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Pope Francis says Confession is not like going to see a psychiatrist

By on Friday, 25 October 2013

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis (CNS)

Confessing our sins is not like going to see a psychiatrist, Pope Francis has said.

The Pope spoke about the Sacrament of Reconciliation in his homily at the Santa Marta guesthouse this morning.

He said the only way of reaching God’s love is to go to him with the same honesty, transparency and simplicity that children have, accepting the “grace of shame” that lets us feel God’s forgiveness.

The Pope warned about the difficulty of life as “every time we want to do good, evil is next to us”. “This is the struggle of Christians. This is our struggle everyday. And we do not always have the courage to speak as Paul speaks of this struggle. We always seek a way of justification: ‘But yes, we are all sinners’”, the Pope said.

The Holy Father warned of the fear of confessing sins, saying that we must not think “being a sinner is a word, a phrase, a way of saying we do not need God’s forgiveness”, but “if it is a reality that makes us slaves, we need this inner liberation of the Lord, that strength”.

Pope addressed the complaint that some people would rather confess their sins directly to God rather than to a priestly intermediary by describing this as “Confession by email”, saying “there is no face to face”.

But, he added, “confessing our sins is not like going to a meeting with a psychiatrist, nor to a torture chamber, it’s to say to the Lord, ‘Lord I am a sinner’, but to say through his brother, because this is also to say concrete ‘and I am a sinner for this, for this and this’.”