Friday 15th December 2017

Home » World News » Currently Reading:

Confessions of a Pope

November 25, 2013 World News No Comments

 

2013-11-21 L’Osservatore Romano

 

“Priests and bishops too have to go to confession”. And “even the Pope confesses every 15 days, because the Pope is also a sinner. And the confessor hears what I tell him, he counsels me and forgives me, because we are all in need of this forgiveness”. The Holy Father confided this to the faithful at the General Audience on Wednesday morning, 20 November, in St Peter’s Square. Continuing his reflections on the Creed, the Holy Father expanded on the ‘remission of sin’, “in reference to the ‘power of the keys’, as it is called, which is a biblical symbol of the mission that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles”. The following is a translations of the Pope’s catechesis, which was delivered in Italian.

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

 

Last Wednesday I spoke about the remission of sins, referred to in a special way at Baptism. Today let us continue on the theme of the remission of sins, but in reference to the “power of the keys”, as it is called, which is a biblical symbol of the mission that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles.

 

First of all, we must remember that the principal agent in the forgiveness of sins is the Holy Spirit. In his first appearance to the Apostles, in the Upper Room, the Risen Jesus made the gesture of breathing on them saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:22,23). Jesus, transfigured in his body, is already the new man who offers the Paschal gifts, the fruit of his death and resurrection. What are these gifts? Peace, joy, the forgiveness of sins, mission, but above all he gives the Spirit who is the source of all these. The breath of Jesus, accompanied by the words with which he communicates the Spirit, signifies the transmission of life, the new life reborn from forgiveness.

 

But before making this gesture of breathing and transmitting the Holy Spirit, Jesus reveals the wounds in his hands and side: these wounds represent the price of our salvation. The Holy Spirit brings us the God’s pardon “by passing through” Jesus’ wounds. These wounds he wished to keep; even now in Heaven he is showing the Father the wounds by which he redeemed us. By the power of these wounds, our sins are pardoned: thus, Jesus gave his life for our peace, for our joy, for the gift of grace in our souls, for the forgiveness of our sins. It is very very beautiful to look at Jesus in this way!

 

And we come to the second element: Jesus gave the Apostles the power to forgive sins. It is a little difficult to understand how a man can forgive sins, but Jesus gives this power. The Church is the depository of the power of the keys, of opening or closing to forgiveness. God forgives every man in his sovereign mercy, but he himself willed that those who belong to Christ and to the Church receive forgiveness by means of the ministers of the community. Through the apostolic ministry the mercy of God reaches me, my faults are forgiven and joy is bestowed on me. In this way Jesus calls us to live out reconciliation in the ecclesial, the community, dimension as well. And this is very beautiful. The Church, who is holy and at the same time in need of penitence, accompanies us on the journey of conversion throughout our life. The Church is not mistress of the power of the keys, but a servant of the ministry of mercy and rejoices every time she can offer this divine gift.

 

Perhaps many do not understand the ecclesial dimension of forgiveness, because individualism, subjectivism, always dominates, and even we Christians are affected by this. Certainly, God forgives every penitent sinner, personally, but the Christian is tied to Christ, and Christ is united to the Church. For us Christians there is a further gift, there is also a further duty: to pass humbly through the ecclesial community. We have to appreciate it; it is a gift, a cure, a protection as well as the assurance that God has forgiven me. I go to my brother priest and I say: “Father, I did this…”. And he responds: “But I forgive you; God forgives you”. At that moment, I am sure that God has forgiven me! And this is beautiful, this is having the surety that God forgives us always, he never tires of forgiving us. And we must never tire of going to ask for forgiveness. You may feel ashamed to tell your sins, but as our mothers and our grandmothers used to say, it is better to be red once than yellow a thousand times. We blush once but then our sins are forgiven and we go forward.

