacrament of reconciliation, not merely to "destroy sin", but also as "a precious exercise of virtue, of expiation and of an irreplaceable school of spirituality".

The Holy Father made his exhortation in a message addressed to Archbishop Luigi de Magistris, major pro-penitentiary of the Church, in connection with a course the Apostolic Penitentiary offered seminarians and young priests on the "internal forum," namely, questions of conscience.

He said that priests should "frequent it personally, as a valid aid in their own path to holiness, and that they also take recourse to it as a qualified means of spiritual direction."

"Holiness can only be attained, especially priestly holiness, with habitual, humble and confident recourse to the sacrament of penance, understood as a vehicle of grace -- indispensable when it has been lost, unfortunately, because of mortal sin -- and favored when mortal sin has not been committed," the Pope stressed.



19 Mar 2002