 

Lastly, a final point: the priest is the instrument for the forgiveness of sins. God’s forgiveness is given to us in the Church, it is transmitted to us by means of the ministry our brother, the priest; and he too is a man, who, like us in need of mercy, truly becomes the instrument of mercy, bestowing on us the boundless love of God the Father. Priests and bishops too have to go to confession: we are all sinners. Even the Pope confesses every 15 days, because the Pope is also a sinner. And the confessor hears what I tell him, he counsels me and forgives me, because we are all in need of this forgiveness. Sometimes you hear someone claiming to confess directly to God… Yes, as I said before, God is always listening, but in the Sacrament of Reconciliation he sends a brother to bestow his pardon, the certainty of forgiveness, in the name of the Church.

 

The service that the priest assumes a ministry, on behalf of God, to forgive sins is very delicate and requires that his heart be at peace, that the priest have peace in his heart; that he not mistreat the faithful, but that he be gentle, benevolent and merciful; that he know how to plant hope in hearts and, above all, that he be aware that the brother or sister who approaches the Sacrament of Reconciliation seeking forgiveness does so just as many people approached Jesus to be healed. The priest who is not of this disposition of mind had better not administer this sacrament until he has addressed it. The penitent faithful have the right, all faithful have the right, to find in priests servants of the forgiveness of God.

 

Dear brothers, as members of the Church are we conscious of the beauty of this gift that God himself offers us? Do we feel the joy of this cure, of this motherly attention that the Church has for us? Do we know how to appreciate it with simplicity and diligence? Let us not forget that God never tires of forgiving us; through the ministry of priests he holds us close in a new embrace and regenerates us and allows us to rise again and resume the journey. For this is our life: to rise again continuously and to resume our journey.

 

 

After the catechesis the Pope said:

 

 

Tomorrow, 21 November, is the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary Most Holy in the Temple, we will celebrate the Day pro Orantibus, dedicated to the cloistered religious communities. It is an opportune occasion to thank the Lord for the gift of so many people who, in monasteries and hermitages, dedicate themselves to God in prayer and in silent work. Let us give thanks to the Lord for their witness of cloistered life and let us not fail to provide spiritual and material support to these our brothers and sisters, so that they may fulfil their important mission.

 

On the 22 November the United Nations will inaugurate the International Year of Family Farming, meant to underline that the farming economy and rural development find in the family workers who are respectful of creation and attentive to concrete necessities. Also in work, the family is a model of brotherhood in living out the experience of unity and solidarity among all its members, with a greater sensibility for those who are most in need of care and help, by preventing the outcrop of possible social conflicts. For these reasons, as I express my satisfaction at such a timely initiative, I hope that it may contribute to a clearer appreciation of the innumerable benefits that the family brings to economic, social, cultural and moral growth of the entire human community.

 

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Wales, Korea and the United States of America. Upon all of you, I invoke God’s blessings of peace and joy!

 

Lastly, my affectionate thoughts turn to young people, to the sick and to newlyweds. In the month of November the liturgy invites us to pray for the departed. Let us not forget our loved ones, our benefactors and all those who have preceded us in the faith: the Eucharistic Celebration is the best spiritual help that we can offer to their souls, especially those who are most abandoned. And in this moment we cannot but recall the victims of recent floods in Sardinia: Let us pray for them and for they families and let us stand in solidarity with those who have suffered damage. Let us now say a little prayer in silence and then let us pray to Our Lady that she bless and help all our Sardinian brothers and sisters. And now let us pray in silence (…) Hail Mary…

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Facebook Is ‘Ripping Apart’ Society, Former Executive Warns

Last month, former Facebook president Sean Parker expressed fears over what the social network is “doing to our children’s brains.” It was developed to be addictive, he said, describing Facebook as a “social-validation feedback loop” that exploited weaknesses in the human psyche. Now another…Continue Reading

Pro-life leaders pledge fidelity to Catholic faith, refuse to follow ‘erring pastors’

December 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 30 Catholic pro-life and pro-family leaders, representing 11 countries, have signed a Pledge of Fidelity to the Catholic, declaring their refusal to follow “erring pastors” in the Church today. The leaders announced the pledge…Continue Reading

Please Pray for Dr. Robert Hickson

Over the past couple of years, Maike Hickson has become a very important part of our work here. She has helped us greatly in our coverage of European stories, particularly in the German-language press. She has built relationships with other…Continue Reading

Archbishop Naumann: “If the Church is silent on the destruction of life, we’re being negligent”

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas was recently chosen by his brother bishops to lead the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee of Pro-Life Activities. The 68-year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri, was selected on November 14 by…Continue Reading

LA convent sale controversy ends in favor of archdiocese, Katy Perry

Los Angeles, Calif., Dec 6, 2017 / 12:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This week, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and singer Katy Perry were awarded a joint $10 million sum for punitive damages over a church-owned hilltop property which was illegally…Continue Reading

CDL. BURKE TO OFFER PONTIFICAL MASS AT WISCONSIN SHRINE

LA CROSSE, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, December 10. The Mass will be at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at 9:30 a.m. The date of the…Continue Reading

Newly revealed vision of St. Pope John Paul: Islam will invade Europe

Bienno, Italy, November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): A close friend of Saint John Paul II has affirmed that the late pope, revealed to have been a mystic, told him that Europe would be invaded by Islam. Speaking to a large group…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan, alumni ‘baffled’ over Notre Dame decision to offer birth control coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, November 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The University of Notre Dame’s recent about-face to provide birth control via its health coverage is baffling, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said. “We rejoiced when Notre Dame united with us in our expression…Continue Reading

Spain’s Catholic Church speaks out against Catalan independence drive

The head of the Catholic Church in Spain has criticised a declaration of independence approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament last month, calling it “serious and disturbing”, a spokesman said Monday. Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, the president of the Spanish bishops’…Continue Reading

Pope sends telegramme of condolence following terror attacks in Egypt

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegramme of condolence for Friday’s attack on a mosque in Egypt, saying he was “profoundly grieved to learn of the great loss of life caused by the terrorist attacks on Rawda mosque in North…Continue Reading

Can Catholic schools resist the new gender confusion?

Two months ago, parents at Sacred Heart girls’ school in Hammersmith received an unexpected letter. “In recognising Jesus as our teacher through the Gospels,” wrote headteacher Marian Doyle, “the first impulse for us as a Catholic school must be to…Continue Reading

‘Crucified cow’ on display at center of Catholic church, locals outraged Belgium , Catholic , Sacrilege

November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Local Catholics in a Belgian town are outraged as a cruciform cow has been erected as art at the center of a consecrated Catholic church. They are urging the local bishop to have it removed…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Alabama election gives George Soros dangerous influence in US Senate

December 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Radically social liberal Doug Jones was elected to the US Senate by three main forces – organizations heavily financed by the world’s leading globalist George Soros, the Saul Alinsky-inspired Obama/Democratic Party Community Organizing machine (also Soros backed) and Republican Party establishment leader, Trump-despising RINO Mitch McConnell. Jones would not have stood a remo

Cecile Richards: Time for Women to Start Bragging About Their Abortions, Don’t be “Ashamed”

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards urged women to keep bragging about aborting their unborn babies to fight the Trump administration’s pro-life policies. In a new interview with Democracy Now, Richards complained that the Trump administration is trying to protect unborn babies from abortion. She blasted his choices of Mike Pence and other strong pro-life advocates for top-level positions. One of the things that Richards believes will make a difference is women who are willing to speak…Continue Reading

Apple, Google attend China internet conference that promotes control and censorship

December 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – CEOs from Google and Apple participated last week in China’s World Internet Conference, bringing what critics called “credibility” to an annual event used by the country’s Communist government to promote a more controlled and censored internet globally. Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook went as far as praising the Communist country during his keynote speech at the conference, saying that China’s vision of cyberspace as promoted by the conference “is a vision…Continue Reading

Pope Francis calls for Lord’s Prayer translation to be changed

Pope Francis has called for the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer to be changed as it implies God leads people into temptation. The line, which is traditionally translated into English as “And lead us not into temptation”, was recently changed in French to say “do not let us enter into temptation.” Currently, the Italian translation is

Archbishop: Politicians who say they’re pro-abortion and a good Catholic must be admonished

KANSAS CITY, Kansas, December 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Politicians who “flaunt” being Catholic while asserting that they are also pro-abortion are guilty of “misleading” other Catholics and must be admonished, said U.S. Archbishop Joseph Naumann in a recent interview. Naumann, who was elected last month by his brother bishops over Cardinal Blase Cupich to be the next head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts, said that openly pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians are “particularly problematic” for the bishops to…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Lawsuit Contests Taxpayer-Funded Illinois Abortion Law

By MAGGIE MASLAK SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CNA/EWTN News) — A new Illinois law requiring public funding of elective abortions is opposed by pro-life groups and taxpayers who have sued the state, calling the measure illegal. “The people of Illinois totally reject taxpayer-funded abortions,” said Peter Breen, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit legal…Continue Reading

Advent With The English Martyrs

By JAMES MONTI Recently I learned from an English Catholic gentleman that in late October the BBC began airing in England a new television series called Gunpowder dramatizing the historical events surrounding the “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605, a violent plot of a few Catholic extremists arising from the desperate situation of Catholics persecuted under England’s…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Supreme Court’s Overturning Of Bad Precedents: Don’t Hold Your Breath

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

By DONALD DeMARCO “I can resist anything but temptation,” quipped Oscar Wilde. His remark is really more humorous than cynical. But it does underscore a truth, namely, that there is some measure of difficulty for all of us in resisting temptation. Even the saints had to wrestle with temptation. “I am delighted with the law…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… Apostle Of The Immaculate Heart: The Life Of Lucia Dos Santos

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Part eleven, because of its length, will appear in two separate issues of The Wanderer.) + + +…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Children Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 Romans 16:25-27 Luke 1:26-38 In the readings today the Church gives us the full hope and expectation of the coming of our Lord. Long promised to the people of Israel, the Messiah was longed for and eagerly awaited by those who put their…Continue Reading

New tests have confirmed the age of the Holy Sepulchre

JERUSALEM (CNA/EWTN News) — Following the recent restoration of the Holy Sepulchre, archaeologists have confirmed the construction dates of the structure surrounding what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus. Having undergone renovations in 2016, the tomb was opened for first time in centuries last October. Archeologists were able to test samples of the mortar near the cave’s southern…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Is The Pope A Protestant?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: See also Steve Skojec’s report on page 1 of this week’s issue, particularly the quotations from Dr. John Joy on Magisterial authority.) You know the joke; you’ve probably used it yourself. Someone asks a question and to stress that the answer is a most emphatic “yes,” you respond: “Is the Pope a Catholic?”…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ…. The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Baptism

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What does Baptism do, anyway? Isn’t it just a ceremony? No, it is not. The first, primordial effect of Baptism is to give sanctifying grace, a participation in the Life of God Himself: the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul of the child or adult being baptized. It is never enough…Continue Reading

Marriage Under The Regime Of Sin

By DON FIER In beginning our consideration of the Sacrament of Marriage last week, it was immediately affirmed that “God Himself is the author of matrimony” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 48 § 1). Our Creator inaugurated this noble institution “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:4) when He formed Eve from Adam’s rib in the Garden of Eden on the sixth day…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Miguel Pro

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929) was one more episode in the universal and eternal conflict between the Catholic Church and secularist governments. The seeds of the conflict were sown at the turn of the century, leading to the enactment of the Mexican constitution in 1917. Then it was enflamed when President Plutarco Elias Calles (president from…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Damasus I

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord gave us a very comforting promise in Matt. 16:18 when He said, “And I say to thee: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.” The Catholic Church has survived the intrigues of numerous antipopes. An antipope is a “false claimant…Continue Reading